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 . 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.
- 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.
- 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.