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October 2, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

The sheer bulk of the IBM Corp announcements crammed in on September 11 meant that the company did not talk at all about some of the smaller, but nonetheless interesting products. Take for example the news that System/370 and System/390 users will be able to channel-attach their machines to Novell Inc NetWare local area networks. Not only will LAN Resource Extension and Services/VM and MVS enable the systems manager to turn his or her mainframe into a big file server, but IBM also claims that the product will enable local network management from the central machine – including the ability to administer user identifiers, priorities and access rights. It may sound like vapourware, but it isn’t. The product has apparently been available in the US on a Program Request Price Quotation basis since last December (PRPQ means that it does not appear in the catalogue, but if you are a big corporate IBM will see what it can do) but will now make its debut as an official catalogue item. In the UK the VM version is due in December with its MVS sibling due to be born next March. The other interesting aspect of the announcement is provision of data distribution services including the distribution of data to multiple servers from a central location, simplifying administration, and improving data consistency for NetWare users. Bad news for NetWare 2.2 users, however, the software comes in two parts – while most is resident on the mainframe, a NetWare Loadable Module is also required, meaning that only NetWare 3 users get the benefits. IBM has committed itself to providing the same functionality for Lan Server, but only when it gets around to it.

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