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Host System

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A host system is a computer running a matrix operating system. A host system can be connected to the matrix, providing a SAN to other hosts or grids. Hosts can stand alone or virtual and come in several sizes, ratings and colors.

Classes Edit

  • Lots of small host systems are micro computers. The smallest book size micro computers that are usable weigh around 450 gram(1 lb) while the heavier portable super micros are around 3 kg (6 lbs). The desktop sizes of bricks and mini towers are more common. Micro computers use CISC or RISC CPUs and emulate matrix operations. Micro computers can only run blue operating systems, while super micros can be equipped with DAT/VM assist memory option to run green operating systems. Micro computers are sold off the shelf within one day, and come with a bundled set of operating system and utilities, and customer grade SOTA. A wide range of commercial and free software can enhance or replace the system core to match the needs of the owner. Its possible to lease a super micro together with a maintenance contract to keep the operating system at stable SOTA grade.
  • Typical for the mini computer class is to fit into a 19 inch rack. The smaller mini computers have a height of 6", while the bigger super minis fill up the complete rack with core, memory and I/O. Mini computers use a micro programmed core to run matrix operations, including DAT/VM. Mini computers are shipped with orange operating system cores, but super minis could be equipped with a DAT/LPAR assist option and shipped with red operating system cores. It's more common to lease a mini together with a maintenance contract to keep the operating system at stable SOTA, than to buy it, and to run a green free operating system.
  • The term main frame denotes the 19 inch frame containing the core. Small mainframes have half a dozen additional 19 inch rack next containing memory and io. The large ones, where the core spawns several racks, might have rooms of racks next to them for memory and io. Its not possible to run a free operating system on a mainframe, because mainframes have a hard wired matrix operation core and normal run red operating systems. Some are mainframes are hardwired to run ultra violet systems. Mainframes are ordered several month before, and are assembled on site by a technical team. Upgrades and changes to the core requires hardware installation or replacement. Mainframes are therefore normally leased together with maintenance contract for a team of technicals to stay on site.
  • The term real iron is was the nickname for mainframes, but it became common to point to the real iron, even if its only a super micro, to highlight that its a real computer and not a VM or LPAR somewhere in the grid.

Class limits Edit

The following limits are only a guide and not fixed. A data storage host might have much more memory at same class, while an io host might have more io, and pure science computer more tps, and still fits into a class. The core architecture and presence of the data address translation assist options is a real difference.

  • micro: tps 10, io 600mps, available 1 day, max blue
  • super micro: tps 20-90, io 1gps-5gps, available day*tps/10, max green, price*(1+tps/100), vm assist for core price increase
  • mini: tps 100, io 6gps, available 1 week, max orange, vm assist default
  • super mini: tps 200-900, io 10gps-50gps, available week*tps/100, max red, price*(1+tps/1000), lpar assist for core price increase
  • mainframe: tps 1000, io 60gps, available 1 month, max uv, vm default, lpar default
  • real iron: tps 2000++, io 100gps++, available 3 month, price*(1+tps/10000)

Core ratings and transactions Edit

The host core is running the matrix operations. Each operation is one core transaction. The speed of a host is measured in tps, transactions per second. The core has a color, security rating and five subsystem ratings. Those squared, summed up and multiplied by the tps speed results in the core rating.

  • core rating = (2*security rating²+sum(subsystem ratings²)) * tps
core price
blue core rating * 1¥
green core rating * 3¥
orange core rating * 9¥
red core rating * 27¥

Multiply this price by a percentage factor, as noted in class limits, for the super variants of micro and mini computers with data address translation assist option. Micro computers can be reconfigured to run nearly any operating system ratings, at the cost of tps, as the core is only emulated. Super micros and mini computers run their rating at a fixed maximum tps of the DAT assist unit, and can only be reconfigured within their core rating limits. Mainframe cores are hardwired, and hardware changes always affect the rating and the leasing rate.

Transaction limits Edit

10 a transactions per second micros are sold for up to 10 matrix users to the stupids who buy a computer in the supermarket. Up to is the keyword here. This is true, if you count users with a radio shack, body 1, sensor 2 persona and no utilities. 10 tps are 30 transactions per combat turn. I know many deckers who have a higher icon bandwidth. Now include some frames and ice running on the host, and the load goes up if they run, and the decker starts some utilities. Roll 1d6, if the sum of all frame, agent and icon bandwidth is higher than 3*tps of a host, 2d6 if its 6 times the tps, 3d6 if its 9 times, and so on. Any icon, IC, frame, agent, decker or player can not act in this round, if the initiative not higher than this load roll. Any actions after the initiative of this load roll are lost. The system is frozen till end of combat turn.

The base icon bandwidth of a decker is the sum of his persona rating and passive utilities like sleaze or camo, the active icon bandwidth of goes up when using any utility.

e.g. Maria is pluging in on a cold assist console interface of a mom and dad computer of a small company. She has a persona of body 2, evasion 6, mask 6, sensors 4 and normally uses a sleaze 5 to lower the detection factor. The base icon bandwidth would be 23. Running an locate file with a browse 5 utility would raise the icon bandwidth to 28 and a decrypt file on same turn with nearly any utility would raise it over 30. To much for a 10 tps small micro computer. So the game master secretly rolls 1d6 for the initiative of the combat turn freeze for next round, and freezes this turn. Unlucky both control last round triggered enough of the tally to start the first IC, and the son, of this mom and dad computer was really paranoid, and installed some nasty big IC. The console of the system was only cold assist, so the IC was faster, freezing also the complete round by own icon bandwidth. Maria plugged of, ignoring the risk of a small dump shock from a blue system, cursed and used computer b/r to disassemble to the system, and to rip the optical memory chips for later inspections. Sometimes a screwdriver is the best tool of a decker.

Memory and IO Edit

The price of the memory and IO depends on the security color. A typical host has 100megapulse memory and 6 megapulse/second IO per tps.

memory and IO price
security memory IO
blue 10¥ per megapulse 2¥ per megapulse/s
green 20¥ per megapulse 5¥ per megapulse/s
orange 30¥ per megapulse 10¥ per megapulse/s
red 40¥ per megapulse 20¥ per megapulse/s

How much is a pulse, you may ask chummer? A pulse is not a fixed size, but a multi spectrum package when send on a line, or a holographic print to store on an optical memory chip. 60 pulse per second are enough to watch TV, so 60 megapulse is like watching a million TV channels same time. Tripple X full SimSim has raw bandwidth of 3 megapulse per second, when recorded by an actor. Really bad SimSims go up to 6 megapulse, black IC is known for much higher ratings. Most deckers have an icon bandwidth of 30, limiting themself to good old City-360 deck of 2053, even the modern City-360-D has 200mps to run load icons 20 times that size. Well, even the memory and IO of mom and dads computer is more than you could ever use, chummer, understand?

And how much does one need, e.g. for a small business? Two high speed MSP access lines and a high speed Angel SatCon sum up to 1500megapulse/second, so something between 6 and 10 gigapulse/seconds bandwidth is fine for a mini, if you want some inhouse use, 2061.

VM/LPAR/HMS memory assist options Edit

The data address translation for virtual machines assist option defines if a micro computer is a normal micro or a super micro. DAT/VM is a requirement for green operating systems. Mini computers and mainframes always have DAT/VM memory assist. DAT/VM allows to run a virtual machine, on same host, at lower security and subsystem ratings. Each rating must be reduced by at least two. A VM with a rating of zero or negative is not possible. In addition a VM can limit tps, memory and io bandwidth consumption. Those limits do not provide a warranty, but an upper mark. One can overload a host with VM hosts, so each of them will be delayed by load. You can rent a VM at any matrix hosting provider for a monthly fee comparable to the price of a host divided by 120 to 180 or even lower. Take care that the cheapest providers use HMS to reduce the memory cost of a VM.

The data address translation for logical partitions assist option defines the super mini. DAT/LPAR is a requirement for red operating systems. Mainframes always have a DAT/LPAR memory assist. DAT/VM allows to run a host in a logical partition, dedicating hardware to this partition at same or lower security rating, but one step lower security color. DAT/LPAR is faster than a VM, as a logical partition defines hardwired fixed warranties. One can rent an LPAR at most matrix hosting providers for a monthly fee compareable to a host divided by 100.

Data center mainframes can be equipped with DAT/HMS. The data address translation for hierarchical memory option reduces the memory price by factor 5, by partitioning the data into storage sections of different speeds. Only the actual data is hold in the expensive memory, while data that is seldom accessed migrate to the slowest memory. Roll 1d6 ÷ 2 round down, every time you access some data on a HMS for first time. Delay the action in this combat turn by this roll. Many matrix service providers offer the option of HMS for a large data storage LPAR.

Availability Edit

Hosts are available, on a success roll of their rating with the following modifiers:

availability target modifier
target rating
blue +1
green +2
orange +3
red +4
micro -2
super micro -1
mini -1

e.g. a green-4 super micro would be available on a 5/day. An orange-6 mini on a 8/week. A 200tps red 10 super mini on a 14/2 weeks.

to Free or not to Free? Edit

New host systems come bundled with an operating system. But matrix software design is a well known topic, and alternates exist to enhance or even replace the bundled operating system for micro computers. Free operating system and utilities come free of charge, free of warranty in source code, and can be found in nearly any data heaven, and even the public area in shadowland and magicknet have a living community of hackers sharing the free matrix operating system. 2nix, pronounce two nix, was created as a joke, hyped by a flame war, and provides stable, old, unstable and testing SOTA grades for blue and green micro computer systems. A green 2nix on a mini is a certain sign that this host was either stolen, or some other reason prevents official operating system maintenance. 2nix could be ported to a mainframe, but its seldom seen in the wilds.

Software availability Edit

A decker can browse and ask around for the basic security kernel and subsystems, every night he is in the matrix. Each etiquette matrix roll provides a kernel or subsystem source code. Compiling and installing this source requires a software task with subsystem or security rating as target number and a base time equal to the rating in hours. The subsystem wont work, if this task fails. As usual, a green subsystem requires two success rolls to work correctly. Roll on archaic system on Matrix page 51, if a green security or subsystem was installed with only one success.

Software maintenance Edit

Roll 1d6 every month and lower either the security or one of the subsystem ratings accordingly. A decker can either improve the security to stay SOTA with a programming test with base time of subsystem rating squared hours, or try to ask around in the matrix for a patch or even a complete new subsystem as described above.

Hardware compatibility Edit

Roll two dice of different color, when migrating a micro computer to run 2nix. The positive die will add 10% increase to the core rating, the negative die will remove 10% from core rating. Apply both die after each other. Roll only the negative die, when migrating 2nix on a mini computer or mainframe. e.g. the super micro green 69 has a core rating of 477, the positive die was 4 the negative die was 2, so the resulting core rating will be 477+40%-20%=534, able to run a higher security at same tps with a green operating system. Blue operating system do not use vm assist option, and could run even higher security ratings at the cost of tps.

A decker can ask around about good and bad micro computers. Each etiquette matrix success with the target of the security rating will reduce on point from the bad die. He can ask around a second time, once the he knows the real drawbacks of a microcomputer. Each success will tell a patch to remove a drawback. Applying the patch requires a programming test against the security rating with the base target of an 1 tps core rating in hours. The remaining drawbacks could be fixed, on a software programming test with a target of the security rating, and a base time of a 1 tps core rating in days.

Examples Edit

A typical micro computer for Jo averages garage, mom and dads business and personal office. But also a typical starting desktop computer for a new decker to develop own utilities. One gigapulse memory is more than enough for even the big programming jobs. A high speed line with 500megapulse per second IO is the low mark for a host with a SAN. But the limitation of 10 transactions per second makes such system barely usable as a matrix host.

 micro blue-4 6/6/6/6/6 10tps 1gp 500mps ¥13.120
  * core rating: (2*16+5*36)*10 = 2120
  * core price: ¥2.120
  * memory rating: 1000mp
  * memory price: ¥10.000
  * IO rating: 500mps
  * IO price: ¥1000

Its green, super and sexy 69, and a typical system for a wealthy decker to develop own system utilities. Startups and smaller business likely have a system similar to this connected as SAN to their local telecom grid. Megacorperation often use system like those as personal workstations in the labs.

supermicro green-6 9/9/9/9/9 30tps 3000mp 2000mps = ¥125.809
 * core rating: 14310
 * core price: ¥55.809
 * memory rating: 3000mp
 * memory price: ¥60.000
 * IO rating: 2000mp
 * IO price: ¥10.000
 5 year leasing including operating system maintenance: ¥2.100 per month

Large memory, enough IO to serve 24 high speed matrix connections, the magical 100 transaction per second, and an orange security color define the typical mini. The bread and butter workgroup host comes at the size of a small fridge.

mini orange-8 10/12/10/10/10 100tps 20000mp 12000mps = ¥1.324.800
 * core rating: 67200
 * core price: ¥604.800
 * memory rating: 20000mp
 * memory price: ¥600.000
 * IO rating: 12000mp
 * IO price: ¥120.000
5 year leasing including operating system maintenance: ¥22.000 per month

Research and development labs often have systems like the following, while data storage centers prefer a real mainframe because of hierarchical memory option.

supermini red-10 12/15/12/12/12 200tps 100000mp 12000mps = ¥10.726.480
 * core rating: 200200
 * core price: ¥6.486.480
 * memory rating: 100000mp
 * memory price: ¥4.000.000
 * IO rating: 12000mp
 * IO price: ¥240.000
5 year leasing including operating system maintenance: ¥180.000 per month

Five terrapulse of hierarchical memory, 1000 users and 120megapulse per second IO could be a typical datacenter mainframe in the basement of archeology.

mainframe red-8 12/12/10/10/10 1000tps 5000000mp 120000mps = ¥61.732.000
 * core rating: 716000
 * core price: ¥19.332.000
 * memory rating: 5000000mp
 * memory price: ¥40.000.000
 * IO rating: 120000mp
 * IO price: ¥2.400.000
5 year leasing including operating system maintenance: ¥1.000.000 per month

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