IBM’s AIX/ESA 2.1 is an enhanced version of the Open Software Foundation’s OSF/1 IBM, as reported very briefly yesterday, has announced its first OSF/1-derived version of Unix, the mainframe AIX/ESA 2.1, which runs native on any ESA mainframe, or in a PR/SM partition or under VM/XA SP 2.1 or VM/ESA. With it comes Network Computing […]
IBM’s AIX/ESA 2.1 is an enhanced version of the Open Software Foundation’s OSF/1
IBM, as reported very briefly yesterday, has announced its first OSF/1-derived version of Unix, the mainframe AIX/ESA 2.1, which runs native on any ESA mainframe, or in a PR/SM partition or under VM/XA SP 2.1 or VM/ESA. With it comes Network Computing System for IBM AIX/ESA, AIX VS Fortran/ESA, AIX X Window Real Time Monitor, Network File System for IBM AIX/ESA 2.1, AIXwindows Environment/ESA; and Documenter’s Workbench. Users can order the whole lot under the AIX Product Set Ordering/ESA Offering. There will be staged support of specific processor configurations and operating environments starting on June 26, with all environments supported by December 31. As well as being OSF/1-derived, it is compatible with the Unix System V Interface Definition 2 – the latest one Definition is version 3 – Base and Kernel Extensions, making it easier to develop applications that can be converted for a wide range of other Unix systems. IBM claims that the new release enhances systems management through improved reliability, availability, serviceability, accounting, and data, network, and resource management, and offers development tools that increase user productivity. On the systems management front, it builds on the OSF/1 base to provide enhanced diagnostics, including trace, stand-alone dump facilities, kernel error recovery, machine error recovery, and an on-line dump viewing facility. It enhances accounting function by providing interval accounting for usage times rather than the usual statistical accounting in Unix, so that the user can apportion costs with greater precision. It exploits OSF/1 design to support dynamic extensions of the kernel – modules can be added for new drivers while the system is running, without rebuilding the kernel, shutting down, and re-starting the system. It is designed to exploit high performance ES/9000 single system images, supports large real and virtual storage, Vector Facility, Escon channels, expanded storage and High Performance Parallel Interface. To get round the fact that Unix is an ASCII system and IBM mainframes use the EBCDIC code, AIX/ESA uses the local area and wide area network connections of several channel-attached nodes to participate in standard TCP/IP networks – the channel-attached nodes can be the IBM 3172 Interconnect Controller Models 1 and 2, the RS/6000 and Network Systems Corp’s Hyperchannel-DX units. An RS/6000 connected to AIX/ESA via the new Block Multiplexer Channel Adaptor can be used as an alternative to local area networks to give asynchronous terminals, modems, and printers access to AIX/ESA. Since AIX/ESA uses the RS/6000 as an IP gateway node, the AIX/ESA system can thereby also link via TCP/IP to any local area and wide area networks supported by TCP/IP in the RS/6000; AIX/ESA also supports TCP/IP over channel-to-channel connections to IBM ESA or XA systems running AIX/ESA or AIX/370. The connection to an adjacent system can be via an IBM 3088 Multisystem Channel Communications Unit, a System/370 Channel to Channel Adaptor or a virtual channel-to-channel link on a supported VM system, depending on the configuration. IBM is planning a second release of AIX/ESA 2 in the second half of 1992, which will add support for asynchronous input-output so that an application can handle processing and input-output concurrently; Data Striping; and support of file systems greater than 2Gb.
Compatibilities include Posix, X/Open Portability Guide 3 Base and X/Open Transport Interface, and Berkeley Software Distribution 4.3. There is claimed to be a high degree of binary and data compatibility with AIX/370, and A370FS, a file system format on AIX/ESA, supports file systems created on AIX/370 1.2 or later, so AIX/370 users can benefit from AIX/ESA, without immediately migrating data. IBM plans to make AIX/ESA source code available as a separately orderable option so that users with unique systems management requirements can make fine tuning modifications to their systems. AIX/ESA sup
ports security functions and policies designed to meet the (low-level) C2 level of criteria – access control lists are not included in this definition of security and AIX/ESA has not been submitted for evaluation. Security additions over standard Unix include enhanced identification and authentication; auditing of security-relevant events; privilege; command authorisation; security administration; scaling enhancements; objects cleared before re-use is allowed. The OSF/1 kernel was designed to meet B1 level security and IBM intends to provide this in a future release. AIX/ESA contains an ANSI-compliant C compiler. The optional AIX VS Fortran/ESA Compiler and Library for AIX/ESA. AIX VS Fortran features include support for Vector Facility, compliance with ANSI Fortran 77 specification, dbx debugging support, and Fortran source compatibility with the VS Fortran 2.1 on AIX/370. The AIX/ESA 2.1 Early Test Programme offered by the IBM Software Vendor Systems Centre will enable vendors to test their applications with AIX/ESA remotely before it is generally available – between now and September. AIX/ESA is intended as a data server and compute server for scientific and technical computing users running numerically-intensive applications, and as an interactive campus server. As a data server, AIX/ESA can provide a central data repository or back-up site for Unix workstations and can also act as a front-end data server for a Unix supercomputer, IBM suggests. AIX/ESA supports an integrated Tape Management System consisting of an enhanced tape device driver and a tape manager: an enhanced tape device driver is part of the AIX/ESA kernel. IBM will provide staged support for ESA-capable processors starting with support for up to three-way of an n-way multiprocessor (physically, logically, or VM partitioned), up to and including ES/9000 Model 900 in all environments on June 26. Support for up to six-way single image multiprocessor configurations will be available by September 30 for numerically intensive computing environments. All configurations in all environments will be supported by December 31. AIX/ESA is from $63,120 or $1,315 a month on Model Group 18 machines to $1.3m, or $27,090 a month on Model Group 80s ES/9000-900s.
AIX statements of current direction
In a statement of direction, IBM says it plans to enhance the usability and performance for AIX/ESA users connected through a channel or local network-attached RS/6000. AIX/ESA will enable terminals connected to asynchronous ports on an RS/6000 to operate as if they are directly connected to the AIX/ESA system. Using the RS/6000 to combine input from multiple terminals and to do line discipline processing for terminals in line mode will reduce the load on the AIX/ESA system. The virtual terminal support that enables remote log-ins to AIX/ESA using telenet and rlogin will be done on the RS/6000. IBM will 3990 Dual Copy and disk Fast Write in a future release and will also support the IBM 9570 Disk Array Subsystem in a future release.