Tony Cass CN/DCI and Harry Renshall CN/PDP
To help users plan for 1997, some forthcoming changes and upgrades for the public UNIX-based interactive services are listed below. In general, system changes are scheduled for early in 1997 so that we reach a stable situation before the SPS and LEP startups.
All of these services will be kept running over the Christmas break, but on a "best effort" basis so any problems may not be fixed quickly. (Also, users should be aware that we cannot guarantee a backup of AFS home directory files over the Christmas period.)
Over the Christmas shutdown we will be making some small changes to the system software running on all SP2 nodes--both batch and interactive. These changes should not directly affect users although some of the AIX fixes that will be installed should improve the quality of the overall service.
Once these changes are in place we have no further plans for software or hardware upgrades to the CERNSP services during 1997. (We will, of course, install fixes for any of the urgent problems that arise--such as the current FDDI adapter and AFS problems.)
For HPPLUS, we plan a major migration to HP-UX 10 in the early part of 1997. We cannot yet give a date for this, but it will be well before LEP startup. The reason we cannot give a date is that we will delay the upgrade as long as possible to try and make sure we move to the newer HP-UX 10.20 (which provides better performance with the PA8000 CPUs). If we really cannot migrate to HP-UX 10.20 we will install HP-UX 10.10 instead--this release of HP-UX 10 has been running succesfully on the ATLAS WGS cluster since early November.
Important note for VED users: HP has dropped support for the VED editor in HP-UX 10 and so VED will not be available after the migration. If you are a VED user, please think now about moving to one of the supported editors (NEDIT or EMACS, for example).
On the hardware side, we will be adding additional HP 735/125 machines to the HPPLUS cluster over the next few months. We have recently added 3 new machines (for a total of 13) and will be working up to an HPPLUS cluster of 20 735/125 machines for LEP startup in 1997.
The two DXPLUS machines are running Digital UNIX 3.2c today and
will stay with this version for some time yet. Although we would
like to move to Digital UNIX 4.0 at some point, we will not be
able to do this before Easter 1997, and possibly not before the
By the time this newsletter appears the memory of the SP2 nodes used for the PaRC engineering applications will have been increased to 256MB on four of the nodes and 512MB on the other four. This will allow certain very large applications to perform much more efficiently. The old memory recuperated from these nodes will be redistributed to the 16 SP2 batch nodes to increase their memory from 64MB to 128 MB. In addition we have ordered memory to upgrade the 18 PowerPC batch nodes to 128MB. This will allow efficient execution of the large memory LHC Monte Carlo applications that are now being developed.