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July 8, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

While Louis Gerstner wrestles with the problem of how to deal with his bloated sales force, and the UK subsidiary, with its 30 new vertical market and product business groups, is cast in the role of guinea pig for the whole company (CI No 2,201), a few more hints have emerged of IBM Corp’s parallel mainframe plans, and there are suggestions that by next year – some see the thing being announced this autumn, IBM will announce a parallel database processor built of ES/9000 microprocessors, under the control of the Posix-compliant release of MVS. Computerwoche reported earlier this year that both the database and MVS Open Edition (CI No 2,167) are currently being tested by an unknown user. However, according to Guy Harrison, director of enterprise systems and head of the mainframe development laboratory in Poughkeepsie, New York, there is a snag – not all IBM mainframe users will be able to use the group’s parallel technology. At the heart of the database is a so-called Shared Data Facility, which controls and monitors data flow, selecting specific processors to deal with given tasks. A Workflow Manager allocates resources to any remaining tasks. While as many as 48 ES/9000 systems can be linked via IBM’s Sysplex architecture, the Shared Data Facility doesn’t work with old mainframe models. Moreover, and only customers with the newest releases of MVS and DB2, that is MVS version 4.3 and DB2 version 3.1, will be able to use the database. As for other plans, a par allel machine run ning CICS and DL1 for transaction processing should be ready by mid- 1994. And a paral lising tool to help restructure exist ing applications so they can benefit from parallel CPUs should be ready later this year.

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