IBM SNAPP Allows Server Configuration via Palm

SAN MATEO (03/31/2000) - IBM Corp. today announced its System Networking, Analysis, and Performance Pilot, or SNAPP, a Web-based application that allows customers to configure and manage an RS/6000 server from the Palm Inc. platform.

Users download the SNAPP software application from a special IBM Web site at http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech.snapp to either the Palm III, Palm V, Palm VIII, or IBM WorkPad, plug a docking cradle into the server serial port and configure the server to the particular network.

This ability to configure a server before attaching it to the network is beneficial when considering large networks with remote locations, according to Richard Talbot, a manager of product development at the IBM server group.

"Companies want to be able to scale out quickly by just plugging in an additional server," said Talbot. "If you're scaling at a remote location, with less skilled technicians, you can ship them a pre-configured server, matched up to the current network."

The SNAPP-enabled Palm submits a request to the server and the server responds in a format that can be displayed on a mini-browser developed for the Palm. The new application simplifies the server installation process and requires only a minimal knowledge of AIX, IBM's Unix operating system, according to Talbot.

SNAPP doesn't yet address the issue of remote management, but Talbot expected that capability to be ready sometime in the second quarter.

"Complete remote system management is in the works," said Talbot. "Ultimately, anywhere you can get a cell phone connection, you'll be able to monitor and manage all of your network: the CPU (central processing unit), the disk drives, and memory utilization to determine workload and analyze throughput. You'll be able to monitor hits, and for asset management you can send the specs of your network to a service technician."

"Think about the eBay shutdown," Talbot said. "With SNAPP, you could receive an alert and respond and fix it anywhere in the wireless world."

But the Palm platform doesn't support automatically sent, or "pushed," information yet.

"Right now we're working on it, but the current scenario would require the remote user to have a pager or a cell phone to receive an alert; then they would have to check the network through the Palm," said Talbot.

The local, serial-attached version of the SNAPP-enabled Palm has a full root security system already in place. But the wireless version "would suffer from all the security-related problems that haven't been solved in the world of wireless," said Talbot.

IBM Corp., based in Armonk, New York, is at http://www.ibm.com/.

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