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4.1.1 Experimental Environment

All applications and benchmarks for the Digital Unix NRD client were executed from user level on the DEC-Alpha 3000 model 300 with 32MB of main memory running Digital Unix 4.0, and were compiled with the standard system C compiler (cc). The workstations that contributed their main memory for storing the Network RamDisk blocks were DEC-Alpha 3000 model 300 also with 32 MB of main memory, connected via a standard 10Mbits/sec Ethernet. In all experiments the amount of idle memory was larger than the amount of memory needed for storing the Network RamDisk blocks, and was equally distributed among all workstations. During the test we tried to keep the Ethernet as idle as possible, in order to gain the maximum bandwidth from the 10 Mbits/sec available. The local disk that was used for testing and comparison is a DEC RZ55, providing 10Mbits/sec bandwidth, and average seek time of 16 msec. Although both the disk and the interconnection network are slow, they have comparable bandwidth, which is what we would expect from a more modern disk and a more modern network.

Table 2:   Find and grep performance

Table 3:   Tar file-unpacking performance

Mike Flouris
Thu Sep 17 18:12:15 EET DST 1998