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  1. Technology
November 15, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Irving, Texas-based NetWorth Inc has announced NetWare Switching Technology, a system said to enhance Novell Inc’s NetWare through the use of high-speed Ethernet switches coupled with NetWare Loadable Modules. According to the company, NetWare Switching maximises the performance of NetWare servers in a switched environment by synchronising the NetWare server with the Ethernet switch. This entails making the server ‘switch-aware’ via the NetSwitch Network Loadable Modules residing in it such that data throughput to NetWorth’s PowerPipes Switching Hub family is balanced and flow-controlled, says the company. There are four NetSwitch Network Loadable Modules. The first, NetSwitch Flow, is said to regulate and control 100Mbps data flow to the PowerPipes Ethernet-Fibre Distributed Data Interface Switching Hub. Flow apparently endows the server with specific knowledge of the topology of a switched network, enabling the Network Loadable Module and server to optimise throughput between the server and the Powerpipes switch. According to the company, the offering multiplexes data so as not to overflow 10Mbps switched segment buffers, thereby guaranteeing data integrity and eliminating the potential for dropped packets. The NetSwitch Balance Network Loadable Module makes the server switch aware by improving the server’s transmit and receive performance when a switch is installed on the network usising multiple server links, says the company. It is said to achieve this by using all the server Network Interface Controllers to transmit simultaneously, rather than using just one server Network Interface Controller to transmit a file to a particular segment. The NetSwitch Redundancy Network Loadable Module works in conjunction with balance and is said to enable the server to re-route traffic when a server segment goes down. According to NetWorth, when multiple server adaptors are attached to a switch, Redundancy transmits a segment integrity packet at predetermined intervals to ensure that the multiple server segments are operational. If the packet does not loop back to the server, the server then knows that a segment is down and data is then re-routed to the alternate segments, says the firm. Last up is the NetSwitch Route-Off Network Loadable Module, said to disable NetWare’s internal routing when multiple adaptors are used in a server that exists in an environment that includes internal routers or switches. All the Network Loadable Modules work with NetWare 3.11, 3.12 and 4.01 and will ship this month, says NetWorth. The NetSwitch Flow Network Loadable Module is priced at $1,995, Balance at $1,700, Redundancy at $1,000 and Route-Off at $1,000.

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