End of AnyNet Support is Good News for 10ZiG’s e-Twinax Controller
April 20, 2010 Alex Woodie
System i shops that have adopted the AnyNet protocol to provide a lifeline for older twinax devices are facing a decision with i/OS 7.1, which becomes available at the end of the week. The AnyNet protocol, which allowed SNA traffic to flow over older IP networks, is no longer supported starting with i/OS 7.1. One option for these customers–besides finally moving to a pure IP network–is provided by 10ZiG Technology, which continues to deliver IP connectivity for twinax devices with its e-Twinax Controller network bridge.
The e-Twinax Controller was unveiled more than 10 years ago to provide TCP/IP compatibility with older twinax devices, such as dumb terminals and printers, that were originally designed to communicate via IBM‘s proprietary SNA network protocol. The controller, which has been installed in thousands of locations, was formerly developed by B.O.S.–Better Online Solutions, and is now owned and distributed by 10ZiG Technology, which bought the rights to the old BOS and BOSaNOVA products a year ago.
A firmware upgrade update on the e-Twinax Controller was all that was required to support the new i/OS 7.1 operating system, according to 10ZiG.
The end of support for the AnyNet protocol in i/OS 7.1 could be a boon for e-Twinax Controller sales. AnyNet provided a way to run SNA communications over standard IP networks, and offered similar capabilities to the e-Twinax Controller. System i shops have had ample warning that i/OS 6.x was the last release of the operating system to support AnyNet, yet there are likely many organizations still using AnyNet to connect their servers to dumb terminals and printers.
That’s good news for 10ZiG, according to Martin Pladgemann, the president of the Phoenix, Arizona, company. “With IBM stating that they will no longer support AnyNet with the latest release, we’re pleased to have an award-winning product that will fulfill the need for customers with Twinax devices,” he states.
The e-Twinax Controller could be just the ticket for companies that don’t see much benefit in spending thousands of dollars to replace functioning dumb terminals and printers, especially in small or remote offices or warehouses. While these devices are likely at least a decade old and relatively cheap and very powerful replacements are available, the old mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” could hold sway.
The e-Twinax Controller provides network connectivity for up to 112 local or remote SNA, AnyNet, MPTN devices over standard TCP/IP. The device, which fits into standard 19-inch racks, is managed from a Web browser, features a built-in firewall and encryption, and can function as an IP gateway.
10ZiG is distributing the e-Twinax Controller under through its BOSaNOVA division. 10ZiG, which formerly went by the name BOSaNOVA, acquired the majority of the legal rights to the BOSaNOVA products from B.O.S. late last year.