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July 21, 1991

CRANFIELD INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY BUILDS 80-NODE ATHENA MIPSTATION NET

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK’s Cranfield Institute of Technology, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, has installed a network of 80 of Digital Equipment Corp’s MIPS Computer Systems Inc RISC-based Ultrix workstations that will run DEC’s implementation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Athena networking and distributed computing environment services, along with Visix Software Inc’s Looking Glass desktop manager. The project is dubbed Pegasus, and it should go live in ahe Autumn. The topology comes from MIT’s Project Athena, a network of Unix-based workstations which was established in 1983 for development, research and teaching purposes: it spawned the X Window System. It is already in use at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, but Cranfield is the first UK site for Athena: Cardiff University in Wales and Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, are also implementing the technology. At Cranfield, 44 DECstation 5000/200CXs, 33 DECstation 3100s and 3 DECstation 5000/200PXGs will run graphics, CAD/CAM and scientific applications. Networking services include the Kerebos authentication system, Hesiod name server, Moira management tools, Zephyr for real-time messaging, POP Post Office Protocol for electronic mail and the Carnegie-Mellon University-developed Andrew File System. The Institute’s existing VAXcluster system will be integrated into Pegasus over time. Visix’s Looking Glass manager was chosen in preference over Cambridge-based IXI Ltd’s X.desktop manager after an evaluation of the two.

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