Stepping up pressure on IBM with its increasingly confusing 37XX family of communications processors, Amdahl Corp has unveiled the Network Processor Series/2700 – NPS/2700 – which combines SNA, X25 and 1.544Mbps T-1 digital telephony in a single system, all under common management. The Sunyvale firm says that the NPS/2700 enables customers to integrate both packet […]
Stepping up pressure on IBM with its increasingly confusing 37XX family of communications processors, Amdahl Corp has unveiled the Network Processor Series/2700 – NPS/2700 – which combines SNA, X25 and 1.544Mbps T-1 digital telephony in a single system, all under common management. The Sunyvale firm says that the NPS/2700 enables customers to integrate both packet and circuit switching, speech and data transmissions, and local and wide area networks. The new family starts life with five products: two versions of the NPS/2705 Management System, the NPS/2725 Access Processor, and two NPS/2745 Resource Processors. The NPS/2705 Management Systems are software products offering a range of operating and support tools for networks: the NPS/2705-100 system is for MS-DOS micros and is used to control small networks; the NPS/2705-200 runs under Unix on a workstation, and can interwork with the micro version; it can be expanded to move up from medium through large to very large networks. It includes a colour graphics user interface; network topological maps with multi level zoom; multiwindow and multitasking support; physical and logical network partitioning; network configuration, monitoring, and diagnostic functions; and definable, multi-level security access protection. The NPS/2725 Access Processor performs traditional packet assembly-disassembly, but is also a network access concentrator supporting a range of synchronous and asynchronous protocols; it is fully compatible with X25 and SNA/SDLC. A quick switch capability in the asynchronous-to bisynchronous or SNA/SDLC emulation modes enables switching among up to three simultaneous sessions from one cheapo ASCII asynchronous terminal, interrogating SNA, asynchronous, and bisynchronous hosts. It holds the current configuration of a network to enable quick restoration of service if something breaks. The NPS/2745 Resource Processors offer integrated T1 transmission and management of speech, data, image, and video. The 2745-100 is a single-shelf processor and the 2745-200 can be expanded to as many as eight shelves – without disrupting service. A virtual network routing function enables communications domains or private sub-networks to be created within the main network, logically separating departmental or subsidiary communications as they share the same digital lines. Speech compression features include built-in echo cancellation and high-quality speech transmission at 4-to-1 and 5-to-1 ratios; compression ratios of 10-to-1 and 20-to-1 are also offered for those who don’t mind sounding a bit like Mickey Mouse. They also support distributed network healing, so that breaks in the network that could cause interruption of user channels are healed automatically in each node, and if software becomes corrupted, they can immediately download another copy from their disks for fault-tolerant operation. All the new products are set for third quarter delivery in the US: tags for the software start at $2,000 for NPS/2705-100, $27,000 for NPS/2705-200 Management Systems; at $8,000 for the NPS/2725 Access Processor, and at $17,600 for NPS/2745 Resource Processors.