Two related products have been announced by Soft-Switch Inc, one of them being an implementation of the 1988 X500 electronic mail directory protocols. EMX, Enterprise Mail Exchange, is a family of scalable, multi-protocol backbone electronic mail switches based on the 1988 versions of X400 and X500, designed to provide full interoperability with major electronic mail […]
Two related products have been announced by Soft-Switch Inc, one of them being an implementation of the 1988 X500 electronic mail directory protocols. EMX, Enterprise Mail Exchange, is a family of scalable, multi-protocol backbone electronic mail switches based on the 1988 versions of X400 and X500, designed to provide full interoperability with major electronic mail distribution protocols, including SNADS, Systems Network Architecture Distribution Services, SMTP, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and MHS Message Handling System. The second product – the Enterprise Mail Manager – is a graphical management system for network configuration, operation and maintenance for use with the EMX, and running in an X Window and Motif environment. The Wayne, Pennsylvania-based company is claiming an industry first with the Enterprise Mail Exchange, which it says is the first mail backbone switch that can be installed and managed as a network appliance. EMX is is based on Unix System V.4 and it uses the SQL database interface. The user interface is via X Window and the Open Software Foundation’s Motif, and communications interfaces are Open Systems Interconnection, TCP/IP and SNA. The switch is based on Data General Corp’s AViiON family of symmetric multi-processor Unix servers, and each one has a relational database management system from Oracle Corp, accessed via SQL – this is used for the subscriber database, configuration database, and distribution store. Soft-Switch has included features such as a subscriber directory of X500 attributes, and support for existing directory access and synchronisation protocols. The first release has not implemented quite all of the standard’s protocols however, the Directory Services Protocol, Directory Access Protocol, directory synchronisation, and document translation facilities will be provided in a release at the end of 1992. EMX is designed as a mail switch, directory server, and management system in a pure X400 and X500 environment, as an enterprise mail backbone node in a multi-protocol environment, or as a migration tool for transition from multi-protocol environments to an X400 and X500-based network. When it is configured as an X400 relay with connections to Ethernet and X25, with management via Enterprise Mail Management, prices start at UKP23,850, and when it is configured as a multi-protocol switch and directory server, the base price is UKP41,250. Larger configurations range from UKP116,000 to UKP279,000. One or more Enterprise Mail Managers can manage a network of distributed EMX switches as a single system image, and the product is being bundled with some of the high-end EMX configurations. Most models will be available in the US in the third quarter and all models will be available worldwide in the fourth quarter, Soft-Switch said.