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July 19, 1994 No. 76

New IBM AS/400 Improvements

IBM has recently announced enhancements to its popular AS/400 line of computer systems. In an effort to reposition the AS/400 as a key component to client/server installations, IBM has improved the overall performance of its communication components, including PC Support/400 software and the APPC protocol.

Niakwa performed benchmark tests of NPL and NDM for the AS/400 with an IBM AS/400 Model 9404-135 using the latest revisions of PC Support/400 and OS/400 (both V2R3M0). Two classes of tests were performed. The first test performed blocked reads on existing data to generate a report. The other simulated an order-entry system using file-intensive reads and writes to perform lookups and update order history files. Test results showed a 30-50 percent increase in throughput over the previous revisions of the system software. Developers wishing to improve performance should contact their IBM representative to obtain the latest revisions of PC Support/400 and OS/400.

An even newer addition to its client/server systems is IBM's AS/400 "Advanced Series" line. These systems are the first totally optimized from the ground up for client/server computing. These systems run a new operating system-- OS/400 V3R1M0, with APPC and network communications components fully tuned for client/server use. On the client side, PC Support/400 is completely replaced with a new product, Client Access/400. Offering similar capabilities as PC Support, Client Access offers improved emulation, database access, and shared folders, as well as enhanced MS-Windows support.

NOTE: At the time of publication of this Tech Note, Niakwa had not yet been able to review NPL related performance on an AS/400 "Advanced Series" model.

Developers should be aware of this fast-growing market as the AS/400 quickly becomes the client/server computing choice of many companies. Niakwa offers NPL and NDM for the AS/400 using MS-DOS based client workstations, and soon plans to release a version supporting MS-Windows workstations.

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