Apollo Computer Inc yesterday duly opened out its networking strategy to embrace industry standards (CI No 594), launching the Network Computing System, which it describes as the first commercially available set of distributed products for developing and running applications across networks of dissimilar computers. The System can distribute modules, or parts, of a single application to the specialised computers best suited for each module’s task – artificial intelligence engines, database machines, automatic test equipment, simulators, parallel processors, and supercomputers. It can also automatically use idle computers on the network, and distribute program modules concurrently for even higher levels of computer interactivity. Apollo accompanied the generic tools with Network Computing System source code for Unix-based systems and DEC VAX/VMS systems. The System is written in C and its fully-documented source code can be licensed, and the specifications are being made public so others can independently implement the system without a licence. licensing costs. The system is based on industry-standard protocols including as TCP/IP for Ethernet and DECnet, Apollo’s Domain Distributed Services), IBM SNA, and MAP/TOP, and it complements distributed file systems such as NFS, RFS, and Apollo’s Domain by providing the computational sharing absent from those systems. Pricing for Network Computing Systems components are: NDL Compiler, $1,000 per node or $8,500 per site; NDL Source Code, $25,000; Unix Runtime Source Code, $1,000; NCS VAX/VMS Source Code, $1,000; Network Computing Architecture Public Specification, $80; and Apollo-Specific NCS Documentation and Run time Source Code, $250. All will be out in the third quarter 1987.
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