Third parties mobilised to help IBM users tie into DECnet, other alien environments With all those VAXes invading its large accounts, IBM is for the first time in its history having to talk seriously about networking of mixed vendor equipment, and to offer specific products that address the needs of customers who no longer believe […]
Third parties mobilised to help IBM users tie into DECnet, other alien environments With all those VAXes invading its large accounts, IBM is for the first time in its history having to talk seriously about networking of mixed vendor equipment, and to offer specific products that address the needs of customers who no longer believe that IBM has the answer to every maiden’s prayer. Highlighting its lack of enthusiasm for the changed environment, IBM admits that it is going to third parties for much of what it needs rather than developing everything itself. The company says that the IBM authorised industry application specialists category of its Business Partners has created solutions to accommodate the existing multi-vendor environments – terminals, operating systems, applications – without the addition of new protocols or architectures. It highlights the Interlink SNS SNA/Gateway announced in June by Interlink Computer Sciences Inc, Fremont, California which provides communications between DECnet and IBM SNA networks so that IBM MVS and VM hosts can participate as peer-nodes in a DECnet network, and as gateways for accessing remote nodes, users, or applications in IBM SNA networks. The SNS SNA/Gateway provides access to the DEC network as if it were part of the SNA network, eliminating the need for new protocols or architectures, and includes network management of the DECnet via IBM’s NetView; LU 6.2 support to enable IBM and DEC LU 6.2 applications to communicate, and uses SNA backbone networks to interconnect separate DECnets. However IBM is not responsible for, nor does it represent or warrant, performance of the program, the company adds darkly. For those who want to know more about the availability of such third party products, the IBM Engineering/Scientific National Support Center in Dallas, Texas is publishing and distributing a Solutions In Connectivity guide.
IBM resurrects Series 1 to plug the gaps in its Open Systems Interconnection line Whenever IBM needs something new quickly, it tends to install it on a very mature product – even if that product is widely perceived by the market as being on its last legs. A classic example was the Distributed Office Support Facility, IBM’s first attempt at a company-wide office automation system: it was announced with the then brand new 8100 – but ran either on the discontinued 3791 or on the 8100 but only under the old DPCX operating system that emulated the 3791 environment – and not under the native DPPX. So it is that with IBM’s rush to embrace Open Systems Interconnection standards, the old Series 1 mini gets pulled out from the back of the toy cupboard and fitted out with a brand new suit of clothes – and a very fancy one at that. And it’s all the more striking in that the Series 1 is still an old-fashioned 16-bit mini – the 32-bit models that were in development so long down in Florida never saw the light of day. Nevertheless, as of last week, the Series 1 embraces co processors programmable in C, and new Token-Ring and Multi-line Communications co-processors are addressable from any of the 32 address spaces in Series 1 extended input-output architecture. Multiline, Token co-processor, tools The Multiline Communications Co-processor is a user-programmable board with 64Kb of read-only storage and 1Mb of RAM that enables the use of two Interface Adaptors per attachment – a two-port EIA-232-D/V24 adaptor and a one-port CCITT V35 adaptor. The board can support SDLC/HDLC, synchronous and asynchronous protocols. It costs $6,000 plus $110 to $340 for the adaptors, out in the US from April.
The new Token-Ring Attachment Card enables all models of the Series 1 4956 Processor to be used on a Token-Ring Network, conforming to IEEE 802.5, ISO 8802-5, and ECMA 89. It includes a Motorola 68000 – probably nearly as powerful as the Series 1 itself, to provide logical link control functions and an intelligent interface between the Series 1 bus and the Token Ring. The EDX Token-Ring Interface Program – see below – which requires EDX V6.1, is needed, and it costs $5,000 and $160 fo
r the 20 foot Token-Ring Cable. It will be out next June. There is also a Series 1 Outboard Processing Tools programming RPQ – it stands for Request Price Quotation, but don’t let that worry you – supports the new Series 1 co-processor environments: the Token Ring Attachment Card and related software, and the 1Mb RAM Multiline Communications Co-processor. The Outboard Processing Tools program supports running on the co-processors of load modules, providing multiprogramming and multitasking outboard execution control of, and debugging support for, user programs. And despite its designation, you don’t have to request a price: it costs $1,260 or $85 a month and will be available in the US on April 28 next.
C compiler, Token Ring program, EDX 6.1 The new C compiler for the Series Event-Driven Executive, EDX, comes as two licensed programs: a Host C Compiler that runs under MVS or VM and compiles C source programs and generates Series 1 object code, and a Host Linker to create executable load modules that run on the Series 1. And there is an C Run-Time Library for running the resulting programs under EDX 6.1. Object modules can be transmitted to the Series 1 and link-edited, or link-edited on the host, depending on the transport method used. The user can write applications that use C run-times, and write Transaction Processing System routines and Indexed Access Method interfaces from C without having to code in the Event-Driven Language or assembler – that’s a relief. It allows programs to use most of a 64Kb address space of Series 1 – 8Kb is needed for the run-time data area, and supports overlays for programs greater than 64Kb as well as supporting linkage between EDL, assembler, and C programs when the entry point of an application is a C program. And Advanced Program-to-Program Communication interfaces that conform to the SAA Common Programming Interface for Communications are supported in C. The host system is $5,250 or $350 a month, the run-time system is $2,600 or $175 a month; April 1989.
A new Series 1 EDX Token-Ring Interface Program runs on the Series 1 Token-Ring Attachment Card which provides the IEEE 802.5 and IEEE 802.2 2 interfaces and supports APPC with another Series 1, a 9370, AS/400 or PS/2. It also provides the code for supporting the PS/2 or IBM 3174 Control Unit communicating over the Token Ring to Series 1 Primary SNA applications. It costs $3,400 or $225 a month and will be available in June 1989 in the US. But your existing EDX 6.1 won’t be enough to run all these new goodies – you need four very pricey extensions as well: they are the the Basic Emulator and Supervisor, $3,255 or $236 a month; Program Preparation Facility, $4,470 or $229 a month; Macro Library, $5,585 or $372 a month; and Macro Library/Host, $7,685 and $514 a month. Out next April.