File Transfer Tool Adjusts To AS/400

Until recently, it was a safe bet that most of the critical data in large telecommunications, financial and other organizations came off mainframes.

With more AS/400, Unix and Windows NT systems coming on the scene, Sterling Software Inc. (Reston, Va.) is extending its MVS mainframe-centric file transfer management tool – Solve:Operations for File Transfer – to support Unix and FTP-based file transfers from platforms such as the AS/400. This will be followed later in the year by actual supporting agent software running on AS/400 as well as Windows NT servers.

Version 2.0 of Solve:Operations – which began shipping this spring – is used for file transfers in multi-platform, multi-system environments, particularly where unreliable file transfers result in lost productivity and financial penalties.

Later in the year, Sterling plans to release a version of File Transfer that works with AS/400 and Windows NT agents, says Grant Bilbow, product manager with Sterling. "A lot of data isn’t necessarily on MVS systems any longer," he adds. "Whatever the platform, that data still needs to be reliable, and we need to ensure that it gets through."

Version 2.1 is structured for files interacting with Unix, AS/400 and other non-mainframe environments, according to Bilbow. The latest release includes support for Patrol Knowledge Module for Unix from BMC Software (Houston, Tex.). With this feature, File Transfer will interact with agents on Unix boxes, enabling implementation of File Transfer "in large Unix installations," he says.

Another feature, FTP monitoring, provides stronger support to another method of mainframe-to-AS/400 file transfers. "There is critical data now going from AS/400s to MVS systems using FTP," Bilbow says. "That’s a little bit scary, but FTP is cheap to use, and it actually works. You need to be aware of your business-critical data transfers in relation to FTP."