Hardware, Software and System Performance

The VP Hardware, Software and Operating Environment

The Fujitsu VP2200 is a water-cooled 64-bit vector processor with a peak speed of 1.25 gigaflops. It has a clock cycle time of 3.2 ns (6.4 ns scalar cycle time), 32 kbytes of vector registers and four words-per-cycle bandwidth to memory. The main memory is 512 Mbytes and there is 1 Gbyte of SSU (secondary memory). During 1993 it was configured with 35 Gbytes of disk space, including 15 Gbytes on loan from Fujitsu Australia Limited.

The VP2200 runs Fujitsu's System V Release 4 UNIX (UXP/M) and is available both for batch and interactive use. Network access is through TCP/IP connections onto the campus Ethernet, AARNet and the Internet. An FDDI connection to was installed in 1994 to the mass data storage system, the CM-5 and the Visualization Laboratory and a number of other selected systems on campus.

Both a vectorizing FORTRAN compiler and a vectorizing C compiler are installed together with third-party software packages.

The VP2200 system and its software are now quite mature and few changes occurred in 1994. The LVCF disk management software was installed late in the year but lack of staff resources prevented it from being put into production use. The system was available for 98.8 per cent of the year. The monthly availability is illustrated in the following figure.

Although usage of packages is not high at ANU since many researchers are developing their own codes, the packaged software base is gradually growing.

Packages and libraries on the VP2200 include:







Biological Sciences


Environmental Sciences


Mass Data Storage System

In early 1994 a robotic cartridge-tape data silo supplied by StorageTek went into production use. The ACS4400 initially has approximately 1 terabyte capacity and is equipped with four 18 track tape drives. These are expected to be upgraded to helical scan `Redwood' drives with speeds in excess of 10 Mbytes per second and with tape capacities such that the total amount of possible storage will be in the 150 to 300 terabyte range. The silo is initially attached to a Sun 690, but this is to be replaced by an eight to ten processor SPARCcentre 2000 with 60 Gbytes of disk array as soon as possible. In October, STK loaned the University a 40 Gbyte RAID disk array to augment the disk space on the Sun 4/690. During the year approximately 13 groups had applied for special access to the mass storage system and 27 VP users and 8 CM-5 users were using the system for file migration. Approximately 140 Gbytes of data was migrated to the system and 112 file systems were backed-up. Additional tapes beyond those originally planned were ordered during the year as a result of the demand.

Other ANUSF systems

The Facility also makes generally available several graphics workstations in the Visualization Laboratory. These and the software environment are described in the relevant section of this report. In addition, a HP9000/735 workstation with a peak speed of 200 Mflops is available on a limited basis. The MATLAB package is installed on this machine. The 8 processor SPARCCentre SC2000 (see above) was also made available in a limited way to users while it awaited incorporation into the mass data storage system. A FORTRAN 90 compiler from Cray Research was installed on the SC2000 and made available to users. The LINDA distributed computing environment was installed on ANUSF workstations for internal developmental use.

Connection Machine

In 1994, the Facility increasingly spent more time supporting the Connection Machine of the Parallel Computing Research Facility. As explained elsewhere in this report, a part of CM-5 resources were subject to allocation by the Time Allocation Committee.

The CM-5, installed in June 1992 with 32 nodes has a peak speed of 4 Gflops and 1 Gbytes of memory. It has a front-end Sun 4/690 with four processors, 256 Mbytes of memory and 8 Gbytes of disk. The CM-5 has a Fortran90-like compiler, C* (an extension of the C language), *LISP, the CMSSL scientific subroutine library, the CMX11 graphics library and miscellaneous support tools. The option of acquiring the popular AVS visualization software for the CM-5 was unfortunately not able to be taken up because of the decision by the PCRF to acquire *LISP.