Computer Networking for Interactive Supercomputing
Supercomputers are now integral parts of scientific research. Resources and researchers are scattered over a wide geographic area. The distances involved are sufficiently large that wide area data network access is and will continue to be absolutely necessary.
It is our responsibility to provide an infrastructure such that anywhere someone happens to be, he or she can communicate with whatever people and computational resources that they desire.
The distribution of resources across such wide areas can and is being accomplished with data networks by NASA, DARPA, NSF, and many other US government agencies. Universities and many corporations are also so connected. Widespread cooperation occurs, with exceptional results. Information can and does move between people across continents, on demand.
Here we describe those networking paradigms in use now and in the future at the NASA Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation (NAS) Division. These methods are used very effectively by researchers across the United States. The key ideas which drive these paradigms are: Interactive access to resources is essential, and standardized, effective operating systems and networking protocols are essential. The NAS systems all use UNIX1 and TCP/ IP to fulfill these ideas.
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