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June 30, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Alcatel Data Systems, the former STC Data Systems until it was acquired by the French-controlled Alcatel NV successor to ITT Telecommunications in April, has announced a new release of the NCR-Comten rewrite of IBM’s Network Control Program for multiple SNA programs which it is pitching as 25% cheaper than IBM’s own ACF/NCP Version 4 Release 1. Barnet-based Alcatel Data Systems’ Advanced Communications Function/Network Control Program Version 4.0, ACF/NCP V.4.0, is designed for use on Alcatel’s top of the range communications processors – also from Comten – and called by the company the ITT 8825 and 8826. It is functionally compatible with and has the main features of the IBM program but its key feature is Extended Network Addressing, which increases the number of terminals which can be addressed to over 8m from the 65,000 ,imit with SNA addressing constraints. The interlinking for multiple SNA networks is provided by the ITT Communications Network Gateway which is similar to IBM’s SNA Network Interconnect. However, Alcatel points out that the gateway is mainframe-independent so users do not need to modify their mainframe software or incur an overhead. Other features include high speed link transmission; forced link deactivation; enhancements for users of the Link Problem Determination Aid and the mainframe-based Network Logical Data Manager, NDLM, program; up to eight Network Control Programs can be implemented in a single processor; there is support for switched BSC devices (a feature not available from IBM that allows switched line devices such as Personal Computers to appear to mainframes as if they are attached to a dedicated line). Version 4.0 runs with MVS or VM running ACF/VTAM Version 3 Release 1.1 and 1.0; Version 2 Release 1 and 2 or Version 1 Release 3, or on mainframes running the ACF/TCAM Version 2 Release 4 access method.

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