New Controller Goes Both Ways

While there are many ways to connect remote devices to an AS/400, it's always been difficult to address both IP-based and SNA-based components. A new controller lets AS/400 managers have it both ways.

Jazz/e from Decision Data (Austin, Texas) provides both IP and SNA connectivity to an AS/400 by using MPTN/AnyNet across an Ethernet topology. "Today's AS/400 users must support IP and SNA devices on IP networks, and Jazz/e is the simple alternative to more complicated, expensive controllers," says Dennis Bowler, product marketing manager for Decision Data. "Our customers wanted to be able to have access to an AS/400 from remote locations, and wanted to use IP to do so. Other controllers don't have that ability."

The controller includes 5294, 5394, 5494 and AnyNet software. The user decides which of the four options they would like to use and Jazz/e connects from 16 to 56 remote devices to an AS/400. "It comes with all the possible emulation a user would need," says Bowler.

Decision Data emphasizes the controller's configurability. If a site is using 5294, it still has the ability to reconfigure Jazz/e to use AnyNet software, says Bowler. In addition, Jazz/e uses English text during configuration, instead of encryption symbols that are typical of controller settings, he adds. "A user can select the speed and doesn't have to look at a chart to see what encryption code they have to use for that particular speed."

Because Jazz/e only uses one protocol across a network, it saves both time and money. "The cost is much lower," says Bowler. "Plus, it simplifies design and support across the network when you only have one protocol." Jazz/e doesn't require a PC or multiple diskette exchange for installation. Jazz/e controllers can also be expanded by adding TN5250 server support and LPR/LPD print support.