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[Sandia Lab News]

Vol. 53, No. 2        January 26, 2001
[Sandia National Laboratories]

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-0165    ||   Livermore, California 94550-0969
Tonopah, Nevada; Nevada Test Site; Amarillo, Texas

Back to Lab News Labs Accomplishments 2001 index

Computing

SecureNet Videoconferencing in Production! A new, more reliable classified videoconferencing capability has gone into production at Sandia/CA and Sandia/NM. The system enables customers to use classified videoconferencing whenever they wish, without the need to schedule through DOE/HQ. This videoconferencing capability uses the SecureNet network infrastructure to transport video and audio between sites. Interest in this new classified videoconferencing system is spreading quickly throughout DOE. (8900, 9300, 2100) Brian Chamberlain, bgchamb@sandia.gov

As users on the Sandia Restricted Network (SRN) have been keenly aware, network outages over the past year or so have interrupted business at very inopportune times. A year ago, network reliability dropped below 99 percent, which was unacceptable. A Network Reliability Task Force was assembled to analyze and address the problem. In the first quarter of FY00, reliability was 99.3 percent, 99.5 percent the 2nd quarter, 99.8 percent the 3rd quarter, and 99.9 percent the 4th quarter. The team continues to work toward improved reliability and availability, while supporting the dynamics of advanced systems that support supercomputing users and MESA. Pat Manke, plmanke@sandia.gov

The corporate need for information management, retention, and collaboration tools on both the restricted and classified networks was accomplished with the implementation of Web Fileshare (WFS). More than 16,000 files have been contributed by users at the Labs and 2,800 searches are run each month. This content management system provides a common set of tools to effectively manage information through its life cycle ‹ from creation to archiving. It can be integrated with project Web sites to assist in accessing collections of information. (9300, 9500, 9600) Beth Moser, ecmoser@sandia.gov

The Sandia Classified Network (SCN) re-emerged as an enhanced capability providing Sandia engineers and scientists the requested functionality and tailored security to accomplish their critical mission work. The solution creatively featured the flexibility of Web technologies interwoven with unique need-to-know security structures. This achievement marks a major step in the alignment of IIS activities with major Sandia program focus. (IIS, 8900, 2900, 9800, 9300) William Swartz, wdswart@sandia.gov

To increase user access and efficiency, more than 1,000 journals are now provided electronically to your desktop through the Technical Libraryıs full text, electronic delivery of information. The Engineering Index, SciSearch, Social SciSearch and INSPEC are examples of our subject-specific indexes and electronic indexes are linked directly to full-text articles. From the Libraryıs web page you can also access electronic reference tools, like the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. (9600) Lynn Kaczor, lmkaczo@sandia.gov

The cost of desktop computing support at Sandia reached a new low of $2,200 annually per customer in FY00 while adding several new services and achieving increased customer satisfaction (a new high of 8.8 on a scale of 10). This is a 31 percent reduction from 1994ıs cost of $3,200 when the CSUs were first formed. The reduction is the result of process and technology improvements implemented by Computer Support Units, Technology Development, and the Corporate Computing Help Desk. Charles Shirley, cshirle@sandia.gov

Agile intrusion detection processes, new firewall management procedures, network scanning, switched high-speed networks, and the Sandia Common Operating Environment have produced a robust cyber security architecture that has withstood the test of numerous audits and reviews. Viruses, various internet attacks, attempted intrusions, and unauthorized access are subject to rigorous scrutiny and rapidly adjudicated when detected. On-line procedures, rapid response teams, and a sophisticated cyber architecture have created a state-of-art system designed to provide Sandia an effective cyber security posture. (9300, 9600) R. Michael Cahoon, rmc@sandia.gov

The Scalable Rendering Team developed a high performance computer graphics rendering system. The large ASCI (Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative) supercomputers generate datasets exceeding the capability of the largest computer graphics systems. The team used $350 PC graphics cards to build a scalable rendering system. Recent results, using a 64-node graphics cluster, demonstrated rendering 225 million polygons/sec. This is 100 times faster than the best graphics pipe available on the production ASCI visualization servers. This technology is a key capability for ASCI program. (9200). Phil Heermann, pdheerm@sandia.gov

Cplant , short for Computational Plant, is now the largest Linux cluster in the world with nearly 2,000 Compaq Alpha nodes. The Cplant team has developed a flexible architecture to accommodate further additions, and a testing strategy to ensure a production quality environment for the users. In FY01, Cplant is to be a tri-Lab computing resource, extending its access to sister labs and to the open community. Cplant clusters have already reached usage levels up to 90 percent. (9200, 9300) Neil Pundit, ndpundi@sandia.gov

The Virtual Node Operating System (VNOS) Team extended the Cougar OS to enable user applications to transparently access compute coprocessors on Sandiaıs ASCI Red teraflops supercomputer. This work was driven by the needs of the Tflops user community for more computational throughput and by severe schedule constraints imposed by Sandia's support contract with Intel. The team developed and delivered the VNOS capability in six months. while meeting all of Intel's stringent testing and evaluation requirements for the OS. The Virtual Node OS provides the ASCI Red user community with the equivalent of many thousands of hours of additional Tflops computer time, worth tens of millions of dollars, over the four years of the machine's expected remaining life cycle. This is a high payoff for a project that cost less than $500,000. (9200) Robert Benner, rebenne@cs.sandia.gov

Last modified: Jan. 31, 2001


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