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  1. Technology
October 26, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

NCR Comten Inc, the St Paul, Minnesota company that is one of the brightest around when it comes to making SNA communications more accessible than IBM chooses or is able, has come up with a release of its alternative to IBM’s Network Control Program that offers access to non-IBM as well as IBM host applications, and quick switching between 3270 applications. Called MVNF for Multi-Vendor Network Facility, the package is designed to implement the switching between applications on the communications processor – any one of Comten’s family of alternatives to the IBM 37XX family of front-ends – rather than under host processor control. MVNF provides a hot key facility said to eliminate the need to go through log off and log on procedures. By doing the switching in the communications processor rather than on the host, the package is able to support non-SNA IBM hosts, non-IBM hosts, and any host on an X25 network. The package is $2,640 a year on the Comten 5620, $5,280 on the 369X family, and $5,660. In addition, the host interface costs $1,045 a year, and it requires Comten’s Communications Access Method and its ACF/NCP implementation. It due second quarter 1989. Comten also has a new release of its ACF/NCP program claimed to be functionally equivalent to IBM’s 4.1 and 4.2 releases of the eponymous program. It supports up to 20 Token Ring local area networks on the 5660, 10 on the 3695, and two on the 5620. It costs 1,936 a year on the 5620XP, plus $143 for Token Ring support; $4,298 plus $286 on the 3695, $7,392 plus $429 on the 5660. Hardware interfaces for Token Ring are $3,000, and network interface adaptors are $6,000 to $11,000.

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