IBM has confirmed its intentions to beef up the AS/400's Web server capabilities, with increased support for Java and interfaces for Fast Ethernet and ATM Networks.
According to the systems giant, users are asking for upgrades that will make the computer work effectively as a corporate Web server that requires minimal configuration. Analysts believe that IBM, like other vendors with proprietary servers, sees the Web as a chance to give its minicomputer line a new lease of life.
The company plans to roll out 100Mbps Fast Ethernet interfaces for the AS/400 by the third quarter of 1997 and will add 155Mbps ATM interfaces next year. It also plans to make Sun?s Java Virtual Machine an integral part of the AS/400 microcode.
?Users will get all the components from IBM already integrated so that it is just a matter of turning it on,? said Paul Fryer, senior consultant at IBM?s AS/400 business. ?Java will start appearing in the servers by the first quarter next year.? This builds on the strategy that IBM has pursued for several years of making the AS/400 a 'plug and play' mini.
According to Fryer, users will start to use AS/400s as Web servers because of their ease of use and security. ?Users will be able to put their own applications on the Internet and effectively use the full security built into the AS/400,? he said.
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