Compaq's New Engineering Compute Farm Environment: Moving Forward with Windows NT
Don Brace, Andrew Gordon, and Scott Teel
Compaq Computer Corporation
In the past, Compaq's design and verification distributed compute farm
consisted of UNIX-based often times expensive proprietary hardware and operating systems.
In addition, internal developers created site-specific load distribution software for the
management of design verification compute intensive processing jobs. This environment
offered Compaq design engineers (DEs) a finely tuned site-specific environment, where the
benefits included on-site developers providing quick user-required modifications, in
addition to a mature operating system environment. The downside included higher hardware
purchasing and maintenance costs. However, with the emergence of Windows NT, Platform
Computing's Load Sharing Facility (LSF) for Windows NT, the availability of
Electronic Design Automation (EDA) applications for Windows NT, and high-end Intel-based
workstations, a Compaq-based Windows NT LSF compute farm proved to be a viable solution.
Compaq's internal systems engineers (SEs) and application engineers (AEs) began the
process of developing a Windows NT-based compute farm environment that would provide a
robust distributed compute farm to be used to facilitate the designing and verification of
future Compaq products. This paper describes the issues encountered and the solutions
required to bring the Compaq-based Windows NT LSF compute farm online and into production.
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