Lakeview Technology’s on the FastPath to AS/400 Clustering
With the release of OS/400 V4R4, the AS/400 began to incorporate cluster-enabling capabilities into its operating system. Lakeview Technology (Oak Brook, Ill.) hopes to take advantage of this new OS/400 capability with the release of MIMIX FastPath, a new clustering solution for ISVs and AS/400 customers with custom applications.
MIMIX FastPath provides tools and services for implementing a clustering environment without requiring extensive modifications to the application code. Modifying application code to work with specific APIs in OS/400, a procedure often necessary in order to implement clustering solutions, requires expertise in high availability. In conjunction with MIMIX FastPath, Lakeview Technology makes this expertise available to customers. Consultants work with the application provider to develop a clustering implementation based on customers’ specific needs.
“When we made the decision to offer this service, we realized designing for high availability is not a core competence for ISVs. So we thought, who does have this availability?” asks Glenn van Benschoten, Lakeview’s director of Product Marketing. “Well, Lakeview does.”
Consulting with Lakeview during the applications development process assists customers seeking to gain IBM’s “ClusterReady” or “ClusterProven” status. The designation of specific ISV applications as ClusterReady or ClusterProven is meant to emphasize the critical role vendors and business partners play in creating effective clustering technology. In an IBM White Paper on AS/400 clustering technology, Sharon L. Hoffman wrote, “AS/400 clustering alliances between IBM, High-Availability Business Partners (HABPs) and ISVs achieve far more than any of the three contributors could hope for without the participation of the other two.”
Being certified by IBM as “ClusterReady” is valuable to ISVs, because users have displayed increasing interest in clustering solutions, according to van Benschoten. Growing demand for better reliability and high availability has attracted the attention of software developers as well as hardware vendors and their business partners.
“As they got past their Y2K stuff and picked their head up to look to the future, the ISVs realized this is an area they ought to be investing in,” he explains.
MIMIX FastPath’s features include the Application Cluster Enabler (ACE), an integrated software tool used to analyze an application and create ClusterProven-compliant cluster elements, and Application Cluster Template (ACT), which enables the application to interface with the OS/400. It also features MIMIX FastPath Services and FastPath Support for additional assistance and information.
As a longtime supplier of high-availability solutions for AS/400, Lakeview saw it as a natural step to develop an application to complement the new, more cluster-friendly OS/400. As IBM continues to improve and expand the scope of AS/400 clustering technology, Lakeview hopes to continue providing solutions to enhance its capability.
“Prior to V4R4, the place people looked for a total clustering solution was Lakeview,” says van Benschoten. “…What the AS/400 division is doing is they’re embarking on a journey, and that journey starts with MIMIX.”
MIMIX FastPath for AS/400 is expected to be generally available this month. Pricing is based on application requirements and branding.
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