A Distributed Computing Architecture and Transition Strategy


The strategic value of open systems to universities has been clearly demonstrated in the use of open internetworking protocols and extends to all aspects of computing. The U.C. Davis Information Technology Division demonstrated its commitment to open distributed systems by creating a new department to serve as a campus resource and to provide the staff to develop new infrastructure services. As its first order of business, the Distributed Computing Analysis & Support Department spearheaded efforts to transition existing IT systems to open systems in the Summer of 1993. An invitation was sent to the campus to attend a two day seminar on Project Athena given by Jeff Schiller from MIT. This conference provided a practical overview of the issues of distributed computing in an academic setting and provide a forum for discussing the key issues associated implementation, operations and maintenance of systems in this environment. It also served as a way to coalesce a broad based group of technical staff from many departments to work on a campuswide statement of the distributed computing architecture. This paper provides an account of the U.C.Davis experiences over the last year in defining the distributed computing architecture at U.C. Davis, developing a transition plan for existing systems and the results of the first year of implementing new infrastructure systems as part of the transition plan. Paper presented at CAUSE94, the full proceedings of which are available through this Library as PUB1094.

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