Help needed with configuring Suns

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to...@brueer.uucp

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Feb 12, 1986, 4:57:48 PM2/12/86
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We are planning to buy a Sun workstation configuration consisting of 12
seats. The options we are considering are:

(1) 12 disk-less Sun 3/50 workstations, each with 4Mb of memory
and the 68881 chip, and a 3/180S fileserver with 4Mb of memory
and 2 380Mb Fujitsu Eagle drives on a single controller.

(2) 12 Sun 3/50 workstations, each with 4Mb of memory and the 68881
chip, 6 of which are disk-less and 6 of which have SCSI-connected
71 Mb disks. Each pair of 3/50s would share a 71 Mb disk for
"disk serving". Also a 3/180S fileserver with 4Mb of memory but
only 1 380Mb Fujitsu Eagle.

The second configuration has been put up because of a general "lack of faith"
in the disk-less approach, especially when going beyond 12 seats. This is NOT
based on experience however and the second configuration has cost penalties.

Has anybody experience of large disk-less configurations? (needn't be of 3
series Suns - 2 series would do) Has anybody done comparisons between disk-less
and SCSI-disked nodes? Any comments? I don't mind if Sun U.S. answers!

Apologies if this has been a recent topic of discussion.

Please e-mail any comments to:
tony%ee.brun...@ucl-cs.arpa (or whatever)

Thanks
Tony Begg

Barry Shein

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Feb 16, 1986, 8:59:34 PM2/16/86
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Ok folks, I am not ready to make general recommendations yet but I do
believe that if you are planning on running SUN/3s as file servers for
NFS you want more than 4MB of memory, probably 8MB will do it,
especially if people will be logged in and working directly on the
server (say, thru dumb terminals.) Other than that my experiences have
all been quite positive (actually I'm tickled pink!)

Given the price of the added memory compared with the price of a server
plus volume discounts where applicable I see no reason to hesitate.
Probably less than 10% additional in price (and only that much because
the rest of the system is so inexpensive.) Sun has also been reducing
their memory prices I believe, ask your salesthing.

-Barry Shein, Boston University

pav...@hscfvax.uucp

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Feb 16, 1986, 11:29:32 PM2/16/86
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Likewise, I would appreciate information/thoughts/etc on using a 3/160 or
3/180 "server" as a general-purpose time-sharing machine (eventually part
of a network of other machines, including "traditional" Sun workstation
configurations). Comparisons to VAXen or multi-user HP9000 (series 500)
would have the most meaning for me.

Also: anyone have expereince networking Suns and HP9000's ??

thank you kindly,

greg pavlov, fstrf, amherst, ny
harvard!talcott!wjh12!pavlov

Larry McVoy

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Feb 17, 1986, 7:19:09 PM2/17/86
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In article <2...@brueer.brueer.UUCP> to...@brueer.UUCP (Tony Begg) writes:
>We are planning to buy a Sun workstation configuration consisting of 12
>seats. The options we are considering are:
>
>Has anybody experience of large disk-less configurations? (needn't be of 3
>series Suns - 2 series would do) Has anybody done comparisons between disk-less
>and SCSI-disked nodes? Any comments? I don't mind if Sun U.S. answers!
>
>Apologies if this has been a recent topic of discussion.

Nope - it hasn't been a subject of recent discussion and I think that it is
of general enough interest to be a topic of discussion on the net. I know
I'd like to hear about it...
--
Larry McVoy
-----------
Arpa: mc...@rsch.wisc.edu
Uucp: {seismo, ihnp4}!uwvax!geowhiz!geophiz!larry

"Just remember, wherever you go -- there you are."
-Buckaroo Banzai

John Gilmore

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Feb 22, 1986, 11:14:17 PM2/22/86
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In article <32...@umcp-cs.UUCP>, ma...@umcp-cs.UUCP (Mark Weiser) writes:
> One problem with Suns as general time-sharing machines is relatively
> slow terminal i/o. I believe I read a Sun spec which only promised
> 4800 baud continuous output (9600 baud input).

Systech "MTI-8" or "MTI-16" boards have been supported by Sun kernels for
a long time. These are smart DMA comm boards which reduce the overhead
immensely. Sun has recently (finally) started selling them, so you don't
have to go to Systech to get one. (It took awhile because they had to
design and build some backpanels for the serial connectors and such.)

Sun specs the CPU board serial ports at 19200 baud output and 9600 baud
continuous input, but it costs an interrupt per character. This is true
of both Sun-2's and Sun-3's.

> One the other hand, we routinely use Suns here with 1 or 2 terminals
> in addition to the hi-res console. This is how faculty (who mostly
> have the suns) get extra terminals to their students (who mostly don't).

Note that in a week, this privilege will cost new buyers $2000. Check
the fine print in the latest price list.
--
John Gilmore {sun,ptsfa,lll-crg,ihnp4}!hoptoad!gnu jgil...@lll-crg.arpa

Richard Kwan

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Feb 23, 1986, 7:59:26 PM2/23/86
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In article <<32...@umcp-cs.UUCP> Mark Weiser writes:

> In article <1...@hscfvax.UUCP> pav...@hscfvax.UUCP writes:
> >
> > Likewise, I would appreciate information/thoughts/etc on using a 3/160 or
> > 3/180 "server" as a general-purpose time-sharing machine (eventually part
...

> One problem with Suns as general time-sharing machines is relatively
> slow terminal i/o. I believe I read a Sun spec which only promised
> 4800 baud continuous output (9600 baud input). I can confirm that
> when my Sun is handling 4800 baud the number of interrupts shoots
> through the roof. Perhaps there are smarter boards on the way,
> but where our 780 supports 80 terminals, I wouldn't want to be on
> a sun-3 with 8, even though its cpu is theoretically faster.

>
> One the other hand, we routinely use Suns here with 1 or 2 terminals
> in addition to the hi-res console. ...

This sounds like use of the serial I/O ports on the CPU or SCSI board
(using zs.o). Anyone using the Systech terminal MUX on a Sun-3/180?
For that matter, how does the Systech board on a Sun-2 compare to a DZ (or
other MUX board) on a 780?

--
Rick Kwan
JPL Spacecraft Data Systems
sdcrdcf!smeagol!kwan (UUCP)
ia-sun2!smeagol!kw...@csvax.caltech.EDU (ARPA)
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