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February 27, 1989

3NET BRINGS IN LOW-COST XTENDLINK TO TURN MS-DOS BOXES INTO 3270 TERMINALS

By CBR Staff Writer

3Net Ltd has won exclusive UK distribution rights for Netlink Inc’s Xtendlink networking product. Xtendlink, which consists of a software package and network hub unit, is designed to enable MS-DOS micros to be used as remote 3270 SNA terminals using asynchronous communications over dial-up, leased or local internal telephone lines. The software packages up the SNA datastream into a proprietary asynchronous protocol, which is then transmitted to the hub unit; this converts the datastream back to SNA/SDLC and transmits it onwards to the host SNA mainframe. Basingstoke, Hampshire-based 3Net claims implementation of Xtendlink allows cost significant savings on personal computers, modems and SDLC cards, as well as providing additional levels of security; the system’s 16-port hub costs a substantial UKP12,000, with the software costing a maximum of UKP3,000 – but the company claims that with a network of 150 personal computers all clamouring for access to a host mainframe, the existing costs of traditional synchronous networking techniques would be well over double this UKP15,000 outlay. Xtendlink was first developed and released in Australia, and has been available in the US for six months; the company’s targets will include financial services, education and any large companies who have purchased personal computers in an unplanned manner.

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