1998 - 1999 CS Annual Report                                           Computing Facilities
choices.gif (4488 bytes)

Computing Facilities

The department makes use of a mix of computing platforms, with about three-quarters of our research and instructional computing taking place on Microsoft's Windows NT operating system and Intel Architecture processors and the remaining quarter on Unix desktop and back-end servers. We have benefited greatly over the last year from several major equipment donations: Microsoft donated 25 400MHz Pentium II systems for an introductory instructional lab, Intel donated 30 450MHz Pentium II systems for upper-level instruction, and Intel donated 8 dual-processor Pentium III systems and two quad-processor Pentium III servers for research. We have also received a number of donations of Windows CE devices, software, training, and books from Microsoft Corporation.

 In the area of improved and upgraded infrastructure, during the past year, we:

  •  Added wireless networking infrastructure covering the core Computer Science department spaces within the university. This infrastructure utilizes Aironet 4800 access points and PCMCIA cards to provide actual TCP/IP-level throughput of 2-3Mbits/second. 

  •  Installed laptop stations to support up to 22 simultaneous student connections in the hallway adjacent to our major undergraduate teaching lab. This allows nomadic student users easy access to Computer Science course and research computing resources.

  • Upgraded the departmental networking infrastructure to support current and prospective streaming video applications for research and instruction. Centered on the new Cisco 6509 256Gbit/second switch, the department is in the process of upgrading our basic network infrastructure to provide a Gigabit Ethernet backbone with switched 10/100 ports to every active workstation port in the department.

  • Implemented a new Dell Storage Area Network to support fast, reliable access to large multimedia files. The new PowerEdge 6350 and PowerVault 650F systems will initially support 360GB of fibre-channel disk storage.

The department has over 500 computers ranging from micros to high-end parallel processing servers, well over a terabyte of on-line disk storage, and a backbone network based on switched Gigabit Ethernet.

The department has a full-time computing facilities staff of eleven. Dean Krafft serves as director, with programming support provided by Dora Abdullah, Elly Cramer, Doug Flanagan, Bill Holmes, Orlando Johnson, and Larry Parmelee; hardware support by John Finley and Bruce Boda; user consulting support by Alex Gottschalk and Rob Collins; and systems administration by Cay Wilson. The staff provides full support for all the operating systems and standard software on our major computing platforms. 

In addition to the resources directly owned and operated by the department, computer science students and researchers have access to a number of university facilities. The university provides extensive campus-wide networking, based on the TCP/IP protocols and implemented through a switched Gigabit Ethernet backbone connecting organizational Ethernets. National and international access is provided by several T3 connections to NYSERNet and the global Internet. High-speed community access is available through Time-Warner’s RoadRunner cable modem system. 

The department operates an undergraduate teaching laboratory of 30 Intel-donated 300MHz Pentium II systems, 20 Intel-donated 180MHz Pentium systems and 30 Hewlett-Packard-donated 200MHz Pentium Pro systems, all running Microsoft's Windows NT 4.0. This lab provides support for a wide range of upper-level undergraduate courses and individual research projects. Finally, through the Cornell Theory Center and the Program in Computer Graphics, computer science researchers have access to a wide range of advanced parallel processing and supercomputer systems as well as advanced graphics and visualization systems. 

The following list includes all computing equipment in the Computer Science Department owned either by Cornell or by the Federal government.

Desktop Machines


Sun UltraSparc 1/UltraSparc 2


Intel dual-processor Pentium II Desktop PC


SUN Sparc-10


Intel Pentium II/III Desktop PC


SUN Sparc-20


Intel dual-processor Pentium Pro Desktop PC


SUN Sparc-5


Intel Pentium Pro-based Desktop PC


SUN UltraSparc 5


Intel Pentium-based Desktop PC


SUN Sparc LX


Intel Pentium/PII Laptop PC





 Back-end Resources  


Sun Ultra Enterprise 450 servers


Intel dual-processor Pentium II servers


SUN Sparc Ultra 1 WWW server


133MHz Intel Pentium fileservers


SUN Sparc-20/514 four-processor compute servers


Intel quad-processor Pentium Pro servers


SUN-670MP four-processor compute servers


HP dual-processor Pentium Pro servers


SUN Sparc-10/20 fileservers


Dell quad-processor Pentium II servers

 Other Hardware (not computers)  


Tektronix Phaser 550/560/840 Color Printers


Cisco Catalyst 5000/5500 Fast Ethernet switches


B&W Laser Printers (HP/Apple/Sun/Lexmark)


Cisco Catalyst 29xx Fast Ethernet switches


Cisco Catalyst 6509 Gigabit Ethernet switch


Cisco Catalyst 1900 10/100 Ethernet switches