TechTalk: Deciding Between Token Ring and Etherne

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Deciding Between Token Ring and Ethernet

From: David Knittle To: All

We are about to implement our network and are being asked why we have selected to go token ring rather than Ethernet. Actually, we made our decision back before Ethernet was available on the AS/400. My question is: is anyone running Ethernet on the AS/400? We are very heavy PC Support users and are beginning to develop cooperative applications. What are the speed ramifications, the AS/400 performance ramifications, etc., of each?

From: Richard Schoen To: David Knittle

I am currently in the same situation that you are. The local area network (LAN) that I am helping to set up will be used for office automation, an Executive Information System (EIS) and to offload some Sales/Marketing data for analysis. The main reason we chose the token ring support was because Novell is such a widely used product. I have met with four consultants and only one of them recommended Ethernet over token ring.

Since LANs are so new to me (I just stepped into this project), I will be able to comment more once I am better briefed on the merits of token ring and Ethernet. As far as speed and performance are concerned, I have been told that if you get any LAN attachment for the AS/400, get one with the highest transfer rate possible. Otherwise, response times against the AS/400 could become sloooow. What kind of cooperative applications are you generating?

Good to know I'm not the only one in this situation. What kind of support resources will you get for the LAN and how many users? I have read that, as a rule of thumb, you should have one support person per 20 users.

From: David Knittle To: Richard Schoen

One person per 20 users? This must be a dream. We currently have about 150 PC users who will all be networked. These users, working at five different plants, will be supported by one person (me). In addition, I will keep up my regular AS/400 technical duties.

We will probably contract some outside help for setup and initial support.

From: Richard Schoen To: David Knittle

I'll be setting up a prototype Novell setup in about a month. I'll let you know what I think when it's up and running. Do you have any particular database packages in mind for running on the LAN such as Paradox, FoxPro, Access, Microsoft SQL Server? This seems to be the biggest stumbling block I've come across so far, other than picking a server or "Super Server."

From: David Knittle To: Richard Schoen

No, we haven't decided yet. I am leaning toward SQL Server, with caution. We currently use dBASE IV and we are very unhappy with it. We will be trying FoxPro as soon as we can, on a single station PC. We may lean this way.

Our primary goal at this point is to network. Selecting a database server is not so important to us, as we do 90 percent of our database work on the AS/400.

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