A.G.Dolbilov, V.P.Volnykh, R.S.Kovalenko, S.V.Medved, I.N.Churin
Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia

The current state (September 2003) of the computing and networking in the Lab is described. The existing system was developed in frame of topical plan for JINR research, LIT and DLNP plans to support theoretical and experimental research at DLNP. The Lab's LAN is build using 100 Mb/s fiber optic links between buildings, 100/10 Mb/s twisted pairs inside buildings and based mainly on CISCO switches and UNIX servers. The computing possibilities are presented by a number of distributed powerful workstations based on Intel platform and running Linux or Microsoft software. Also a centralized LINUX computer farm is intended for physicist computations. The UNIX cluster provides all necessary services.

  1. Equipment for network service
  2. Computation and data processing

Equipment for network service

Fig 1. General view of the rack with network equipment
The DLNP network operation room is build around CISCO Systems Catalyst 5505 main unit (Fig.1 & 2). It contains

  • Supevisor Engine II module as a main control unit with one power supply,
  • WS-X5225R module for switching 24 10/100BaseTX ports,
  • WS-X5014 48 port 10BaseT Ethernet Switching Module.

    Also to add more 32 10BaseT ports one Surecom EtherPerfect 532D Hub is used. There are two patch panels. The first one serves for connections to fiber optic cables with the help of nine 100 Mb/s Fiber to RJ45 Converters of the type Surecom EP202FX-C. The first optic line connects the Lab to the Laboratory of information technologies of JINR and then to the external world. Other eight optic lines connect network operation room to all principal buildings of the Lab. The second patch panel serves for cable connections to the server room and workstations of the Lab's main building.

    Fig 2. Block-diagram of the DLNP network operation rack

    Block-diagram of the network operation room is shown on Fig.2. Additionally some fiber optics lines exist to connect to Bogolyubov's Lab of theoretical physics, Flerov's Lab of nuclear reactions and Frank's Lab of neutron physics. A Gigabit Ethernet fiber optic ring around all Labs is projected for next years.

    There are about 650 computers and network devices in the DLNP buildings. They include servers, workstations, PCs, IBM X-terminals, switches and other network manageable equipment. The current distribution of all network devices is shown in Table 1. Home computers of the DLNP users located off site and connecting by phone lines are mentioned too.

    Building Department N Equipment Media
    Lab. Bld. Administration, physicists 100 CISCO, Surecom, HP TP
    Bld. 1. Phasotron 50 DEREP TP,Coax
    Bld. 2. Electricity 5 Hirshman Coax
    Bld. 3. Physicists 48 Compex TP
    Bld. 4a. Physicists 40 Compex, 3Com TP
    Bld. 4b. Physicists 40 Compex TP
    Bld. 108. Accelerators 48 Compex, 3Com TP,Coax
    Bld. RChL Radiochemistry 96 Compex TP
    Bld. 113 Physicists 120 Hirshman TP
    Remote Home PCs by dial-up 150 Modem pool Phone lines
    Table 1. Distribution of the network devices by buildings

    The registration of IP addresses and other network attributes is maintained by DLNP system administrators with the help of the one JINR database IPDB through Internet secure interface. The Lab network has divided into manageable segments by switches and bridges that reduces unnecessary traffic. Also transfer to twisted pairs in the end of nineties had raised the reliability of the local network. All twisted pair cables are of Cat. 5 type that provides 10/100 Mbps operation. The result of some evaluation of the data traffic between computers of the Lab and out-of-JINR world for the first part of the 2003 is presented in Table 2.

    Subnet Ingoing Outgoing 4120 Gb 8670 Gb 2840 Gb 630 Gb 890 Gb 630 Gb 2930 Gb 700 Gb
    Other DLNP subnets .... ....
    Total DLNP 12.4 Tb 10.9 Tb
    Table 2. External data traffic in some LNP subnets during first half of the 2003

    Computation and data processing
    During last decade the situation with the off-line computing dramatically changed. Before physicists had relatively weak personal computers equipped with installed software capable for simple data processing and preparation of publications. For middle and high energy data processing and events modeling this laboratory used about 15 more powerful SUN and DEC Alpha stations [1]. The more complex data a processing was carried out on mainframes at computing Laboratory (LCTA, now LIT) of JINR and foreign computer centers.

    Now the progress on personal computers permits physicists to obtain the power of former mainframes right on working place. Today's motherboards using Pentium 4 CPU with the clock frequency of 3.06 GHz and more and built around Intel 875, 865, 850 or 845 chipsets typically have up to 2Gb dual channel PC2700/PC3200 memory board sets, 8x/4x AGP slot, 6-channel AC97 audio controller, 10/100 Mbps LAN interface and up to 6 PCI slots. They reach the computation rate to Dhrystone ALU 6000-6500 MIPS, Whetstone FPU/iSSE2 2600/5700 MFLOPS measured by SiSoftware Sandra Professional Package.

    Fig. 3. A view of the DLNP server room in the Lab building.

    Actually there is a lot of PC of such class at the Lab on physicists working places. Typically they are supported by 40-80 Gb hard disks, they are present in all principal experimenters groups and running non-licensed Red Hat Linux OS. This one is well supported with the special software for physics by leading world physics centers such as CERN, FERMILAB, etc. Provided by 100 Mbps LAN they constitute local clusters for solving group tasks. This eliminates the need to maintain at the Lab relatively big and expensive computers for "number crunching". From other hand the facilities of the JINR LIT provide physicists with the excellent powerful tools for high-end computing.

    Base Lab servers are concentrated in the servers control room (Fig.3). They are divided into two parts: Unix/Linux servers and MS Windows domain servers

    • NUSUN, NUSUN1, NUSUN2 - SUN computers running Solaris OS, provide main system services: boot, initialization and management of the cluster, gateway and DNS primary resolver, system activities logs and accounts, network, security, licenses management, X - clients and X - terminals management, telnet and ssh login service, ftp access.
    • DXNU1, DXNU2 - General use DEC Alpha computers running Digital Unix.
    • NURAID - Disk server for home directories, general UNIX software, special physicists groups disks. Intel platform based computer running Free BSD, with large SCSI RAID disks array.
    • NUWEB - General Lab web server, home pages for experiments, conferences, symposiums, users.
    • NUMAIL - Intel P3 based Mail server for Unix/Linux and Windows clients. Intel platform based computer running Free BSD.
    • PCFARM - Main computing system that is a cluster of 10 Intel P3 computers under Red Hat Linux and Condor package for distributing computer loads between members of the cluster. The system uses large local hard disks with general GNU and physics software such as C++, Fortran compilers, ROOT, PAW and other similar one.
    • DLT server - DEC Alpha station under DEC Unix for manipulating DLT tapes.
    • MS Windows primary and secondary domain controllers serve mainly office applications of the Lab management staff and its databases.

    There are some servers and clusters in other buildings of the DLNP: SUN cluster at the department of the nuclear spectroscopy and radiochemistry, at the department of the colliders experiments, in the accelerator building. The Lab has registered more than 600 active users with 20-50 Mb of home directory size for each.

    Main task for the future is to modernize the park of servers, expand disk space, delegate some servers functions to the general JINR services including mail preprocessing, virus testing and alarming, spam filtering, proxies and firewalls, file storage servers, and to extend local service available to the DNLP users.


    1. I.N. Churin, A.G. Dolbilov, Yu.P. Ivanov, S.V. Medved, G.V. Savchuk, D.V. Trifonov. "Local network and computing at the Laboratory of nuclear problems of JINR" In: XVII International Symposium on nuclear electronics, Varna, September 15-21,1997", JINR, 1998, D13-98-66, p.186-191.
    2. V. Korenkov, R. Pose. "Status and trend of development of networking and computing at JINR" " In: XVII International Symposium on nuclear electronics, Varna, September 15-21,1997", JINR, 1998, D13-98-66, p.168-171.
  • HomeContactBack