The environments available for the project were:

  1. Linux - running on about 24 PCs.
  2. Windows NT - running on the same 24 PCs.
  3. Digital Unix workstations - 16 machines.
All three were used in the course of the project:
  1. The linux environment was used to develop a test program for use with Clustor, and the test plan that would execute the test run.  BPE was originally intended to run with this system, but the fact that the machines were running Windows NT about 95% of the time made NT more desirable.
  2. The NT environment was fine, except that the only C compiler available was not compatible with the program. The compiler baulked at the global memory declarations within the program.
  3. The Digital Unix workstations were finally chosen, and proved to be just as easy to work with as the other two, with the added benefit of an accessible and robust C compiler.

After the process of refining the BPE program, it was necessary to develop the Clustor plan for BPE. This was a straight forward process involving the three steps of 'Preparator', 'Generator' and 'Dispatcher'. All three are most conveniently used through their TCL/TK (pronounced Tickle) interface.

The Preparator has a fairly easy to use 'Wizard' which deals with the areas of 'Parameter Description', 'Preprocessing Commands', 'Input Files', 'Substitution Files', 'User Command', 'Output Files' and 'Post Processing Commands'. This was very straight forward. After saving the plan, move to the Generator.

The Generator shows the details that are generated by Clustor from the user created plan.

The Dispatcher shows each of the jobs, and their status of waiting (to be run), running, done or failed. To begin running the jobs, use the Start button. Statistics are also available on jobs, servers and parameters. Details of Clustor status, Job status  (the number waiting, executing and done) and Node Status (the number ready, busy or down) are all shown.

Also necessary is a clustor.nodes file. This tells Clustor the computers run the jobs on. This file can include a password or will prompt for one. A useful feature of '$nodename' (see example file) allows you to reuse the password entered for the first node.