Simulator gets boost with additional hardware

An additional Faculty of Science CAPEX allocation in 2017 has enabled us to add significantly to the simulator’s hardware. We have just received 15 further Super Micro servers and four Gigabit Ethernet copper taps, as well as a new 7-foot 19″ rack to accommodate the extra equipment.

Eight of the new servers will boost our fleet of “world servers”, allowing us to project a larger diversity of terrestrial latencies.

Another of the new servers will replace the current machine used for storage, command and control – a standard student-issue desktop at this point in time. The new machine will add plenty of storage capacity for log files as well as the ability to connect additional screens, a very useful capability if you’re trying to work with well over 100 machines at a time.

Two of the servers will act as dedicated traffic capture machines on the world and island sides of the simulated link. Together with the copper taps, they will be able to monitor traffic either side of an encoder/decoder and/or PEP. Currently, the capture functionality still resides on the encoder/decoder machines, which is not ideal as the capture functionality competes with encoding/decoding for resources. Having dedicated capture machines allows us to simply observe the network without placing any load on any of its components.

Two further machines will separate PEP and encoder/decoder functionality on both sides of the link, meaning that we will be able to run coded experiments with PEP and still be able to investigate which technique gains accrue to.

Of the remaining two machines, one will act as a spare world server and the other as a special purpose world server (e.g., for the provision of UDP traffic across the link).

The extra hardware is currently being configured and will be contributing to experimentation within the next few weeks.

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