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Adopting SCI and SSA interconnects in advanced microprocessor based PC-servers

Objective

This Project leverages on specific European interconnect, processing and software technologies to build a computing platform suitable for easy integration and access of information that need fault resilience and large scaling factors in disk resource, both in the amount of space and in the performance level, as well as high level of parallelism in the processing of data, including complex queries.

The computing platform will be a collection of PC-Servers, that works as, and is viewed by Clients as, a single server system, the performance, then the value, of such system (named Cluster) is strongly influenced by the type of HW interconnections used; there are two types of interconnections involved in the Cluster technology :

- Processor-to-Processor, based on a private redundant cluster network, as SCI (Scaleable Coherent Interface)
- Processor-to-Storage, based on multi-initiator, high speed and redundant channel, as SSA (Serial Storage Architecture) a further improvement in price and price/performance is enabled by adding multimedia node(s), as CM10, in the SCI PC-Server cluster.
Initially the platform uses an Intel processor architecture (P5, then P6) and PCI as I/O bus to obtain an open solution that fits from the beginning in an existing and important market.
The main objectives of this Project are:

- to deliver an SSA based dual-node High Availability Cluster platform, demonstrated with specific application(s),
- to deliver SSA and SCI based multi-node Parallel Server Cluster platform, demonstrated with Oracle Data Base,
- to demonstrate Unix/Microkernel on CM10 platform,
- to explore the applicability of SCI and Unix/Microkernel in Local Area Multi-Processor (LAMP) architectures. The impact of expected results will cover many areas, particularly will:

- promote SCI as open interconnect solution for the (huge) PC-Server market world-wide,
- accelerate the adoption of SSA as replacement of SCSI in mass storage subsystems,
- accelerate the capability of PC-Server solutions in replacing more expensive or less reliable mainframe or minicomputer based platforms
- to enable a European microprocessor to play a role as computing engine in multimedia solutions
The exploitation of the result of the work will follow a specific approach for each technology and solution, particularly for the PC-Server solution, it is based on the early involvement of beta customers, simultaneously in the following fields:

- banking (front- and back-office) automation
- industry (design) automation
- information providers' productivity

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Ingegneria C Olivetti and Co SpA
Address
Via G Jervis
10015 Ivrea
Italy

Participants (6)

Dolphin Interconnect Solutions
Norway
Address
Olaf Helsets Vei 6
0621 Bogerud
IBM UK Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
North Harbour
PO6 3AU Portsmouth
POLITECNICO DI TORINO
Italy
Address
Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24
Torino
SGS Thomson Microelectronics Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Planar House Parkway Globe Park
SL7 1YL Marlow
University of Oslo
Norway
Address
Blindern 1072
0316 Oslo
Università degli Studi di Genova
Italy
Address
Via Opera Pia 11A
16145 Genova