Architectural directions for opening IBM networks: The case of OSI
The authors discuss the results of a research project that developed an architectural framework for integrating non-IBM network architectures with the reference model and node structures of IBM's System Network Architecture (SNA). The unique features of the selected integration approach allow multiple protocol stacks to coexist and interoperate within the same computer, to share access to common physical network ports, links, and switching nodes, and to be accessed and managed through homogeneous interfaces. The architectural framework was developed for the specific purpose of integrating the open systems interconnection (OSI) reference model to that of SNA, but its basic philosophy and key aspects turn out to be generally applicable to the integration of other network technologies as well, e.g. TCP/IP or NETBIOS.