Re: Lawrence Livermore IGP project?

Barry D. Hassler (wrtfac!hassler@lognet2.ARPA)
Mon Nov 23 22:43:36 1987


        The Intelligent Gateway Processor is a generic term for software
originally developed at LLNL, and now commercially marketed by Control Data
Corporation's Professional Services Division as ASCENT.

        The software comprising this system was developed as a generic
front-end to heterogeneous systems for scientists at the Lab. It consists
of two major pieces of software, the Network Access Machine, and a menu-
oriented user interface. Without going into a great deal of detail, NAM
uses an interpretive language to initiate and manage "connections" over a
wide variety of "communication methods": direct RS-232, TCP/IP networks,
X.25, dial-up phones, etc. This software strictly resides on a UNIX (or
perversion thereof) host, and requires no additional hardware or software
on the attached hosts.

        Basically, the software is used to insulate users from the
complexities of various network configurations, intermediate devices
(dataswitches, network interface units for broadband LANs, protocol
converts, etc) and connection procedures in large, heterogeneous computing
environments. Additionally, it has the capability for handling portions of,
or entire, sessions with a host on behalf of a user. In a current
commercial implementation, we use this technology to support connections to
DEC VAXES, CDC Cybers, NAS 5000 & 7000s, and Data General Workcenters over
TCP/IP and X.25 networks from users coming into the IGP via dial-up, DDN
telnet, broadband LANS, and Fiber-Optic muxes.

        The IGP is being used currently by various DoD agencies, mostly the
Air Force, Department of Energy, and the Defense Logistics Agency, among

        Over the past several years there have been several papers
published or presented concerning this technology. Although I don't have my
copies here at home, I'd be happy to supply a list of references to them
and where you can get copies if interested. I just recently (Friday)
completed the latest such paper (which is why I'm finally getting to my EM
now) entitled "Connectivity and Beyond." I feel (somewhat biased naturally)
this paper gives a good overview of the reasons for this technology, and
how it works in heterogeneous environments. As soon as it has complete
being cleared for public dissemination (since it references a military
project), I will be happy to provide copies of it.

Barry D. Hassler ARPA/DDN:
System Software Analyst

Control Data Corporation
Professional Services Division
Integrated Information Services

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