Amdahl Europe’s director of open systems teamed up with his open systems marketing manager recently to present the Gorf and Goldfarb perspective on open systems development. Graham Goldfarb played Wooster to Ken Gorf’s Jeeves, but the serious message underlying their tomfoolery is a little something called Enterprise Solutions. It is, says Gorf, a manifesto, the […]
Amdahl Europe’s director of open systems teamed up with his open systems marketing manager recently to present the Gorf and Goldfarb perspective on open systems development. Graham Goldfarb played Wooster to Ken Gorf’s Jeeves, but the serious message underlying their tomfoolery is a little something called Enterprise Solutions. It is, says Gorf, a manifesto, the first chapter in Amdahl’s open systems book and a flavour of things to come over the next two years. That means concepts rather than products, but rumour has it that mid-June will see the first deliverables in the shape of application development software and services. Enterprise Solutions is to focus on four areas communications and migration; data delivery and management; application acquisition; and co-operative processing. The first may be visualised as an Amdahl Corp processor at the front-end of a DECnet, and the second will cover file and database management plus image processing. Development tools and independent software vendor support will fall into the application acquisition arena, and transaction processing will be covered by co-operative processing. It is the last that will be most difficult, and Amdahl acknowledges that Unix has more ground to make up there than in any other activity. Goldfarb believes that primary user needs include the sharing of files throughout an enterprise; increased file and data security and integrity; lower data administration costs; and a simpler computing environment. Not surprisingly, he reckons that Amdahl can meet those needs, and the means will be a central data repository of storage; the provision of file migration and file staging to local processors; and transparent file archival or restoration with data adminstration. Also, users need an electronic document management system that is fast, effectively indexed, easily accessed and permits simultaneous access, as well as being very secure. Goldfarb says that one route could be a combination of UTS-MLS with Plexus XDP software from Recognition Equipment Inc, a Dataware, StorageTek or Memorex Telex jukebox, and input from systems integrators and application development partners like Oracle Corp, Electronic Data Systems Corp and Informix Software Inc. As regards Amdahl’s transaction processing-relational database management model, Goldfarb says that it will integrate personal computer clients, a UTS server with AT&T Unix System Laboratories Inc Tuxedo transaction processing system, and an MVS/CICS server – as demonstrated at Uniforum in January. Both Gorf and Goldfarb are bullish about future announcements, although still coy on specifics, but Gorf is positivley clam-like on the type of product likely to emerge from Amdahl’s licensing of Sun Microsystems Inc’s Sparc technology. He concedes that the product envisaged by Key Computer Laboratories, acquired by Amdahl for a cool $30m, was not right for Amdahl’s market. The supercomputer was designed to take from one to eight processors and deliver three times the scalar and vector performance of Cray Research Inc’s Y-MP machine. So does that mean that Amdahl is focusing on a multi-processor version of the Sparc chip? Gorf will only say that there are more rewarding areas than superscalar implementation. There are a number of similarities between Unix International Inc’s response to the Open Software Foundation’s Distributed Computing Environment and Amdahl’s vision of enterprise open systems. Dubbed UI-Atlas, the forthcoming specification is said to address issues such as distributed transaction processing, the upper levels of Open Systems Interconnection and object management, as well as file services, remote job execution and a common data/file/document format. Gorf denies that there has been any joint development, but acknowledges that they are working along similar lines. Which is timely since Amdahl has just announced that UTS is to support Open Systems protocols for FTAM file transfer access and management capabilities, as well as support for X400 message handling system and X500 directory services – all in cluded in
Unix International’s Unix System V Roadmap brought forward to the third quarter this year.