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  1. Technology
February 28, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Transarc Corp, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been awarded a $3.9m contract by the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Department of Defense. The goal of the contract is to find more advanced ways to locate information on the mythical Information Superhighway. The contract is entitled Auto Indexing, Wide Area File Access. Under a previous contract, Transarc deployed its Andrew File System software to create a National File System, with more than 100 sites directly participating via the Internet. Within the National File System, users are able to share information as easily across the country as across the hall. The Andrew File System, AFS, is currently in use at some 400 sites shared by more than 100,000 users. Study of the effects of that deployment showed greatly increased information sharing by workers within and among those sites, Transarc says. The study also noted significantly increased productivity with minimal additional load on the network. The explosion in the volume of network information has created the need for new techniques for rapidly locating useful information among the available data. The new effort will investigate practical techniques for doing so. AFS is based on the Andrew Project of the 1980s at Carnegie Mellon University. The goal of that project was sharing and collaboration among and between large, distributed computing environments. Network data growth will be accelerated by the shipment by major vendors of the DSF Distributed File System of the Open Software Foundation’s Distributed Computing Environment. DFS is the successor to the AFS distributed file system. Transarc says that it expects to employ five to 10 researchers on this project at its Pittsburgh headquarters.

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