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This paper examines the plausibility of using a network of workstations (NOW) for a mixture of parallel and sequential jobs. Through trace-driven simulation, our study identifies a number of results that should be of interest to NOW system designers. First, it is not sufficient to use workstation resources to provide a supercomputer only by night. Next, parallel programs can cause a significant number of lengthy delays to interactive users. Finally, simple scheduling techniques can identify available workstations and minimize user delays while providing parallel program performance comparable to a dedicated massively parallel processor. If these scheduling policies are employed, parallel programmers and interactive users can peacefully coexist on a NOW.

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