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Graduate student uses clustered OpenVMS systems to test and code thesis

I use clustered machines for coding and testing my Ph.D thesis. My thesis project uses autonomous agents to manage a Network File System (NFS) server in a purely peer-to-peer organization. Logically, it deals with up to 9 exabytes per user slice. Data replication and load balancing are handled automatically, and backups are a thing of the past.

The control for what is stored where is abstracted totally from the users, as is the storage itself. It allows for systems to be added and removed without interruption to service.

The sample data produced from it is around 700 megabytes per day, which I store on a remote NFS server at university. My AlphaServer system mostly sits for 17 hours at a time doing discrete cosine transforms (DCTs), inverse discrete cosine transforms (IDCTs), and fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) looking for patterns in the data. My beloved VAX system is a recent arrival and is much treasured. I hope to soon save more cash and add to the cluster, which will only decrease processing and testing time. Possibly another 166 MHz AS200 would be a good goal.

I am also trying to wave the HP OpenVMS flag further in my local university computer club. They have recently aquired a slightly damaged and recently fixed AlphaServer 1000 system with a pretty meaty 266 MHz CPU and 128 megabytes of RAM to use as a shell and bash-around box at the club. I will be helping to set this up and run it.

— Alastair Boyanich, Australia

 »Murdoch INformation and Computing Society (MINCS)