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About The Various Machines In Our Department

We have many different kinds of machines, each with specialized purposes. In general, there are always more than one of any class of machine. If one machine is down, use another and send mail to
The department recognizes several classes of machines. Each class with a dedicated purpose. The classes are:

Compute Servers

The department operates many 'compute servers.' These machines are tailored to run very large, compute-intensive jobs well. They have the most virtual memory, the fastest CPUs, and the additional benefit of having few interactive jobs competing for compute cycles.

The following policies govern all machines designated as compute servers:

  • Interactive sessions on compute servers should be kept to a minimum.

    Keeping your mail client open for several days at a time on one of these compute servers is an inappropriate activity. We have provided interactive servers and workstations for that kind of "everyday" computing. On the other hand, it is appropriate to do big compiles on these machines, and minor editing activity between compilations is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
  • No person should have more than two jobs running at the same time on any given compute server or more than four jobs total on all compute servers.

    The rationale for this guideline is that when too many jobs get into the job mix, they compete for system resources, which can significantly reduce the throughput rate for everyone. Please use the two utilities top and ps to monitor your usage. Top will provide you with information about your top CPU processes, ps will report process status. Please see their man pages for more descriptive instructions.
  • Rules were meant to be broken

    We should not allow the existence of these guidelines to inhibit their entrepreneurial violation in responsible ways. For example, if you come in to work at 4:00am and see that power1 is unused and you start up 4 big jobs, that's fine. Remember not to go away and leave them running throughout the day.

General Use Computer Servers

CPU type CPUs RAM OS Machines
Sun Fire280R Server 2@750Mhz 4 Gb Solaris 9
  • whirlwind
  • archive
Sun Enterprise E3500 4@400Mhz 2 Gb Solaris 9
  • edvac
UltraSPARC, E250 450 MHz 1 1 Gb Solaris 9
  • stretch
  • colossus
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5504 @ 2.00GHz 8 8 Gb Power2 runs Ubuntu 12.04, the rest run 10.04
  • power1
  • power2
  • power3
  • power4
  • power5
  • power6

Limited Use Compute Servers

Use of these compute servers is limited either because a particular research group has priority on them, or because they are experimental machines.
CPU type CPUs RAM OS Machines Comment
Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 2.80GHz 2 1 Gb Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) Sunfire1-22 Marty Humphrey's nodes
AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 240 2 2 Gb
  • 1-3: Fedora
  • 4-10: Win 2k3
  • 11: Win XP
  • 12: Win 2k3
Opteron 1-12 Marty Humphrey's nodes
AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 242 2 3 Gb Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) Centurion001-064 Andrew Grimshaw's nodes
Mix of Intel Pentium III and IV 2 256 Mb Fedora 7 lava012-030 Kevin Skadron's nodes

Interactive Servers

Our interactive servers are adder, mamba, cobra, and viper (viper is reserved for faculty/staff use). They are Sunfire v210s with dual Ultrasparc IIIi, 1.0 GHz processors and 2GB of memory.
These are not to be used for long-running jobs or jobs with very large memory needs.

System Servers

Servers are ONLY used for specific service tasks. We have mail servers, file servers, print servers, and web servers, to name a few. For security purposes, we prevent interactive logins on these servers.

Public terminals

The Olsson Hall Lounge and Mailroom each house 1 Windows XP workstations with a superset of our software. They have DVD burners and other software that isn't otherwise widely deployed, such as Adobe Creative Suite (includes Acrobat Pro, Photoshop).