December Inside IBM

e-business Apps

According to most studies, as much as two-thirds of the world’s data resides on IBM servers, mostly S/390 servers. With the explosive growth of e-business, many S/390 users are choosing to modernize their applications rather than abandon. In New York this past October, IBM provided its State of the Enterprise Server briefing, including directions and new applications for the S/390.

For example, the majority of IBM’s latest tools and technology offerings, such as DB2, WebSphere Application Servers, the Enterprise edition, which now includes Component Broker, VisualAge for Java and Lotus Domino, are all available on the OS/390 operating system. IBM also provides the tools to leverage CISC and RISC technologies in an OS/390 environment, and helps to enable users to build OS/390 applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business intelligence applications. In addition, VisualAge tools support many of the industry standards, such as Enterprise JavaBeans, CORBA and XML, which helps assure users that technology developed today can be deployed in the future.

ThinkPad 390

The new ThinkPad 390 series offers three 1.8-inch thin models in an integrated design, compatibility with Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and high-end features, including a modular bay that accepts a second battery or a second hard drive. The ThinkPad 390’s integrated design combines the floppy, CD-ROM and hard drives into a single unit. An UltraBay FX bay, which supports user-swappable components including a second battery or a second SMART hard disk drive. The ThinkPad 390 models are available now through IBM resellers at prices that are expected to start at a MSRP of $1,799.

Starting with an upgradable hard drive (3.2GB to 4.3GB), the ThinkPad 390 can provide up to 10.7GB of storage with an optional 6.4GB hard drive installed in the UltraBay FX. The ThinkPad 390 series supports Windows NT Workstation 4.0, delivering advanced Windows NT Workstation functionality, including full power management, resume on ring and Hot Plug PC Card support.

The IBM ThinkPad 390 Series model 20U offers a 233MHz Intel Pentium processor with MMX technology, 12.1-inch active matrix TFT display, 32MB RAM, 3.2GB upgradeable hard drive, 24X-10X CD-ROM drive and an integrated 56K modem. The model 50U, $1,999, adds the performance of an Intel 233MHz Mobile Pentium II processor. The ThinkPad 390 model 70U, starting at a MSRP of $2,999, features a 14.1-inch active matrix TFT display, Intel 266MHz Mobile Pentium II processor, upgradeable 4.3GB hard drive and 64MB RAM. All ThinkPad 390 models include Microsoft Windows 98 and Lotus SmartSuite Millennium software.

New G5 Servers

The S/390 G5 is now offered in 27 models, with two additional models that use Modular Cooling Units - the five-way Y56 and the six-way Y66. Both models were available for installation on November 20, along with any other upgrade to or from an S/390 G5 server. The high-end turbo models (Yn6) have a uni-processor engine size of 152 MIPS and boost CMOS performance and reliability with Modular Cooled Units (MCUs), which cool the technology to 6 degrees centigrade. The Y56 and Y66 models can upgrade to a 10-way without the need for any additional hardware. This is expected to assist customers in 1999, as they test and prepare for the year 2000. The S/390 G5 Server enhancements include a new S/390 CMOS Packaging. The new multichip module (MCM) also includes 256 KB (kilobytes) on-chip private level 1 cache per processor, 8 MB (megabytes) additional shared level 2 cache, two cryptographic coprocessors, memory control and I/O hubs on one single multichip module (MCM).

IBM’s Netfinity ESCON Adapter

IBM’s Netfinity ESCON Adapter, a high-speed attachment, allows direct connection between the ESCON channel of an IBM S/390 Parallel Enterprise Servers or compatible host systems and Netfinity server.

The Netfinity ESCON Adapter can be used for direct attachment of high powered application servers running Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Business Intelligence (BI) applications to S/390 mainframes.

In effect, the Netfinity ESCON Adapter creates a seamless co-processor environment for ERP and BI. These include products from such companies as SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, BAAN and J.D. Edwards. By utilizing an efficient channel attached architecture, companies can eliminate the bottlenecks imposed by intermediate controllers and LANs, thus creating an efficient three-tier, S/390 mainframe-Netfinity server-client architecture for client/server applications.

The Netfinity ESCON adapter can also be used to consolidate gateway servers in the data center. ESCON attaching powerful gateway servers, running products like ComServer for NT, SNA Server and NetWare for SAA, allows companies to move smaller remote gateways into the data center.

The adapter supports a transfer rate of 200 Mbps over the ESCON channel, as well as IBM’s Multi-Path Channel Plus (MPC+) protocol. The result is that it can provide customers with performance improvements in excess of 40 percent, while reducing the number of host cycle required by more than 60 percent when compared to earlier ESCON access methods.

The Netfinity ESCON Adapter’s emulation firmware runs directly on the adapter’s 80960CF RISC Processor chip, meaning the processor in the Netfinity server is relieved of the task running the actual emulation, thus creating optimum design for performance and flexibility. It has an estimated reseller price of $12,500.

6400 Printer Line

IBM’s next generation of 6400 printers consists of three EuroReady models that output at speeds of 500 lines-per-minute (lpm) (model 050), 1,000 lpm (model 010) and 1,500 lpm (model 015). These printers are available as an enclosed cabinet model or as a pedestal model. At 50 dBa, the cabinet models 050 and 010 offer sub-laser acoustic levels, while the model 015 is rated at 52 dBa.

Targeting the printing of financial documents, statements, invoices, labels, multipart forms, schematics and bar codes, these impact printers support multiple datastreams; output high-quality text and graphics; require minimal consumables and have the advantages of continuous-feed printing — which include fewer jams, lower costs and more flexibility of paper sizes.

The 6400 Printer Management Utility allows users to: View a virtual operator panel, Download client software, Change printer configurations, Group multiple printers based on job requirements, View printer and port status and Define network parameters.

For management of print jobs, InfoPrint Manager provides valuable capabilities to industrial environments using ERP applications, such as SAP R/3. This separately available print management software allows users to submit, track and view the status of print jobs while confirming delivery and completion of the jobs.

The new family of 6400 printers, models 050, 010 and 015, were made generally available on October 9, with U.S. list prices starting at $5,195.