Andy Winskill winskill at bbsrc.ac.uk
Fri Jun 16 03:44:32 EST 1995

In article <3rqgb5$2bn at gap.cco.caltech.edu>, mathog at seqaxp.bio.caltech.edu writes:
>  The rationale for this
>common format (really, a Unix format) was that some sites could then share
>a single database, presumably over NFS, between GCGs running on both Unix
>and VMS machines.  Is anybody out there actually doing this?  It seems like
>a spectacularly bad idea.  I wouldn't want people shoveling GENBANK back
>and forth over my nets every time they ran a FASTA!!! 

Does anyone use NFS for access to the databases? I ran some tests on NFS 
access to databases and the results were horrendous. A DEC 3000/600 connecting
to an AlphaStation 2/233 (A.S. acting as server) would "hammer" the network
when 1 search was running. Increase the number of searches and the network 
traffic decreased. I guess this is due to the fact that the NFS client isn't
requesting data at the high rate. Interestingly, if more than one search was
running on the NFS client the actual time taken for the search was identical
to the time when the data was local. One search running with NFS mounted data
was, on average, 10-20% slower than normal. Now we are considering moving to
FDDI so does anyone have suggestions to the performance improvement? 

>In the end it doesn't really matter much if it's Unix or VMS, since these
>days what the users really want is a Mac or Windows interface, not any
>flavor of command line interface.  I suspect that they grouse pretty much
>the same about one versus the other. We have no plans to move our site to
>Unix unless forced to.  However, if one ever became available at a price we
>could afford, we'd happily chuck it all for a decent client/server

Well we've implemented a client/server solution here which allows users to
access the databases from their local VAX. The system is transparent to the
users. That is, the users can perform fasta etc and the interface they see 
is identical to that of "local" fasta. However, the searches are been ran
on an AXP (Unix) box so the turn around time is substantially shorter than
VAX based searches.

Andy Winskill 		     |	Computing Centre ,Biotechnology & Biological 
Andy.Winskill at bbsrc.ac.uk    |	Sciences Research Council, Harpenden, Herts. UK
"Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock."

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