Bug Busters Enables True Object Broadcasting with RSF 7.2
October 5, 2004 Alex Woodie
OS/400 shops that need to distribute objects to hundreds of iSeries servers will be delighted to hear about the latest release of Bug Busters Software Engineering‘s Remote Software Facility. RSF Version 7.2 features a new broadcast distribution option that enables a single iSeries to send OS/400 objects, libraries, and IFS objects to any number of other iSeries in the same amount of time it would take to transmit to just one of them.
Bug Busters has been helping OS/400 shops and ISVs streamline object distribution for years with its flagship RSF utility, which is used by thousands of OS/400 shops, including ISVs like Aldon and LANSA. This spring, Bug Busters updated RSF with new “relay” distribution capabilities that significantly reduced the time required to distribute objects to a large number of OS/400 servers.
While the relay distribution capabilities in RSF 7.1 represented a big improvement in object distribution, the new broadcast option in RSF 7.2 is a “qualitative leap forward,” says Bug Busters’ chief executive, Bruce Lesnick.
“While this is indeed an improvement over having a single machine send directly to each target machine, the process still involves a separate transmission to each target machine, with all that this implies for total network traffic,” Lesnick says. “Also, with relay distribution, the total time required to transmit to all intended recipients increases with the number of recipients, albeit at a slower rate than it would if transmitting to each recipient directly.
“In RSF 7.2 we introduce true broadcast capability,” Lesnick continues. “Here, a single machine can send directly to an unlimited number of target machines simultaneously. The data transmitted only hits the network once, but is received by all. This kind of transmission takes the same amount of time for one, 10, or 1,000 recipients. And it doesn’t clog the network in the process.”
The new broadcast distribution capability is based on the TCP/IP multicast protocol. Receiving machines listen on a specific TCP/IP channel or group address, and RSF then transmits the updates to all the machines listening on that channel, simultaneously. The sending machine can track the progress of the transmission and report which machines have or have not received it, Bug Busters says. RSF also supports SSL encryption and compression for fast, secure transmissions.
Perhaps the only drawback of the new broadcast option is that a multicast-capable router and a TCP/IP network are required. For this reason, RSF users with older networks will find their peak object distribution times with the relay distribution feature of RSF 7.1. Relay distribution–in which each receiving iSeries becomes an additional sending machine, and so on, until the distributed package of objects cascades through the network–works over TCP/IP or SNA networks, or even a dialup network, Bug Busters says.
Users can interact with RSF using either a standard green-screen interface or a free PC-based GUI called RSF Express, which makes distributing objects as easily as dragging and dropping icons with a mouse.
Licenses for RSF are $575 per machine, which includes 90 days of support. The annual maintenance fee is $86. Free 30-day trial downloads of the product are available from the company’s Web site, www.bugbusters.net.