For some interesting reading, check out www.tpc.org Follow the TPC-C results link, then select All Results listed by Hardware Vendor Scroll down to IBM and you'll see a AS/400 Model 740 Feature 2070 c/s. The system is a 12-way with six dual processor 170's serving the 34,500 pc clients. Thats right - over 34,000 clients served by the db on the 740. The system as tested has 40GB Memory, and 2.9TB Disk (340 drives!).
Now it gets interesting. IBM configured the "system" with a second tier of AS/400 Model 170's. Just little fellows -2388's, 3.5GB Memory and 85GB Disk each ;) These 170's use BEA TUXEDO 6.4 middleware - this is big! This allows you to create your software much as you do today for greenscreen, and deploy it in a three tier, c/s environment. The demonstration I saw a couple of years ago was very, very slick. At the time I wished we could of had it available on the AS/400.
As I remember it, the client pc works with "panels" which contain a screens worth of data or more. The "panel" defines how the pc client presents the data to the user and what the user can do with the data. The "Tuxedo" serves up the client panel which is stored on the client pc. If the client already has the current panel, only the contents (data) are sent over the comm. line. If the client has a "stale" panel, Tuxedo refreshes the client with the new panel and then forwards the data. In essence, Tuxedo takes care of getting the current, up-to-date client code out to the pc client (and that, after all, is the really dificult part of c/s). And it just works. In fact if you look at the TPC-C vendor list, nearly all the Unix systems and the majority of the NT systems used Tuxedo. And it is available for /390's as well as OS/2, Linux, and Mac OS. It's an old Bell Labs spin off (I think I heard that somewhere) so it has a unix heritage.
So where does this fit in our AS/400 world? Is it as big a deal as it seems? The product is very inexpensive, and if it makes c/s viable using existing technologies, shouldn't we be looking at it?
Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with Bea, don't sell it, or use it (yet!)
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