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September 29, 1988updated 06 Sep 2016 12:21pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The new versions of ACF/NCP are further tuned ahead of Open Systems Interconnection With a truly daunting 60 pages of text, taking up 200Kb of disk space, in the summaries of IBM’s giant telecommunications announcement last week, it was always going to take a few days to get through it all, but today we arrive at the major software enhancements in the announcement: several SNA programs already announced have been enhanced ahead of their first shipment date, notably Advanced Communication Function/Network Control Program 4.3.1 for the 3725 communications processor, first announced on January 26, and already enhanced once for Token Ring connectivity, will now support MVS/ESA, VM/SP, and DOS/VSE in addition do straight MVS and MVS/XA. It now has extended subarea addressing, so that a single network can have more than 255 sub-areas, coupled with increased explicit route capability, so that there can be eight or 16 explicit routes between sub-areas. There is support for session accounting for cross-network sessions; support for more than one alias address per network for secondary logical units; improved transmission priority support for multipoint links; call security verification for switched sub-area connections; enhancements to usability of X21 circuit switching; enhanced modem support – the new ones, presumably; and support for the Network Asset Management facility within NetView. It’s out December 30 in the US for the MVS version, March 1989 for VM, June 1989 for DOS/VSE, and costs $2,185 or $729 a month. IBM of course has two families of 37XX communications processors now, so it needs two different releases of ACF/NCP – 4.3.1 is for the 3725, you need 5.2.1 for the 3720 and the 3745, also first announced in January and subsequently Token Ringed. Like 4.3.1, 5.2.1 has now also be widened to embrace MVS/ESA, VM/SP, VM/XA and DOS/VSE. It now offers all the other new features listed above for 4.3.1, and also offers 3745 hot standby enhancement support, and it is the network asset management capability of Release 3 of NetView that is supported. Charges are based on bandwidth as determined by the number of transmission subsystems or scanners, Token-Ring adaptors, and channel adaptors, so that with one low-speed scanner on the 3745, or one transmission subsystem on the 3720, one Token Ring Adaptor and two Channel Adaptors, you pay $15,120 or $315 a month, but at the other end of the scale, with 32 scanners or subsystems and 16 channel adaptors, or 28 scanners or subsystems, four Token Ring Adaptors and 16 Channel Adaptors, it is $75,600 or $1,575 a month. It is out next month in the MVS versions, March 1989 for VM, June 1989 for DOS/VSE. Also enhanced is version 3 of ACF/VTAM for VM/9370, announced in June as a low-cost 9370-specific VTAM. ACF/VTAM 3.2 offers extended subarea addressing – 65,535 against the previous 255, and 16 explicit routes, compared with eight. Resource ownership now allows for ownership at the Physical Unit level as well as Line level. A Session Awareness data filter enables session data filtering by VTAM rather than NetView; call security provides added security for switched sub-area connections; the X25 NCP Packet Switching Interface supports Short Hold Mode, Data Terminal Equipment ID Verification, and SNA Network Interconnect Support. VTAM UserVAR enhancements also allow additional flexibility and management of UserVARs. It costs $510 a month if you want to rent, or a one-time $4,590 on a Model Group 10 to $10,710 on a Model Group 20. The straight version 3 will be available in the US in November, the 3.2 enhancements follow for MVS and MVS/XA in December; for VM/SP and VM/9370 in March 1989; for VSE in June 1989. But two of the extensions are Program Temporary Fixes, and the Extended Subarea Addressing/Increased Explicit Routes PTF is available for all operating systems in December 1988, and the UserVAR Management PTF will be available for MVS/370 and MVS/XA in March 1989; VM/SP and VM/9370, June 1989; and VSE, September 1989. No OSI Subsystems, FTAM until 1990 Probably the most important Open Syste

ms offerings in the new IBM portfolio are the Open Systems Interconnection / Communications Subsystems for MVS/XA, MVS/ESA and VM/SP, enabling applications under those operating systems to communicate with compliant ones on alien systems. They come under the Systems Application Architecture umbrella, support concurrent use by multiple Open Systems applications, supports Open applications on both local systems and on remote ones connected to an OSI/Communications Subsystem via SNA – that had to get in there somewhere; it supports the file access transfer and management feature described below; supports connections to X25 Wide Area Networks, and profiles allowing operation in North America, Europe and Japan, and provides network management through NetView. Prices for the MVS versions range from $76,320 or $1,590 a month on Group 30 CPUs to $116,100 or $2,150 a month on Group 50s; the VM version is from $9,510 or $317 a month on the baby Group 10 9370s to $109,350 or $2,025 a month on a Group 50. Anyone wanting to implement Open Systems on an IBM system might as well go off and make a cup of coffee and have a smoke, because the MVS versions are set for March 1990 – will Summit be out by then? – and the VM version follows in June. The Open Systems Interconnection/File Services Release 1 implementation of ISO 8571 FTAM File Transfer Access & Management, which provides for file transfer and management – creation and deletion of files – between Open Systems in a multi-vendor environment. Features include support for initiator and responder, sender and receiver; Cobol and C Application Programming Interface and interactive end-user interface; network management via NetView; and participation in IBM Systems Application Architecture. In MVS and VM versions, it costs from $6,090 or $203 a month on a baby Group 10 9370 to $69,930 or $1,295 a month on a large 3090 for the VM version, $48,000 or $1,000 a month on a Group 30 – 4381 – to $72,900 or $1,350 a month on a big 3090. Don’t hold your breath – the MVS version will be out in June 1990 – that’s almost two years; VM follows in September 1990, a full two years. TCP/IP for MVS release 1 – for all MVS versions, the significance of which was explained in CI No 1,020), supports Network File System Remote Procedure Call and X Window, uses the 370 channel and supports Token-Ring, IBM PC Network, Ethernet and X25 protocols. It supports FTAM file transfer, electronic mail to remote terminals using a TSO/E user interface to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, remote terminal access using the Telnet protocol, and has a C and Pascal subroutine interface. It costs $30,240 or $630 a month on a Group 18 machine to $46,060 or $855 a month on 50s; Network File System is $5,090 or $105 to $7,780 or $145 a month with first deliveries set for June 1989.

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