Displays included Sun Microsystems demonstrating Solaris applications on a SPARC 5, IBM Canada Ltd. demonstrating OS/2 Warp with Internet connectivity via a phone line to Advantis, Blue Sky Freenet demonstrating their current freenet setup via a telnet connection, and two systems from the University of Manitoba's Department of Computer Science - a Macintosh Powerbook demonstrating AppleTalk/UNIX connectivity with free software (ARNS and CAP), and a laptop PC running Linux and the new version of Netscape for Linux. Four of the five systems on display had some sort of Internet access, and Web browsers seemed to be the sofware that drew the most attention.
After the break, there was a video presentation on a network and system management tool with a graphical user interface, called Patrol 2.0, by BMC Software.
After Bill's presentation, Carey Drader, General Manager for Western Canada, of Advantis Canada, spoke about his company and its services, and what is being handled out of Winnipeg. Among its many network services, Advantis also provide Internet access services, as part of IBM Internet Connection.
This month's feature presentation was by Ed Rajfur and Susan Zuk of Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd. They presented HP's very popular solution to internetworking headaches - OpenView. OpenView and its breadth of Solution Partners offer the tools and support to integrate network and system management functionality; simplifying planning, operations, and expansion of today's enterprises. OpenView allows you to perform: fault, configuration, and performance management, as well as providing a new way of managing multivendor distributed systems - HP OpenView OperationsCenter.
Susan focussed on OperationsCenter (which has many features similar to BMC's Patrol 2.0, which was shown in last month's video presentation), and demonstated how you could use it to monitor system activity and potential failures. Ed then demonstrated HP's OpenView Network Management Tool, showing how it can automatically learn about your network by monitoring network traffic, and by issuing SNMP queries to newly discovered nodes.
(Note: this meeting was one week earlier than usual, due to Valentine's Day, so there will be no meeting on February 14th. Don't forget to send flowers or a card to someone special in your life.)
The CiscoFusion architecture is unique because it allows sustainable growth through multilayer intelligence concurently operating at different layers of the OSI model. Cisco's strategy and product plans for implementing this new architecture were presented in a short video. Thom presented the video, and answered questions.
The short topic for this meeting was a presentation by Rick Coy of MTS on their role in setting up the Manitoba Government's new province-wide network infrastructure.
David presented an overview of what The North West Company is, and how they are using UNIX in core technologies of the business. He described some of the interesting problems they face with trying to get information from various proprietary systems, in various remote locations, in a standard way. Their solution involved batching updates into work files in a consistent format, and using standard e-mail software to send them to the destination systems. This leads to a distributed architecture that is easily upgradable in sections, as new technologies come into play, while still leaving the interfaces consistent.
Rather than being a separate program, these extensions fit quite seamlessly into the standard Word for Windows application. HTML files are then supported as an import/export file type for Open and Save operations. The HTML is converted into Word document format (with extensions to support hypertext links, etc.) internally. An HTML template, containing predefined formatting styles corresponding to the HTML formatting tags, makes it easy to start a document from scratch. The web browser, although not as powerful as Netscape, is reasonable, and is integrated into Word; it is easy to switch between the document editing view, and the web browser view.