HPCN Europe '95
Technology Demonstration Networks


CERN has organised Fibre Channel and HIPPI networks at the International Conference and Exhibition on High-Performance Computing and Networking (HPCN Europe '95). This exhibition was held from 3 to 5 May 1995 in Milan, Italy.

In 1994 CERN set up the HIPPI demonstration network which connected the booths from Cray Research, Hewlett Packard, DEC, Ultranet, Convex, NSC and IOSC. In 1995 it was the first time that a large Fibre Channel network was set up in Europe as part of the HPCN demonstration net.

Fibre Channel demonstration wrap- up

The Fibre Channel demonstration network at the High-Performance Computing and Networking show (HPCN Europe '95), has been very succesful. Among others, it has shown that the FC standard is very stable. All machines were running version 4.3 of FC. The machines were connected to a fabric made by Ancor, while on the last day a fabric from IBM was used. This change did not need any reconfiguration. Furthermore the Fibre Channel data could be routed to 4 other networks: FDDI, HIPPI, Ethernet and Internet. This routing was done over different workstations configured with the standard Unix route command. To show that this was working, CERN had installed an IBM RS6000/41T workstation that was connected only to Fibre Channel and the mains. This machine was placed at the booth from Emulex and the Fibre Channel Association and was used to browse the FCA and CERN's HSI web pages on Internet. To reach the internet, a router from FCS to Ethernet (an HP 9000/735) and a router to Internet (organised by CILEA) were used. Later an IBM RS6000/41T and an RS/6000 3BT machine have been successfully used as routers between FCS and Ethernet.

In total 1.2 km of multimode fibre optic cables were installed (sponsored by Siemens), connecting 12 machines to Fibre Channel. The biggest machine was an IBM SP2 having two FC interfaces. The smallest machine was an HP notebook connected to a Fibre Channel tester from KFKI. As demonstrations one could see performance measurements on Fibre Channel (CERN), remote graphics (HP and IBM) and of course the routing between FCS and FDDI, HIPPI, Ethernet and Internet.

HPCN Technology Demonstration Networks

HPCN general information

Network technologies general information

This is one of the CERN High Speed Interconnect pages - 31 May 1995 - Erik van der Bij *