Yenra : OSI Implementations : FDDI - Fiber Distributed Data Interface - X3T9.5 : Open source access for Linux to provide clustered computing users access to high-speed driver technology

FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) is a proposed ANSI standard specification (X3T9.5) for a network architecture that is designed to use fiber-optic lines at very high speeds.

Leading the industry in the creation of affordable Gigabit Ethernet solutions, SysKonnect Inc. - pioneer manufacturer of high-end network interface cards (NICs) for strategic server links - announced today that it will make available its Linux driver source code to all Linux users and developers. Publishing its driver source code makes SysKonnect among the first Gigabit Ethernet NIC manufacturers to make available its core driver technology. As such, it is believed that this precedent-setting commitment in support of the Open Source community will make evident the company's position as the server NIC of choice for Linux developers world-wide, according to Jim Kuciel, president of SysKonnect in the USA.

"Linux is quite obviously the hottest Internet and intranet operating system technology in our industry today, as well as the logical first platform for us to target," said Mr Kuciel. "We wanted to open up our intellectual property to everyone who is seriously working with this leading-edge technology, enabling them to customize LAN drivers to suit their hardware, and maximize their clustered computing options using the most powerful solutions possible," he said. "Release of the source code for our latest Gigabit Ethernet adapters as well as our FDDI products will enable rapid deployment of 'best-of-the-best' solutions in high-speed Linux applications, FreeBSD and other Open Source computing environments," Mr Kuciel noted. "Because SysKonnect has committed ongoing support of their software driver core for Linux, the Linux community can look forward to continuing driver enhancements in the future," he added.

According to Mr Kuciel, this is the first of SysKonnect's source code releases, with drivers for different operating systems now being considered for release as other operating systems support open source access in the future.

SysKonnect made the strategic decision to release source code, publish it on the Web, make it available for Linux source distribution, and maintain it, in response to customer requests. This strategy has already been endorsed by specific customers, according to David E. Lee, the company's Southeast regional manager.

"In our efforts to work with the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), it was determined that they needed their vendor of choice to release source code, where SysKonnect drivers became the core of the Linux-based system under consideration," said Mr Lee. SysKonnect determined that the best method for maximizing value for customers was to go "open source," according to Mr Lee. "We have traditionally supported a wide variety of operating systems, including the current release of Linux," he said, adding that, "The Linux community virtually demands this type of openness." And, while the high-performance requirements at ORNL are greater than what most "normal" users need, everyone will reap the benefits of this technology, which will be supported by SysKonnect as well, according to Mr Lee. Ultimately, SysKonnect won the contract with ORNL after a lengthy review process in which the company's products performed in both Linux and NT operating environments. A major part of the overall source code disclosure revolves around SysKonnect's Redundant Link Management Technology (RLMT) for its dual-port drivers on the company's latest products, the SK-NET GE and SK-NET GE-T Gigabit Ethernet network interface cards.

"SysKonnect was the only gigabit NIC vendor to step up to the challenge when I was building HighTORC, the 128 Pentium III processor-based scalable cluster test bed at ORNL," said Stephen L. Scott, Ph.D. and Research Scientist in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "The SK-9843 gigabit NIC performed admirably for us, producing the lowest latency numbers and among the highest throughput of gigabit NICs tested," said Dr Scott. "However, the real 'clincher' for me was the great support SysKonnect provided. It was truly a global effort on their part, with staff working both in the U.S. and Germany, to implement the solution we required," he noted. "The fact that SysKonnect is now moving to open-source their driver suite takes this support to the next level. The cluster-computing community will now have the opportunity to work alongside SysKonnect engineers to assist in tuning drivers for the specific needs of cluster computing," Dr Scott stated.

SysKonnect focuses on the development, production, and sale of high-end network products. These include high-performance network interface cards (NICs) for Gigabit Ethernet, FDDI/CDDI, and token ring, as well as FDDI concentrators for strategic networks. Its comprehensive product line of SK-NET interface cards is optimal for mission-critical applications in electronic commerce, financial and health systems, and image processing, as well as enterprise business systems such as SAP and Baan. SysKonnect is headquartered in Ettlingen, Germany with locations in Great Britain and the USA. Products are available via OEM partners and through worldwide sales channels.

Understanding FDDI - Describes FDDI LANs, their operation and configuration, and typical applications that drive the use of FDDI, such as networked multimedia and video and audio transport. Discusses FDDI's synchronous data transfer capability and its roles in the client/server environment and switched LANs, with case studies based on existing installations. Contains chapter summaries, b&w diagrams, an appendix of FDDI SMT MIB groups, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography. A timely release considering the accelerated interest in FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface), this book concentrates on the fundamentals of FDDI, using as many application-based examples as possible. The text describes how FDDI functions at a system level and at the hardware overview level. It shows how FDDI transfers its data around the network and how it manages the whole process.

FDDI Handbook: High-Speed Networking Using Fiber and Other Media - A guide for networking professionals--users, buyers, managers, designers--to understanding key concepts and features of Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), the next generation of high-speed networking technology. It covers all of the components of the FDDI standard as well as critical issues related to design, layout, purchase, and use. The discussion about network design, installation, and management also applies to other high-speed networking technologies. Provides users, buyers, managers, and designers of computer networking products with an easy-to-understand explanation of key aspects of FDDI. The book provides a comprehensive list of issues to consider when buying FDDI products. It explains why design decisions were made and what they mean in practical terms. Shows network managers how to install, monitor, tune, and troubleshoot FDDI networks.

FDDI : An Introduction to Fiber Distributed Data Interface - Based upon the primer that received a 1991 Award for Excellence from the Society of Technical Communications (STC), FDDI: An Introduction To Fiber Distributed Data Interface is the first book devoted to this new high-speed, high-bandwidth standard. A concise and thorough technical introduction to the subject, it covers all aspects of the FDDI standard - from its protocol specifications to its implementation and management in real-world, large enterprise, local area networks. The book is written and designed for rapid comprehension by computer systems managers, telecommunications managers, and communications professionals who make decisions regarding networks for their organizations. The FDDI technology and applications are extensively illustrated, but without mention of Digital's FDDI products. An extensive glossary defines key networking, LAN and FDDI terms.