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October 17, 1990updated 06 Sep 2016 12:17pm

IBM SYSTEM/390 ANNOUNCEMENTS

By CBR Staff Writer

The Enterprise Systems Connection

Director Model 1 For most people, the headline-grabbing item in the welter of announcements that heralded System/390 – or ES/9000: IBM can’t make up its mind – was the addition of fibre optic channels. As usual, it amounted to rather less than met the eye, at least for competitors that had offered something similar for years, but IBM isn’t about technological firsts, it’s all about marketing, and marketing dreamed up the imposing Enterprise Systems Connection Director tag for the concept. Model 1 uses fibre optics to connect and switch among Escon channels and control units. It is available with eight, 12 or 16 connection ports, and it supports the attachment of the Escon Converter Model 1 which is used to attach control units with parallel interfaces. It also supports Converter Model 2 which enables 3990 Storage Control Units with Escon adaptors to attach to parallel channels on some 3090 and 4381 processors. IBM says that systems management is improved since communications options, configuration and change management have been enhanced. To customise the any-to-any characteristics of the Director Model 1, there is a panel-driven operator interface. The Director also includes an interface to the host that allows an application program to control more than one Director from a host site. A Director can be partitioned into multiple elements to ensure security across applications sharing the same Director. Change management is said to be easier since control units and Escon channels can be added and disconnected from the Director without affecting the rest of the system. The Directors facilitate distances of over five miles between processors with a repeater. IBM says that it intends to provide an offering that will enable up to four Escon Directors to share the services of a single operator console sequentially for operational control of a Director. Model 1 attaches to Escon channels on 3090Js Models 180 and above, 9000Ts, and the rest of ES/9000s. Fibre optic cables are required for attaching the Director to other devices, and IBM will provide a standard length duplex to duplex 62.5 and 125 micron fibre optic jumper cable – 400ft maximum – for initial equipment orders. It supports fibre optic links that include 62.5 or 125 micron 800MHz/Km bandwidth trunk cable up to 10,000 feet and 50 or 125 micron 800MHz/Km bandwidth trunk cable up to 6000 feet. Available November 1990, the Escon Director Model 1 costs $45,000, and four-port upgrades are $7,000.

Escon Converter Model 1

Escon Converter Model 1 enables the attachment of eight input-output devices with parallel channel adaptors to Escon channels. It attaches to 3380 and 3390 disks, several magnetic tape devices, display controllers and workstations, teleprocessing devices, channel-to-channel adaptors, and Escon directors. Converter Model 1 supports data streaming up to 4.5Mbytes per second, but the Escon channel operating in Converter Model 1 mode supports input output devices only in block multiplex mode, and not in byte multiplex mode or selector mode. Available now, the Converter Model 1 costs $15,000 with $20 monthly maintenance charges.

3990 Escon Adaptors

IBM says that 3990 Escon adaptor features enable 3990 Models 2 or 3 and some 3390 and 3380 disks to participate in the Escon environment, and extends equipment range beyond the current 400ft range up to 5.6 miles when used with Escon Directors. Installed 3990s can be field-upgraded or new 3990s can be ordered with Escon adaptor ports, parallel ports or a combination the of adaptor and parallel ports. When a 3990 Model 3 with an Escon adaptor feature operates with an Escon channel, data transfers between cache channel can operate at 10Mbytes per second. When a 3990 Model 2 is attached to a channel via an adaptor feature, data transfer occurs at device speed. A 3990 with Escon Adaptor features can attach to 16 Escon Connection Channels, eight on each 3990 cluster. When operating with any of the three Escon Adaptor features or the Escon Converter Model 2, the 3990 operates in no

nsynchronous mode. IBM says that 3990 orders must include an 8171 four-channel switch parallel, or an Escon adaptor with two ports, or an adaptor with four ports. The base 3390 with two-path storage control is $47,230, $83,210 with four paths. Four paths and 32Mb cache is $184,450, with 64Mb cache it’s $261,250, 128Mb cache is $414,850, and the four-path storage control with 256Mb cache is $722,050. Escon features are from $15,000 to $31,960, and conversions are $35,980 to $704,820.

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The Escon Director Model 2

Escon Director Model 2 ranges in size from 28 to 60 connection ports in increments of four which may attach to either channels or control units. It also supports attachment of Converter Model 1 to attach control units with parallel interfaces, and Converter Model 2 which enables 3990 storage control units with Escon adaptors to attach to parallel channels on some 3090s and 4381s. As with Model 1, IBM promises an offering that enables up to four Escon Directors to share the services of a single console. IBM will provide fibre optic jumper cables for up to 50% of the Model 2 ports, and like Model 1, the maximum is 400ft. The Escon Director is available for 3090s Model 180 up, for 9000Ts, and the ES9000 range. Model 2 is $135,000, and increments of four come in at $11,000 each.

Escon Converter Model 2

The Escon Converter Model 2 allows the attachment of 3990 Storage Control with Escon adaptors to parallel channels on specified processors. IBM says that, in most cases, it provides a migration path to the Escon architecture environment without modifying either the processor or the application software. Each Escon Converter Model 2 provides access from one parallel channel to one 3990 Storage Control Escon channel adaptor. Multiple converters may be configured to a single 3390 Storage Control Escon channel adaptor using the dynamic routing capabilities of an Escon Director. Model 2 uses the same dimension fibre optic cable as the Escon channels and 3044 Fibre Optic Channel Extender Link. It supports data streaming up to 4.5M-bytes per second, although the rate is dependent on the processor, control unit and disks attached to the 3990, and the 3380 maximum data rate is 3Mbytes per second. The Escon Converter Model 2, which won’t be available until second quarter 1992, costs $15,000 and $20 minimum monthly maintenance charge.

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