Closure of Central Apollo Service
After many years of faithful service for literally hundreds of CERN users, it is time to review the central Apollo/Domain service. From a peak of over 300 nodes on site, the current active population is probably around 100, concentrated in SL controls and the L3 and OPAL experiments, plus a few used in various places around CERN, mostly as X terminals.
At the time of their introduction, Apollos were among the first UNIX workstations cheap enough to be accessible to end-users' budgets. Now, however, they are extremely expensive to maintain, and there is also the difficulty of keeping software expertise on call, CERN and HP
In order to conserve our limited resources, manpower and financial, to support over 1500 more modern and popular workstations, we must therefore announce now that CN support for Apollo/Domain workstations will cease in December this year. The central servers will be closed when the Laboratory closes for the Christmas break and they will not be restarted in 1996. In fact, because of its especially-high maintenance cost, the central DN10000 node (FDDI2) will be taken off maintenance contract from July 1st already; the node will continue to be operated for as long as possible until the end of the year.
For those users who continue to rely on Apollos, in principle SL Controls and some OPAL physicists, SL will continue to have their own independent support centre and we will work with OPAL to transfer whatever services they need to enable them to support their users for as long as they feel necessary. Special steps will also be taken for specific L3 uses. However, there will be no general service for Apollos in 1996 and owners of existing Apollo workstations outside SL, OPAL or L3 should take steps between now and December to replace them, even if they are only used as X terminals.
All known Apollo owners affected by this have been contacted personally but if this causes you any problem, please contact me (Alan Silverman) at your convenience.