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September 12, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

The battle between IBM and DEC for account control is warming up according to Computer Systems News, and likely to escalate further when DEC reveals its strategy for managing IBM networks, part of which emerged with its joint announcement with Systems Center Inc on the tying it the Net/Master product with DECmcc (CI No 1,508). IBM has already shown its hand with the ill-defined SystemView announcement and much-needed addition of LU6.2 to Netview. Whether DEC is successful or otherwise may hinge on its ability to provide a Token-Ring local area network and secondly, to convince users that it can manage both local area networks and the SNA backbone more efficiently than IBM. If DEC can do those things, then IBM may find it has a serious rival for SNA data centre management contracts, and Computer System News believes that SNA management capability will be strategic to DEC’s Facilities Management Services Business Unit. The publication also claims that Proteon Inc, Vitalink Communications Corp, and Simpact Associates Inc are ready to help DEC with Token-Ring product and software support. DEC is regarded as being experienced in the development and management of bridges and routers, but IBM’s adoption of LU6.2 provides a means to manage internetworked local area networks, a recognised shortcoming of Netview. Observers expected DEC to make a number of Token-Ring announcements at DECworld ’90 earlier this year, but the company failed to do so and seems likely to introduce new products at the forthcoming NetwWorld ’90 in Dallas and DECville, currently going on in Cannes. Some of those have been developed internally, but others are collaborations with Proteon, Simpact and Vitalink. The paper says that Simpact is developing a Token-Ring adaptor for DEC’s Q-Bus MicroVAXs, although the company refused to confirm that. DEC has said previously that it intends to build an SNA interface into its DECmcc director, and it is believed to be developing those interfaces at present. However, some analysts say that DEC has a long way to go since it has to develop function and access modules that will accept NetView commands and generate NetView alerts. Nonetheless, a number of companies are looking to channel SNA traffic over Open Systems Interconnection backbones, and on that count, DEC certainly has the lead on IBM.

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