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June 17, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM has cheerfully accepted that it can no longer afford to stand aloof from the rest of the industry and regard showmanship as beneath it. These days it is quite unconcerned to be overheard talking about VAXkillers, and is not above directly mocking its tormenters. Thus it was at this week’s much-touted communications software launch, the company underlined the nature of its target by cheekily exhibiting a DEC VAX among its own products that could be embraced by the new networking schema. Speaking before an audience in New York and via a live closed-circuit TV link to another group at the National Computer Conference in Chicago, IBM vice president Larry Ford declared nobody is easier to hook to IBM than IBM. Ford also told his audience that the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, which sponsors the NCC, named the 9370 product of the year. There are still no prices from IBM UK for the new products: herewith US prices. For the new ACF/VTAM releases, prices run from $963 for a DOS/VSE version to $6,255 for an MVS/XA version. Delivery of this software starts now for VSE shops; various versions and features for users of more advanced operating systems can will see their software released (in phases) all during 1988. NetView 2.0, with new automation features, is designed to facilitate central management of distributed 9370 systems. MVS/XA versions, to be released in the fourth quarter of this year, cost $37,650 to $60,240, depending on MIPS; VM versions will come a year later at $9,020 to $36,095. There’s also a NetView/PC release, at $2,200, to manage local area and voice nets, to be released in December. NetView Network Definer, for $2,240 to $8,960 (depending on system MIPS) is a presumably friendly package that helps a user set up an SNA network. It runs under VM, and it is aimed at mid-range and small mainframes that must be installed in the boondocks by less-than-hotshot personnel. It will be released in December. Also for the site lacking JCL jocks is VM/IS Productivity Facility, a menu-oriented shell program that rides above VM and all user applications; set for release on July 10, it costs $1,140 to $2,000 depending on the MIPS rating of the host computer.

Silly software graveyard

A related product, available now, provides similar access to VM; VM/Interactive Productivity Facility version 2 is a redo of the version 1 product that was mercifully sent to the silly software graveyard. It costs $900 to $3,600, based on mainframe MIPS. A new VM/Distributed Systems Node Executive manages distribution of new software, software changes, files and maintenance through the SNA network to distributed 9370 systems, so that VM programs developed centrally can be distributed to the field. Priced at $2,880 to $11,520, depending on MIPS, it will be out in the second quarter of 1988. And ACF/VTAM, NetView, and the Remote Spooling Communications Subsystem are bundled up into a Networking Support Package option for packaged VM/IS 5. $28,200 for a 9370 on up to $106,620 when used with a 3090, the whole ball of code – VM/IS Base – will be phased in during July and August.

Serious rival

As its has done in the past with reel-to-reel tapes from Siemens, IBM has agreed to sell a Model 1589 tape transport made by Telex, a serious rival in the 3270 market. The model 1589 tape for the 9370 line runs via a block multiplexor channel card and comes in A versions that include a controller ($26,500 or $27,000 depending on rack mounting hardware) and a B version – no controller – that link to As ($20,200 for 1-metre rack mount) as well as an A-plus-B 1.6-metre rack set ($44,000). The Telex tapes will be shipped starting in August.

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