What's a good GCG server?

Chris Botka botka at CGL.UCSF.EDU
Thu Sep 4 19:10:13 EST 1997

We are in a similar boat.  Looking to upgrade soon, but we've not  
made a decision on a specific machine config, although we will most  
likely be purchasing an Alpha.  We've got about 1500 users average  
50-70 active, about 200 GCG calls per day...alot of pine use here  
too.  We have a couple of web servers and we also have some non-GCG  
stuff.  We currently have an Alpha 2100/275 2 processors with a very  
old raid subsystem(pre-PCI).

Our main concern, partially since DEC seems to make some fast chips  
is I/O.  We seem to have pretty significant bogs with more than 4  
database searches and a blastp search with a 300aa sequence of the  
nrdb is never under 40 seconds, although an increase in memory (we  
only have 256M) would probably help too.  We are looking at the 4100  
(http://www.digital.com/alphaserver/alphasrv4100/as4000.html), I  
don't think they are selling 2100's anymore, at least not  
advertising it.  The 4100 has 8 64bit PCI slots at 500MB/s max I/O.   
Otherwise our machine has been extremely dependable (don't remember  
the last crash), especially compared to our Onyx or other R10K IRIX  

I don't do much IRIX admin, but find Digital UNIX to be pretty  
good.  We used to have only Sun workstations here but frustrations  
with Solaris drove the group away before my time, so I have little  
experience with that platform.

We don't find many of our users actually use SeqLab, which has led  
us to develop a web interface to GCG, and GCG has announced a web  
interface as well.  This means that we are watching to make sure  
fast/secure webserver development continues for the Alpha.  Though,  
I just read that SGI and Netscape are partnering to develop a speedy  
web server.

I would be curious to hear what you decide.


Christopher W Botka			Phone: (415)476-5379
Sequence Analysis Consulting Service	Fax: (415)502-1755
UCSF Computer Graphics Lab		Office: Lib-111
Internet: botka at cgl.ucsf.ed		Mail Drop: Box 0446
http://www.sacs.ucsf.edu/		NeXT/MIME mail OK

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