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December 7, 1993

TANDEM, UNGERMANN UNIT TO DO FAULT-TOLERANT NETS

By CBR Staff Writer

It has been an extraordinary length of time in coming – Tandem Computers Inc bought Ungermann-Bass Inc way back in February 1988 – but the two have finally introduced what observers had assumed would be first fruits of the alliance – extending fault-tolerance from the server right through the network to the desktop. The new products, collectively called NonStop Access for Networking, will be available in the first quarter 1994 and represent the first offerings in a framework for reliable client-server computing to be known as the Trusted Network, Tandem says. NonStop Access for Networking includes a recommended network topology for higher availability of computing resources; a new MasterLAN FT dual-port local network adaptor for MS-DOS, Windows and OS/2 personal computers, and paired local net connections in the server. The combination is designed to create a network that will withstand any single point of failure at the server and through the network out to the desktop; all fault-tolerant operations are handled at the device driver level, so that off-the-shelf applications can be used without change. The claimed reduction in failures causing downtime is 82%. The additional cost of creating a fault-tolerant path to the desktop is $210 per station for adaptors, ports and wiring. As well as the MasterLAN FT board, which supports concurrent physical links to paired Ethernet local net hubs, the system requires Tandem’s new NonStop Himalaya servers, which include two local network controllers, each connected to two processors, with the input-output process in the server monitoring both primary and secondary network paths. The MasterLAN FT, at $200 will be sold by both.

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