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The Masstor Mass Storage Product at Brookhaven National Laboratory

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131516D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 13 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

C. W. Ewing: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

This case history of the integration of a mass storage system into a major computing facility represents the current state of the art, but improvements are coming. There is little doubt that the role of the traditional computer center is changing. This change has come about primarily through economic factors and new applications that are in turn the consequences of technological advances. Although the cost of labor is constantly increasing, the cost of computer hardware is declining as a result of these advances. At the same time, systems are becoming more ";user friendly, "; reducing the need for technical intermediaries between the computer and the user. The result of these many changes is a proliferation of smaller systems dedicated to small groups of users, as user communities migrate from their large computer centers.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1982 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

The Masstor Mass Storage Product at Brookhaven National Laboratory

C. W. Ewing, Masstor Systems A. M. Peskin, Brookhaven National Laboratory

This case history of the integration of a mass storage system into a major computing facility represents the current state of the art, but improvements are coming.

There is little doubt that the role of the traditional computer center is changing. This change has come about primarily through economic factors and new applications that are in turn the consequences of technological advances. Although the cost of labor is constantly increasing, the cost of computer hardware is declining as a result of these advances. At the same time, systems are becoming more "user friendly, " reducing the need for technical intermediaries between the computer and the user. The result of these many changes is a proliferation of smaller systems dedicated to small groups of users, as user communities migrate from their large computer centers.

The requirement

In spite of the trend toward decentralization, the traditional computer center continues to play an important role. The need remains for repositories of equipment so specialized or costly that they must be shared among organizational subunits. Within an organization, even one with many small computers, there should be a single center of expertise to avoid duplication of effort in such activities as system and library maintenance, and to feed the way in implementing new technology. Perhaps the most important argument in favor of a central computer is the need of smaller computers to work with large, common data bases. This requires a center equipped with sufficient on- line mass storage and data management capabilities to serve the entire organization.

The data orientation of computing (Figure I ) has been gaining favor over the last five years. Computing problems ranging from bank transactions to airplane design have been cast in terms of data-base manipulation.

Brookhaven National Laboratory and its Central Scientific Computing Facility provide a fairly typical case history in terms of both organizational structure and changing patterns of computer use. The CSCF is equipped with very large computers (Control Data 6600's and a 7600) operated in an open-shop environment similar to that of a university computing center. In this environment, mass storage fulfills three particular functions. The first is the archiving of data from large scientific experiments, which are usually written once but referenced many more times. Initially, this is done...