Microsoft SNA Server Beats Novell NetWare for SAA In AS/400 Access Performance

Microsoft PressPass – Microsoft SNA Server Beats Novell NetWare for SAA In AS/400 Access Performance

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 29, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the results of a performance study comparing Microsoft® SNA Server version 2.11 with Novell NetWare for SAA AS/400 Edition when connecting PC desktops over TCP/IP networks to IBM AS/400s. The results show that companies moving to TCP/IP networks to improve their AS/400 connectivity will benefit from the performance and efficiency of SNA Server.

The test results prove that SNA Server provides 2.5 times faster response times when handling interactive 5250 transactions, and NetWare for SAA sends up to 42 percent more frames over the LAN or WAN to the AS/400. When used to support user-requested ODBC queries, SNA Server delivers 1.8 times faster response times compared to NetWare for SAA while providing the same advantage in terms of frames sent over the LAN or WAN as with interactive 5250 transactions. Further, even when SNA Server is connected to the AS/400 via twinax cabling, it outperforms NetWare for SAA connected to the AS/400 via an Ethernet LAN.

“The test results are impressive and represent the vast difference in maturity between Microsoft SNA Server and Novell NetWare for SAA,”
said Lynn Nye, president of NetResults, a Portland, Ore.-based consultancy.
“SNA Server has been well received by the AS/400 community, and results such as these will further that acceptance.”

The performance testing was audited by Client Server Labs, an independent testing organization based in Atlanta, Ga. A full test-summary document, written by Client Server Labs, is available for download at the Microsoft Web site at

“Ensuring predictable response times during peak loads in our AS/400 environment helps us keep our users from getting frustrated, particularly our remote and mobile users who need all the network bandwidth they can get,”
said Sean O’Farrell, AS/400 tech support project leader at Eli Lilly and Co.
“We are extremely pleased with the performance of SNA Server because it helps our AS/400 to sustain additional client load without performance degradation.”

“These test results are another demonstration of our continuing commitment to helping AS/400 users extract the most value from their investments,”
said Vesa Suomalainen, general manager of the host integration product unit at Microsoft.
“The extensible architecture of SNA Server allows the product to be continuously improved in many areas including performance, capacity and ease of use. As organizations with AS/400s migrate to TCP/IP networks, SNA Server will provide the most scalable and cost-effective solution to integrate PC desktops and servers with the AS/400 while providing top-notch performance.”

AS/400 Connectivity Background

The Microsoft Web site at contains the following documents that provide a useful background on other AS/400-to-PC connectivity issues:

  • Jan. 29, 1996, issue of Client/Server Advisor, an independent newsletter for AS/400 managers published by United Communications Group of Rockville, Md. This issue reports the results of an independent user survey of the use of SNA gateways in an AS/400 environment, specifically comparing customer experiences with Novell NetWare for SAA and Microsoft SNA Server.

  • “How to Evaluate the Performance of AS/400 Access,”
    a Microsoft-Open Universal joint technical white paper on tuning PCs and AS/400s for optimum performance, measuring actual performance, while comparing both gateway and direct connected PCs

  • “Novell NetWare for SAA 2.0 Compared to Microsoft SNA Server 2.11,”
    a Microsoft technical white paper that compares the features and benefits of Novell NetWare for SAA 2.0 to those of Microsoft SNA Server 2.11

  • “TCP/IP Connectivity in an AS/400 Environment,”
    an independent white paper that discusses the options for connecting TCP/IP LANs to the AS/400, written by Duke Communications, the publisher of NEWS/400, a leading AS/400 magazine. Specific sections address each of the three available options: direct TCP/IP (TN5250, FTP, LPR/LPD), IBM AnyNet, and TCP/IP-to-SNA gateway.

  • “Microsoft SNA Server 2.11 and Windows® Connectivity to the AS/400,”
    another white paper written by Duke Communications, which discusses the overall issues and benefits of connecting desktops running the Windows operating system to the AS/400 via Microsoft SNA Server

  • A Microsoft response to an IBM marketing document titled
    “AS/400 Direct Attach vs. Microsoft’s SNA Server: Point – Counterpoint”

  • “Integrating PCs and AS/400 Systems,”
    a white paper written by Microsoft for AS/400 business managers, outlining the challenges confronting them and how Microsoft products can enhance their overall networking environment

  • Case studies of customers using SNA Server in AS/400 environments: Abarta, American Standard, Callahan Enterprises, Davis Wire and Holy Cross Medical Center

SNA Server Background

Microsoft SNA Server 2.11 is an eighth-generation PC-based software gateway. Its advanced client/server architecture offloads the communications processing from host computers and desktop PCs, allowing each system to do what it does best. It enables PCs to use a standard LAN protocol, such as TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, NetBEUI, Banyan VINES IP or AppleTalk, to connect to one or more SNA Servers. SNA Server then connects to IBM mainframes and AS/400s using SNA protocols. SNA Server has won several reviews and awards, including PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice (September 1995), Internetwork magazine’s Standards Achievement Award (October 1995), LAN magazine’s Host Connectivity Product of the Year Award (March 1996) and PC Week’s Corporate IT Excellence Award (April 1996).

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) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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