Nevis Computer Operations - 05-Feb-1999 The following is a memo on Nevis computer operations distributed by Dave Leon on 05-Feb-1999.

Fast Ethernet

A fast ethernet network wiring scheme has successfully been completed in the research building. Available in each office are 10baseT jacks for connecting your equipment. The jacks are wired into the break room where I have 3 - 3com superstack II 10/100 autosensing hubs. The hubs are connected to a new 100mb switch located in the communications room.

By switching over to the new line, you will accomplish two things:

  1. The chance of your network line being disconnected by someone else is greatly diminished.
  2. Because of the flexibility in the network topography, Network loads can be readjusted to minimize heavy utilization effects.

In general, the desktop PC's can be switched over at anytime as long as they have the correct network connection. If the NIC (network interface card) is strictly a 10mb/sec - then the connection will run at 10mb/sec. If the card is a 10/100mb/sec, then the connection will be at 100mb/sec.

Laptop computers generally have 10mb/sec pcmcia cards.

Tektronix X-Terms have a 10mb/sec connection available and can be switched over. The NCD X Terms have only BNC and AUI so they would need a transceiver.

The plan now is to start migrating equipment to the faster network. As an entire room is removed from the old ethernet, the "T" connectors will be removed and replaced with "barrel"

Please see me directly to have your equipment connected to the network.

VAX Cluster

As previously announced, the decommissioning of the VAX cluster continues. As of today, the Cluster is at its minimum functional level. The cluster is now made of the following nodes

Nevis  - boot node
Nevis7 - Electronic development node
NevisR - backup node

NevisI - Data analysis - DOE
Nevis4          "
NevisO          "
NevisD          "


NEVIS1 is our mail server. As the VAX continues to be decommissioned, mail service on the VAX will disappear. I am maintaining the VAX mail in consideration of a few individuals who must complete some major projects and for whom the switch-over would be too disruptive. I would estimate that within the next 2 months and no later than the summer, the VAX mailer will be shutdown.

If you have not switched to the SGI - PLEASE DO IT NOW. Bill Seligman can help you migrate your mail folders.

Nevis1 upgrade

Yesterday, I mentioned that I am planning on taking down the SGI next Thursday for maintenance and to perform an upgrade of the processors. The SGI currently has 4 - R4400 150mhz processors running with 256mb physical memory and approximatly another 1.5gb of swap space.

Around November of last year, SGI announced a "fire sale" on an upgrade package which would remove the R4400 and replace them with the 10K -250mhz processor. The original price of the upgrade was around $60,000 but with the sale, the price dropped to $20,000.00

R10000 SPEC95 Performance: 

SPECint95 base 14.1
SPECint95 peak 14.7 
SPECfp95 base 22.6
SPECfp95 peak 24.5 

Note: these results were obtained on an Origin2000/250QC. 

R10000 Microprocessor 
Advanced Out-of-Order Architecture
Single-chip superscalar RISC dataflow architecture
Architecture with Non-Sequential Dynamic Execution Scheduling (ANDES)
Supports MIPS I, II, III, and IV instruction set architecture
New Avalanche system interface (up to 1.6GB/sec)
Improved SCache support (up to 16MB of SSRAM, up to 3.2GB/sec)
Improved multiprocessor support
Excellent performance on previously compiled R4xxx code
Industry-leading performance on real applications
Designed for desktop and server systems
Ideal for digital media and network applications 

For additional information - please see:

CD-writable - SGO

I am currently evaluating CD-writable hardware (CD-R) to be installed on the SGI. The CD will be able to permanently store about 600mb of data on a CD. This might come in handy for laptop users who want to take "smaller" data sets with them without clogging up their hard drive.

NT Server

The NT Server (auth_server) has become a vital member of our computing environment here at the lab and as such will be upgraded in the coming weeks. We have taken delivery of a new Dell Poweredge 400mhz Server to replace our existing 100mhz system.

With the new system coming on-line, PC based users will have:

I plan on installing Microsoft Terminal Server on the new system. Terminal Server provides UNIX integration tools so that users may telnet directly to the server if necessary.


The University is deeply (and financially) committed to the goal of being a 100% Y2K compliant organization. As such I have become the target for the Y2K committee charged with ensuring that all departments are complying with the testing and reporting procedures.

In a very general statement - the lab is compliant. We have retired all the older PC based systems and replaced them with new Pentium systems. The software we use from Microsoft. The SGI has been certified as being compliant and for the most part - none of the software being used on the SGI is date sensitive.

Nonetheless, compliance with University standards dictates that we follow protocol which means extremely heavy documentation of all our equipment.

Over the next few weeks I will be performing a physical inventory of computer equipment and software. I will also be asking many of you about things like embedded processors and VME crates.


File backups are now made on Friday nights (unless otherwise advised). Please review the backup logfile located on our web page

Please review and let me know if your disk is NOT on the list

That's it - any questions let me know


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