Brentford, Middlesex-based Nokia Data Ltd, the UK subsidiary of the Finnish computer supplier in process of being acquired by ICL Plc, has harvested the latest crop from its new strategic OEM partnership with the North American manufacturer of IBM Corp-to-open systems interconnection products, McData Corp. The new range of network controllers, badged with the Nokia […]
Brentford, Middlesex-based Nokia Data Ltd, the UK subsidiary of the Finnish computer supplier in process of being acquired by ICL Plc, has harvested the latest crop from its new strategic OEM partnership with the North American manufacturer of IBM Corp-to-open systems interconnection products, McData Corp. The new range of network controllers, badged with the Nokia name, offer Ethernet and Token-Ring support, access to up to four multiple hosts including IBM Enterprise Systems Connection Escon – hosts, as well as peer-to-peer communications and high device capacity. The NCC 710 network communications controller family consists of five local and remote models, in large, medium and small modular hardware environments – local models include the large 10L and the mid-range 20L, and remote products include the large 10R, the mid-range 20R and the small 60R. The NCC 710 range supports 4Mbps and 16Mbps Token-Ring local area networks via gateway and downstream node connections. From a Token Ring downstream model, a user will soon be able to access up to eight hosts. And, in a clear attack on IBM’s controller offerings – which don’t yet provide Ethernet support – McData’s NCC 710 offers the same support through downstream models for Ethernets as for Token-Rings. Coax, ASCII and personal computer users on a downstream Ethernet 710 can also access Digital Equipment Corp VAX hosts on the Ethernet via use of McData’s NSG610E product. The NCC 710 supports two ES/9000 Escon channels and conversion from bus and tag to fibre channel is also available. The controller also supports two local channels and a mix of SNA and non-SNA hosts, which Nokia Data claims is unique. Nokia Data will also offer peer-to-peer communications, using Logical Unit 6.2, Physical Unit 2.1 for Central Site Customisation and Central Site Change Management – a user can send customisation data and software from a personal computer anywhere else on the network and the NCC 710 nodes will route it to the destination NCC 710 node. And users can develop their own peer-to-peer applications with the NCC 710 capabilities cutting out the need for NetView Distribution Manager. The large network controller model can support 128 co-ax devices or 34 ASCII – twice as many as the IBM 3174 model – yielding per-port costs that are 22% cheaper than IBM. Further cost savings are made possible by the ability of a single workstation can access multiple IBM and DEC hosts. The three new Nokia environments will take the same hardware options, and all can be rack-mounted to save space. All Nokia-badged products can be configured on-line with the Local Control Point feature. All products provide a direct NetView interface so they can be integrated into existing NetView management systems. The basic NCC 710 network controller family will be out on June 3, though the Central Site Customisation, same-channel SNA and non-SNA host support, access to eight hosts from a downstream node, remote Ethernet gateway and concurrent X25 and SDLC host links won’t be available until the fourth quarter. Escon channel support and Central Site Change Management will ship next year. Prices range from UKP9,500 to UKP27,800 for the large configuration 10L models, and from UKP8,000 to UKP16,000 for the 20L models. Remote systems range from UKP7,000 to UKP25,000 for the minimum and maximum 10R versions, and from UKP5,300 to UKP13,000 for the 20R. The 60R model configurations are cheapest, costing between UKP3,600 and 7,300. Broomfield, Colorado-based McData, a private company started up in 1982 in chairman Jack McDonnell’s home but since backed by $7.8m venture capital, is a financially strong company that has never had any debt. The company sells directly in the US, but indirectly outside the US. It expects to do the equivalent of UKP35m sales in 1991. Nokia Data, for its part, seems to be thriving in the UK, recording 34% growth in 1990 and on target for 42% growth in 1991.