OS/400 Edition
Volume 3, Number 5 -- February 4, 2003

Maximum Availability Rolls Out More Support for OS/400 Objects

by Alex Woodie

Maximum Availability came one step closer last week to delivering an OS/400 high availability software package that matches its competitors in features and functionality. The New Zealand company announced that Release 7 of its *noMAX data replication software now supports the replication of user profiles, an important enhancement that allows users to sign on to a backup server with the same level of access and the same passwords they had on the primary OS/400 server.


Maximum Availability's developers built *noMAX utilizing IBM's remote journaling facilities, which the developers say makes *noMAX extremely fast at database replication. However, many companies' high availability needs go beyond moving just their customer data from the primary machine to the backup machine. To fully duplicate a primary AS/400 or iSeries server's behavior and capabilities, a range of OS/400 objects, as well as data, need to be constantly shuffled back and forth to the backup server. High availability solutions from Maximum Availability's traditional competitors have supported object replication in their offerings for years.

Maximum Availability, still a few months shy of its third birthday, began rolling out support for replication of OS/400 objects, including physical files, data areas, and data queues, with the general availability of *noMAX Release 7 last fall. The added capability of replicating user profiles, which was just added, is available to all *noMAX users with a PTF update.

Simon O'Sullivan, Maximum Availability's sales director, says user profile replication is a critical element of iSeries replication and a feature that the company's customers have been requesting. "Our priority at Maximum Availability is to keep expanding the functionality of *noMAX according to the needs of our customer base," he says. "We are delighted to add user profiles to the list of over 35 OS/400 system objects that *noMAX supports, in addition to database replication."

Maximum Availability previously suggested workarounds for customers who wanted to replicate objects, in addition to data. For instance, it recommended using Operations Navigator (which has since been renamed iSeries Navigator) to replicate user profiles between OS/400 servers. It also recommended using third-party spool file utilities to replicate spool files, which could contain invoices and other documents. With last week's announcement, Maximum Availability has brought user profiles within the bounds of *noMAX's remote-journaling-powered replication.

Maximum Availability has developed what it thinks is a new and very smart way to replicate objects, and it has applied for patents to prevent its competitors from using the same techniques. While not divulging technical details, O'Sullivan says *noMAX is able to replicate changes made to user profiles as they occur, not after they occur. The company's technique also allows it to replicate only the data in a user profile that has been changed, as well as replicating the entire user profile, depending on needs.

Later this year, the company is expected to roll out a new release of *noMAX that will support the replication of objects in Integrated File System (IFS) files. Maximum Availability's customers have been requesting this capability, and it will be an important enhancement. O'Sullivan says Maximum Availability is committed to providing functional parity between *noMAX and other data replication and mirroring products on the market, which is a shift from an earlier focus on replicating user data, which, Maximum Availability says, accounts for 99 percent of the changes that are typically made, and thus what matters most.

In other Maximum Availability news, the company says momentum continues to build around *noMAX, with new customers--including a large New Zealand telecom company that is about to go live, and a large American cable news network that is testing the software. In the last four months, the company says, it has sold licenses to about half a dozen additional OS/400 shops in the United States and the United Kingdom, bringing the total number of *noMAX users around the world to about 30. Another half-dozen resellers have also been signed up recently. The company also recently moved its headquarters from Auckland to Wellington, New Zealand.

*noMAX is available in the United States through Maximum Availability resellers LXI, BCC Technologies, and others. For more *noMAX information, free trial downloads, or pricing information, visit Maximum Availability's Web site at

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News Briefs and Product Shorts

Alex Woodie

Managing Editor
Shannon Pastore

Contributing Editors:
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Shannon O'Donnell
Timothy Prickett Morgan

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Jenny Thomas

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Kim Reed

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