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November 29, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Private packet-switching network vendor BBN Communications Corp has been justifying claims that the release of its Virtual Domain networking products will force an IBM rethink on X25 (CI No 1,065). BBN Communications claims the new T/100 Host-End processor based on the sexy new 88000 RISC microprocessor from Motorola Inc, although it’s like drawing teeth to get the fact out of the company – enables users to regain host and front end processor resources, eliminates the need for remote Network Control Programs, and reduces overall hardware, line and outage costs in SNA, non-SNA and non-IBM networks. The Bolt, Beranek & Newman Inc subsidiary is going after organisations using diverse networks with an SNA-orientated bias, companies experiencing pressure to integrate two conflicting networks that have been developed independently, and users whose lack of physical space prevents network expansion, with the company claiming that the system can free space previously occupied by network management requirements; it adds that potential users must genuinely perceive their networks as a corporate asset. BBN Communications, which claims to have a 24% share of the world private packet-switching network market, says that the benefits arise through improved routing, configuration management, security, resource sharing and connectivity. The company also claims that the product insulates application hosts from network changes, simplifies the 37XX front-end processor’s view of network topology, and is able to create new session routes on demand. BBN, however, doesn’t claim the product provides an overhead-free conversion of data packets to and from X25, only that it provides the benefits of X25 without waiting for IBM to develop its own similar equipment.

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