Directions for scientific computing centers for the future

Roy Smith roy at alanine.phri.nyu.edu
Wed Dec 12 20:17:56 EST 1990


	We're thinking about future directions of scientific computing here
at the PHRI.  Currently we've got an aged Vax running Unix driving ascii
terminals, a bunch of Sun-3/50s (still good machines but also starting to
show their age), and an ever growing flock of Macs and to a lesser extent,
PCs.  The Vax is basically on its way out, and the decision about what to
replace it with is really the same as deciding how computing should be done
for the next 5 years or so.

	So, what I'm interested in, is how do things work in other places?
Is the whole concept of a "central computing facility" outdated?  If such a
facility should exist, what form should it take?  If not, should there still
be some sort of central service department that supports individual personal
machines, and provides a network to connect them to each other and the
outside world?  Provide shared peripherals like printers?  Centralized
backups?  File servers?  User consulting?

	Obviously the right answers for our situation may not be the right
answers for yours, but I'd still be interested to hear how other places have
dealt with this issue.
--
Roy Smith, Public Health Research Institute
455 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016
roy at alanine.phri.nyu.edu -OR- {att,cmcl2,rutgers,hombre}!phri!roy
"Arcane?  Did you say arcane?  It wouldn't be Unix if it wasn't arcane!"



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