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  1. Technology
March 1, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

The mainframe to Unix communications specialist Brixton Systems Inc, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been acquired by Computer Network Technology Corp of Maple Grove, Minnesota. Computer Network is a $55m-a-year turnover company that specialises in high-speed mainframe channel networking systems. Brixton, which did under $5m in revenues last year, is expected to remain as a separate business unit, which will complement Computer Network’s current business. Brixton has recently extended its suite of SNA/TCP/IP communications tools, originally on SunOS, to include Solaris 2.x and x86, HP-UX, AIX, Santa Cruz Operation Inc Unix, UnixWare and Windows and Windows NT. Its software is also available on Cray Research Inc’s Sparc-based SuperServer 6400. Brixton has won OEM deals from the likes of Sequent Computer Systems Inc, Cabletron Systems Inc and Banyan Systems Inc, and its products are bundled in with Network Computing Devices Inc X-terminals. In addition, it also has some high profile customers, including General Electric Co, Ford Motor Co, Federal Express, and the brand new Chemical Bank trading floor in New York, where a network of Sun Microsystems Inc workstations handle up to 1,000 concurrent 3270 and 5250 sessions, each having three windows open to access programmes running on IBM AS/400s and mainframes. Brixton’s software-only system can offer both Systems Network Architecture-to-Unix and Unix-to-Systems Network Architecture communications, enabling SNA/3270 terminals to talk to Unix and Windows servers, something the company claims is only rivalled by using proprietary front-end processors from the likes of NCR Corp and Unisys Corp. Its BrxPU5 virtual mainframe technology actually emulates an IBM Corp mainframe, so that an IBM terminal user can access data or an application running on a Unix computer that looks and feels exactly like the mainframe application. It can also handle the block mode workings of CICS applications, originating from Unix versions of CICS from VIsystems Inc, Integris Inc and IBM itself. The deal is expected to be closed by the end of the month.

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