Affirmative Launches Ethernet-Based Twinax Controllers
July 27, 2004 Alex Woodie
Affirmative Computer is launching two new twinax controllers for connecting legacy AS/400 displays and printers to OS/400 servers via the IP. The iTwinax Controller Models 2407 and 2414 support seven and 14 devices respectively, and preserve the investment that OS/400 shops have made in older equipment while bringing them into today’s Ethernet networks.
Affirmative Computers, in Tempe, Arizona, is best known for its line of Windows- and Linux-based thin clients for IBM‘s iSeries and zSeries host computers. The launch of the iTwinax Controller reflects a logical extension of Affirmative’s thin-client computer line, says Robert Kosednar, a vice president with the company. “Many users are transitioning to TCP/IP networks but still want to protect their investment in twinax devices and installed cabling,” he says.
With the iTwinax Controllers, users can keep their AS/400 terminals and printers as they move to modern 10/100 Ethernet networks, both locally and in remote offices. The iTwinax Model 2407 can support up to 28 simultaneous sessions, with four sessions per twinax address, while the Model 2414 supports up to 56 sessions.
In terms of printer and display support, both controllers support all standard 5250 twinax displays, including IBM Models 5251, 5291, 5292, 3180-2, 3179-2, 3196, 3477FG & FC; extended character attributes are not supported, the company says. All 5250 SCS and IPDS Twinax-based printers are supported.
Another benefit of iTwinax Controllers is that it supports the Anynet protocol, which encapsulates SNA inside packets sent over TCP/IP. Similar controllers available on the market support neither SNA nor Anynet, says Chuck Winslow, president of Affirmative.
The iTwinax Controllers can be set up in minutes, Affirmative says, through a utility program that installs on an OS/400 server or a Windows PC. Alternatively, the company will pre-configure the controllers for customers at no extra cost. In this case, Affirmative says it will hold onto the configuration information so that the controller can be quickly replaced in the event of failure. But that is not expected to occur much, Affirmative says: the iTwinax Controller’s mean time between failure (MTBF) rating is a healthy 20,000 hours.
The iTwinax Controllers support V3R2 and later versions of OS/400. The Model 2407 costs $1495, and the 2414 costs $2,495. For more information, go to www.affirmative.net.