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The period 1989 - 1994:
The CONVEX C230 mini-supercomputer

HP PA-RISC chip as was used in Convex series 3 systems;

the C2xx had proprietary chips The installatioin and acceptance of the Convex took place on November 1, 1989. The Convex C220 had two CPUs with a peak performance of 50 MFLOPs each. Using parallellisation, the CPUs could work jointly for one single job, causing a fast job throughput time. The system memory was 256 Mbyte. After a year, the Convex was expanded with a third CPU. It became a CONVEX C230. At the same time, two additional disks were installed. In total, 6 GB disk space was installed, that could be accesses via four disk controllers in a "striped" fashion.

On March 7, 1991 we installed the ConvexOS/Secure operating system. The FEL was the ß-test site for this operating system version. We gave reports on regular basis on our findings. A number of security problems and leaks were found by us and reported to Convex for correction. The culture differences between the US and Europe became very obvious in this process. Security problems that we found in the networking area with telnet and ftp were not solved. The Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC) C2-security level required only a secure batcjh environment ("no terminals attached"). Our mindset is one in which all related security problems have to be solved whether or not the formal TCSEC evaluation requires this or not.
By the way, one of the security holes we found in ftp was corrected by various computer vendors after we reported it to them giving a solution at the same time. Early 1998, the problem was reported to the secure-ftp working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Convex C220 CPU
The CONVEX C220 mini-supercomputer with two CPUs;
later expanded to a C230 with three CPUs.

In September 1992, we accepted the C2-secured version of the Unix operating system. In October 1992, we presented our findings and experience with security and ConvexOS/Secure to the first European Convex users conference which was held in Hamburg, Germany.

The usage of the Convex C230

Convex C230 CPU During the whole lease period till November 1994, the Convex had a verfy high utilisation. The average utilisation over 5 years (365 days*24 hours) was 58.5%, the average utilisation during working hours was 63.8%. We encountered periods that all the CPUs of the system were utilised during several months for 100%. The research groups of the PML generated much work for the Convex, including background simulation jobs.



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