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NetWorld keynoter deflates networking hype.

NetWorld Keynoter Deflates Networking Hype What users want is simple, the way William Zachmann sees it.

"Users want everything to connect to everything, with infinite bandwidth, 100% availability, and zero cost."

Zachmann, president of Canopus Research, spoke at the NetWorld 90 show in Boston, which featured 175 exhibitors and drew 12,000 attendees.

Zachmann gave a hilarious, insightful keynote debunking overblown buzzwords and concluding that "plain old analog phone-line fax" is the hottest thing going.

Blaming a "mainframe macho" mindset for keeping users from benefits of LANs, Zachmann deflated what he saw as a lot of hype in networking.

The "battle of the Titans" between AT&T and IBM never happened. The digital PBX would never supplant the LAN. ISDN would never be widespread. Fiber optics would no time soon replace all the copper out there.

The "danger" of Ethernet collisions that led to Token Ring was bogus.

The "micro-to-mainframe missing link" reminded Zachmann of pseudo-engineers trying to crack through a last layer of sediment to liberate geysers of oil. "It never was hard to connect micros and mainframes," he said. Only lack of network manager knowhow kept useful data from being tapped.

"Network management," insists Zachmann, "is only useful to the extent to which it makes the network invisible. To the extent to which it's an intrusive agent, it's not useful."

Outsourcing was always a mistake. "Networks and information systems are too important to entrust to any other organization," he stated categorically. Going outside to build and run a network was "abdication of responsibility by management."

LANs and T1s were big breakthroughs in the 80s, Zachmann said, but his award for the hottest technology--and one he figured would stay mighty hot--went to fax. "It's changed how everyone does business," Zachmann explained, before moralizing: "Don't be dazzled by technologies that fascinate. Concentrate on those that function."

Novell Hookups

On the show floor, a highlight was the Novell demonstration, showing how the blossoming of LANs into WANs can be managed efficiently.

An HP 486 ran 250 individual workstations from a gamut of vendors, with a LAN Analyzer to report network problems.

The system is compatible with older NetWare, upgrading easily. You don't have to change any workstation hardware to run 386.

The network operating system is accessible from the road. Dial the network access server from most any PC.

Routing NLMs (NetWare Loadable Modules) enable a user to run in conjunction with other LANs, so you can coexist with IBM and OS/2 environments.

A salvage command feature recovers all files the user is authorized to cover. That means less worry about losing work. You don't have to re-enter updates made after the last backup.

The cost performance benefits of distributed processing are evident. The system allows a user to access remote 386 servers from a central site by using the Remote Manager. That lets you manage network backups all over the country.

Unveilings & Products

* Banyan Systems demonstrated the most recent component of its strategy to support a heterogeneous client environment: a new version of the VINES network operating system with fully integrated OS/2 client support.

* AT&T Computer Systems unveiled a UNIX-based StarGroup incorporating Microsoft LAN Manager.

* ParaData Computer Networks and DCA/Crosstalk are working together toward a LAN dial-in product.

* SynOptics ran the whole show network over Lattisnet incorporating 10BASE-T products from several vendors--the first public demo of a live 10BASE-T network.

* Hughes LAN Systems presented hardware independence, memory relief and multiprotocol connectivity with products providing desktop PCs and PS/2s access between LAN and network resources.

* Citel America presented a new surge protector line for thin and twisted-pair Ethernet.

* Eicon Technology and US Sprint formed a relationship to provide a LAN-to-WAN link.

* Andrew Corp. unveiled a remote source routing Token Ring bridge.

* Cabletron unveiled its latest Ethernet and fiber-optic products, diagnostic and test equipment, cable and accessories.

* Fujitsu introduced a data storage subsystem with more than 2 Gb of online capability. A new version of StorEdge was operating on a NetWare 386 network.

* DEC announced OS/2 capability and extended network application support to labs and shop floors.

* Retix announced an X.400 Developer's Workbench for the 386 environment so Novell MHS developers can link applications with a new product in the Retix OpenServer 400 series.

* Vortex Systems' new RetroChron is its latest continuous, unassisted backup system for NetWare 386.

* ISICAD announced a joint agreement and support for Novell NetWare, bringing workgroup CAD to PCs.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Canopus Research Pres at NetWorld 90 show
Author:Gitlin, Bob
Publication:Communications News
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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