Attachmate to Make Peace between W2K and Unix Workstations

Due to its stability, reliability, and performance, Windows 2000 Professional will likely replace for existing Unix and Linux workstations in many environments. For its part, Attachmate Corp. ( hopes IT organizations that choose to deploy Windows 2000 systems alongside entrenched Unix and Linux workstations will give its KEA! X Enterprise 2000 PC-to-host/PC X-Server suite a long, hard look.

The KEA! X Enterprise 2000 suite is certified to interoperate with Windows 2000. According to Attachmate, KEA! X Enterprise 2000 supports several terminal emulation standards and terminal application-types, including X.11 (X-Windows), TN3270, TN5250, and some of the former Digital Equipment Corp.'s VT standards.

But as Windows NT and Windows 2000 displace lower-end Unix workstations, terminal emulation and vanilla PC X-Servers don't cut it anymore. Consequently, PC-to-host connectivity vendors have developed a new generation of PC X-Servers that are capable of at least partially rendering the demanding scientific, graphic-design and 3-D animation applications traditionally hosted on Unix platforms.

As a result, KEA! X Enterprise 2000's X-Server complement -- the revamped KEA! X 5.0 -- is no different, offering support for the latest version of the X protocol, as well as faster X application display performance and enhanced support for copying between Windows NT/2000 and the X-Windows environment.

The X Protocol is notoriously bandwidth intensive, and -- despite the best efforts of a talented network of programmers -- remains difficult to effectively implement over low-bandwidth connections. KEA! X Enterprise 2000, therefore, ships with the Attachmate technology dynamic Low Bandwidth X, which facilitates X Protocol displays over a dial-up connection.

Deb Wheeler-Brown, director of product marketing at Attachmate, says her company is positioning KEA! X Enterprise 2000 as a tool for either tolerating and abetting the move of Windows 2000 in environments traditionally dominated by Unix or by host-based operating systems, or as a solution to help migrate from Unix or host-based environments to Windows 2000 on the client and on the server.

"Organizations requiring access to mission-critical enterprise information typically require multiple host access solutions," she says. "With KEA! X Enterprise 2000, Attachmate is able to provide a Windows 2000 certified, multihost solution to Unix-centric organizations as they migrate to the Windows 2000 platform."

Attachmate says that the KEA! X 5.0 PC X-Server offers robust OpenGL support and supports the GLX extension to the X protocol, which enables X applications to use OpenGL remotely. This is of particular interest to 3-D designers who work with CAD or CAM.

"With support for OpenGL, we are now able to cater to a large segment of the manufacturing and CAD/CAM marketplace," Wheeler-Brown says.

Now that Windows 2000 is here, Rob Enderle, senior analyst at Giga Information Group Inc. (, anticipates that lower-cost Windows PCs will begin to replace their *nix counterparts in both the low end and middle tiers of the workstation marketplace. Consequently, Enderle affirms, Windows and *nix workstations more than ever will need to coexist with one another. Tools like KEA! X Enterprise 2000 make such interoperability possible.

"A Windows 2000 workstation is going to be cheaper than a Unix workstation. The Windows 2000 product is substantially faster in all configurations than [is] the Windows NT product that preceded it, so that puts the Windows 2000 product within striking distance of Unix workstations even higher up the food chain," he notes.