Experiences with distributing graphic software between processors Page: 2 of 8
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EXPERIENCES WITH DISTRIBUTING GRAPHIC SOFTWARE BETWEEN PROCESSORS
Griff Hamlin and James E. George
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM 87545
Software to aid the distribution and
coordination of tasks between different
processors was developed to distribute
applications wr' ten in Fortran. This
development led to the discovery of
problems unique to Fortran and to
interesting practical solutions. Two
graphical applications were distributed to
a variety of machines and machine pairs:
CDC 7600-LSI/11, Cray-LSL/11, VAX 11/780,
and Apollo. These distributions pointed
out several parameters such as the use of
Fortran COMMON, communication parameters,
and processing capabilities that can
affect the successful distribution of
Los Alamos National Laboratory's
Central Computing Facility (CCF) comprises
several computers connected in a network:
4 Cray-Is, 4 CDC 7b00s, 2 C:)C-Cyhcr 73s,
one CIW 6600, and VAX-l /780s -onnected as
distributed processors at remote sites.
Access to the CCF is accomplished via
tcrminaIl i connected to the network or- to
the distri'buttrd processor ; the network
supports 1200 low-speed te'minals (301)
baud) , 32 med i um-speed t er lil 114s ( 1 200
b.ud, )and 400 high-speed tt'rmin al,; (600
baud rec ive and 300 baud tr liislli t ,
T'hcre ille also several hunsdred1 int lu I Igent
work siat inns compllolt(d o f it tcl m ini I and a
1.SI/I I process .
The rapid explosion of the
mi'roprcE sol t echnology in tlit next few
y(,; 1,s wi I I result I ih Ills, p r t iol ()
to I1 processing into malnly compiili
Ierm"lli l!. Tfed;1y'! plre nt "dunmb
terminal" will tithel he upgr ld Iu l
lintel Iigent work 1;1ic ion by the addiI io1
of local prores!;illg 0 he rrplacrd with a
colmerciit1y de!iy'wd intelligens 'dolk
Our goal was to provide a software
development environment that allows
Fortran application programs to execute
partly on a large host computer and partly
on one of these programmable intelligent
terminals. Ideally, the various software
services commonly provided the progranmier
of a single processor should also be
provided the programmer trying to program
an application on two or mre distributed
computers. One approach to providing
these services is to extend the
programming language's procedure call to
include calls to modules on remote
computers. This solution is appealing
because it hides the multiple computers
and no new mechanisms need be learned by
the programmer. This approach, called the
Remote Procedure Call approach, has bee
tried at Ieast three times 123; these
implementat ions never became widely used
outside of their own environment .
In our current implementat ion of thi
approach, we at tempted to discover wh.i
problems hindered their use in a
product ion environment and what ch.ulyge!
would be necessary to obt1,ill product ivc
ThI'b appl ic at ions at Lo! Al lic lenid
to be 1 .ai'ge programs wri t tel iln lot i ll.
These applicat ion; have been i1m pl. iee
over Never .a yeils, an I it i!" not 1 Hmml i
Ioi. tihe sourlicc. f iIts to be 20,000 hi
100,100 lines. Thi mull i-Ii,1li-','ear
inve tment precludes he re-imip]'lim nti i i n11111
of 1h' appl i at i ioIi In lit h1i I I liiiu.1 ,
Thu! , t ur (il Ilt't I cli w I mp l vili tl dt ' I b1
Fort ran programmne. .
One ImplemnlcIlat illn of Ilshe nc c'mm
lIIIirdul'e Call ;pproach i! the I I' ,
li;y! m I It deie' l opd 4 1 1 I t lown 111'Il' I li .' I e
plog am tl Iult i der It'i l 1+1. l Ile.
programmlel to be eilthe l 11 ho l rc""i"Icnl
1,1:111, i 4. resii(I nt , of mo1cvablr. 1 he t ,I c,
rc,1 .I I(t r I anyuilge pl o e !+!1o l 111.1 .1 11
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Hamlin, G. & George, J.E. Experiences with distributing graphic software between processors, article, January 1, 1982; New Mexico. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1061166/m1/2/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.