NQS - Making Use Of Idle Workstations
Stuart Herbert : Academic Computing Services, University of Sheffield
In October, 1994, the University of Sheffield Academic Computing Services
began providing help and support for installations of the Network Queueing
System (NQS), as part of JISC's New Technologies Initiative.
The Network Queueing System
Users place their work into a queue, as they would with a printout. NQS
takes the work out of the queue, and runs it on a suitable machine :
Limits can be placed on the resources that any submitted job can use, such
as the amount of CPU time, or memory usage. You can also restrict how many
jobs can run at a time on any given machine, allowing you to also maintain a
usable interactive service.
- Clusters of workstations together add up to a significant amount of
processing power, but are often idle, for example overnight. NQS can
be used to run jobs during these idle periods, so making better use of
- Large computational machines are often wasting time because too many
people are trying to run large processes at the same time. NQS can
limit the number of concurrent jobs, so improving overall throughput.
There are two electronic mailing lists for NQS available via Mailbase.
If you have never used Mailbase before, send the following message to
- NQS-Announce carries announcements of new releases, bug fixes et al.
- NQS-Support should be your first port of call for any help or assistance
with NQS. This is monitored by dedicated Computing Services staff, who
will help all they can.
You will then receive further information about Mailbase.
World Wide Web
Our World Wide Web (WWW) server includes information about NQS. The URL is
This information is updated daily.
The source code to NQS is freely available, via ftp :
We are continually improving NQS - announcements of new releases are posted
to the NQS-Announce mailing list. We welcome all suggestions for new
features for NQS.
University of Sheffield