Soft ICP: PC & Linux Hardware

The Future Has Always Been Linux.

Posts Tagged ‘novell’

Netframe: Sweet, Sweet Client-Server Mastery.

An oldie but a serious goodie.

How do you bring UNIX client-server applications to Novell NetWare networks? In the past, users have had two alternatives: run Portable NetWare (now called NetWare for UNIX) on a UNIX server, or have separate servers on the net running NetWare and UNIX. The first way is slow; the second, expensive. Now, NetFrame Systems offers a new approach: a multi-processor server that runs NetWare on one processor and UNIX on the others. NetFrame went public in June, the first “superserver” company to do so. I recently visited the firm in Milpitas, CA, to observe its innovative architecture. What I saw could well become a mainstream solution for UNIX on Novell networks.

NetFrame was rounded by Carl Amdahl, son of Amdahl Corp. founder, Gene Amdahl. The younger Amdahl, quite literally, learned mainframe architecture design at his father’s knee. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Carl rounded two suppliers of large-scale systems: Magnuson and Trilogy. (Magnuson enjoyed a successful IPO; Trilogy was a huge debacle.) He rounded NetFrame in 1987. Inspired by the IBM System/370, NetFrame reduced the I/O channel and other elements of mainframe architecture to VLSI and adapted them to an Intel processor. The resulting file server has very high I/O throughput while running

Once, There Was Windows NT

As NT boldly goes where only Unix went before, hopes are high for a distributed computing environment that will work happily with existing PC hardware and software. But can NT really supplant Unix, with its 25 years of proven network reliability?

Until now, serious networked applications users have turned to Unix to find tools capable of doing the job. Unix may still not have found favour on the desktop, but it was designed to be both multitasking and multi-user — making it great for the network, despite problems getting Unix and PCs to co-operate.

This paradigm is now under threat. The growth of Microsoft Windows, along with the company’s promise to deliver the 32-bit NT operating system, has raised users’ hopes that a genuine alternative to Unix is close at hand — with backward PC software compatibility.

Yet Microsoft will be at least four months late with NT. The product is a lynchpin of the company’s future success and its push into higher computing. Even taking into account the announced delay, NT has been under development for some time. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s CEO, recently revealed that the NT project actually started before IBM and Microsoft began joint work on OS/2. As one analyst said in a recent issue of PC