2nd Workshop

Distributed Virtual Supercomputers

Sheraton Charleston — Charleston, SC
March 30 – April 1, 1998



Plus a few folks who wished to attend but could not actually attend.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Sandia National Laboratories


Working Groups

During the workshop the following working groups were established:

  • Interconnects. Leaders = Hale, Gunzinger. Participants = Riesen,
  • Distributed computing infrastructure. Leader = Geist. Participants = Michel Jaunin, Martin Frey, Guy Cormier, Juan Meza
  • Distributed storage, data management, and visualization. Leader = Heermann. Participants = Kliewer, Levine, Scott, Gennart, Burris, Sipos, May,
  • Applications. Leader = Sears. Participants = Wells, Tomkins, Camp,

At the conclusion of the workshop we decided to form the following on-going working groups.

DRAFT Agenda, Version VI

Monday, March 30

8:00Continental breakfast and registration
9:00Discussion of workshop agenda, goals, procedures, and expectations
     Ralf Gruber
     Bill Camp
     Ken Kliewer
9:30Overview of activities and current plans
     James Tomkins, SNL
     Swiss-Tx Ralf Gruber
     Martin Frey
     Pierre Kuonen
11:00Overview continues
     Bill Camp and Art Hale, SNL
     Al Geist and Ken Kliewer, ORNL
1:00State-of-the-art presentations
1:00DEC – Alpha and interconnect plans
1:45Tandem – interconnect plans
2:30Giganet – VIA
3:45Organize workshop groupsInterconnects
     Leaders: Anton Gunzinger and Art HaleSuggestion: a strategy for incorporating VIA and ST into
future XANs (SAN/LAN/WAN). At a minimum this group should
produce a list of gaps and preferably some strategies for
filling them.Distributed computing infrastructure (conferencing, electronic
notebooks, security, scheduling, middleware, fault tolerance,
checkpoint, accounting, monitoring, …=>resource management)
     Leader: Al GeistDistributed storage and data management
     Leader: unknownSuggestion: explore the roles of DFS, NFS, and HDF in detail.
Identify common name space strategies. Backup.Applications
     Leaders: Grant Heffelfinger, Tim SheehanSuggestion: applications requirements group draw up as specific
a possible set of requirements as they can. The requirements
should include at a minimum compilation, job launch (interactive
and batch), debugging, performance monitoring, libraries (math
and system), I/O needs, and checkpointing. In each case the group
should be challenged to think about what is different in serial
vs. MPP vs. distributed systems.Visualization
     Leader: UnknownSuggestion: develop a proposal for some standard standard
interfaces between visualization services (rendering, etc.)
and data whether it be meshes, experimental data, or simulation
data. The interface should allow for data to be on tape, disk,
or in memory and allow for efficient pre-fetch and caching over networks.General questions to be addressed in all groups:Where are we?What are our targets?What is needed to get from a to b?Define specific tasks and time tables.

Tuesday, March 31

8:30Workshop groups continue
11:00Workshop groups continue
1:30Reports from working groups
2:00Distributed computing infrastructure
2:30Distributed storage and data management
4:30General discussion of all the reports: emphases correct?

Wednesday, April 1

7:30Continental breakfast
8:30General discussion of planned systems in their entirety
     Attractive features
     Specific systems for specific niches?
10:30Summary of system discussion
     David Greenberg
11:00Decisions on tasks for the future
     Ralf Gruber and Bill Camp

Registration for second workshop

March 30 – April 1, 1998

The organizers intend the workshop to produce requirements documents and active collaborations. As such workshop participation is by invitation only and primarily limited to the sponsoring organizations and current research collaborators. If you wish to attend the workshop please send email to Ken Kliewer. Attendees will be responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.

The Charleston International Airport provides airline support to the Charleston area. It is serviced by the following airlines:

  • Delta,
  • American,
  • American Eagle
  • Air
  • United Express

The Sheraton Charleston does not provide shuttle service from the airport; however, there is an Airport Limo which provides transportation at a cost of $8 one-way. Taxi service is ~$15 one-way. Distance from the airport is ~12 miles, 20 minutes.

Sheraton Charleston
170 Lockwood Drive
Charleston SC 29403
(803) 723-3000 reservations
(803) 723-0276 fax


Low Country Limousine Service is the preferred carrier of the Sheraton Charleston Hotel for individual and group transportation. Upon arriving at the Charleston Airport, please visit the Low Country Limousine Service desk (conveniently located inside the airport’s baggage claim area and open 24 hours daily) before retrieving your luggage. The one-way fare is $15.00 per person or $10.00 for two or more people, plus driver gratuity. The Airport Authority requires that all passengers requiring limousine service have prior reservations. Airport transportation reservation forms are available or call 1-800-222-4771.

The Charleston Dash, provided by the city, stops by the Sheraton Sunday-Saturday at thirty-minute intervals beginning 6:30 a.m. – 11p.m. daily, March – November and 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. December – February. Guests can enjoy the trolley ride through the historical streets of Charleston.

Taxi-Type Service: Low Country Limousine at $5.00 for one person and only $4.00 if sharing each way! Reservations can be made through 803-760-6060.


Ample complimentary parking is provided for our guests.

Features and Recent Renovations

A few important updates on our reservations and improvements at the Sheraton Charleston Hotel:

  • Located on the beautiful Ashley River across from Brittlebank Park overlooking marinas with Charleston’s greatest view!
  • Beautiful-appointed rooms and suites, the newest in Charleston
  • Full service Ashley’s restaurant and lounge/room service
  • Fitness room and jogging path. Outdoor pool and courtyard.
  • In-room voice mail – King rooms feature business workstation, two phone lines with a data report.