Friday, October 07, 2005

The Years of FAT

My first visit to Oracle HQ was during 'the years of FAT' (i.e. when working on File and Tape Management: Experimental Needs - FATMEN).

(On the way back from an IEEE Mass Storage Symposium in Monterey).

The idea was to discuss with "Smokey" on some possible future directions...

I suggested a distributed lock manager.

Na, doesn't scale.

I was somewhat amused when a while later they came out with... a DLM...

Ah well... Can't win 'em all...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Whither HEPDB?

So during my 2nd DB encounter, I was involved in something that some viewed as a File Catalog, but in reality offered 'location and platform independent access to data'... (etc.) Sounds familiar?

The main target was the LEP experiments at CERN (adopted eventually by DELPHI, L3 and OPAL, but not ALEPH).

Whilst I was touting it around, an oft repeated comment was "Very interesting but what we really need is..." The 'this' was a detector conditions database. Well, quite a few common ideas featured in the file catalog and the conditions DB solution of one of the experiments and an informal suvery revealed significant overlap with the functionality of that used by another (and indeed many other HEP experiments at CERN and elsewhere.)

So a 'common project' was born to produce an experiment-independent solution to a common problem. The name adopted was "HEPDB", with the implementation re-using the DBL3 package and also many of the ideas from OPCAL (from OPAL).

HEPDB runs still on node hepdb.cern.ch, accessed through /hepdb.

So Groundhog Day again...