IBM Global Network to get $250,000 upgrade

IBM Global Network is bracing for the arrival of $250,000 worth of new hardware, which will boost the speed and functionality of of New Zealand network.

The upgrade to the Local Interface Gateway, which consists of industrial-strength RS6000 machines and rack-mounted US Robotics modems on a LAN, will take IBM's service to 28.8kbps, but "28.8 is the least of it," according to IBM GlobalNet services manager Terry Bowden.

"Our current gateway equipment is high-end PS2s. They run OS/2 so they're fairly rugged, but the Intel chip has its limits, even with a co-processor card for each port. The RS6000s will support far more lines and the new system adds additional functionality, including support for Internotes."

IBM has been rolling out Lotus Notes throughout its local operation, and the demands of IBM's internal and Internet use and customer needs both prompted the upgrade, which has been planned for three months. The Local Interface Gateway system is already being installed at a number of US locations and will become standard for IBM's network worldwide.

Another local initiative following a global IBM trend is IBM GlobalNet's peering arrangement with NZIX at Waikato, which means that almost all New Zealand Internet users can now gain direct access to Web sites hosted locally by IBM, rather than being routed through the US.

"The accent is on being as well-connected as possible, and on managing our bandwidth well," says Bowden. "Globally, we use our own network as the preferred delivery vehicle for site visitors and our customers."

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