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IBM Division Unveils New File Sharing Solutions

IBM's Transarc subsidiary today unveiled four new Enterprise File Systems products designed to enable users to access, manage and host files in networked and Web-enabled environments.

AFS Server for Windows NT, AFS Control Center, AFS Client for Windows NT, and a product code-named AFS Web Secure are aimed at enhancing users' ability to integrate Windows NT-based servers and clients with UNIX servers and clients to create global shared information systems amongst geographically disperse computer users.

With the availability of interoperable AFS clients and AFS servers on both Windows NT and UNIX systems, organizations can introduce Windows NT into their desktop and server environments at their own pace without disrupting ongoing operations, the company said.

AFS Server for Windows NT is described by the company as a full function server providing the user with file service and administration functionality, including replication and backup. The server contains AFS Control Center, a graphical interface supporting Windows NT, Windows 95 and Windows 98 that allows for easy management of enterprise-wide storage from a single remote desktop.

AFS Client for Windows NT provides access to UNIX from Windows NT, Windows 95 and Windows 98 environments and supports Windows Explorer for browsing files and modifying files. The client is designed to allow for the storage of local cache, reducing network traffic and increasing performance. As with previous releases of AFS, AFS Client for Windows NT gives individual users consistent file access across multiple machines in the enterprise with a simple naming scheme.

The product code-named AFS Web Secure is a Web server extension designed to enable systems administrators to integrate AFS security with Web servers. This integration allows users to securely access files and directories directly from a Web browser without the need for additional software on the desktop, the firm said.

Information accessed via Web Secure is protected by AFS security, and the use of AFS to store the data ensures that information remains both highly available and reliable, the company added.

AFS Web Secure is available for the Netscape Enterprise 3.0 Web server and the Apache 1.2.6 Web server.

The products are scheduled for availability in Fall 1998. Pricing for AFS Server for Windows NT begins at $1,995 and for UNIX server platforms at $4,995. Access to the AFS Client for Windows NT and UNIX clients begins at $99 per user, and $6,495 for Web-enabled users. Both AFS Web Secure and Control Center are priced at $895 per Web server and administration station, respectively.