Network-Centric Computing: Preparing the Enterprise for the Next Millennium

Network-Centric Computing: Preparing the Enterprise for the Next Millennium

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This new report from CTR traces the development of network-centric computing and describes the effects it will have on the enterprise. The report serves as a guide for information technology (IT) professionals who are responsible for enabling network-centric computing.

Network-centric Computing Explored CTR's new report, Network-centric Computing: Preparing the Enterprise for the Next Millennium, provides a strategic analysis of the major issues of network-centric computing. This philosophy - network-centric computing - involves a complex relationship between computer user, local computer, server, and data beyond the server. The report will help information systems (IS) managers: evaluate the potential for network computing devices, understand the technical aspects of network-centric computing, and determine the benefits and limitations of this emerging technology.

Java: The Key to Network-centric Computing

With the explosive growth of the Internet and the Web and the emergence of the Javaprogramming language, network computing is finally poised to thrive. Although this technology breaks many of the conventional rules for application development (AD), it succeeds in its goals. The report examines the Java language and how it can be used to enable the concept of network-centric computing on the software side. As the vendor that has espoused network computing since its founding and the vendor that conceived of and developed the Java programming language, Sun Microsystems is both the leader and the leading proponent of the concept of network-centric computing. The report covers how Sun reached this position and examines its strategy for implementing network-centric computing.

Operating System Issues: From Client/Server to Thin Client

As enterprises have become more fully networked, the first step in the evolution of network computing has been client/server (C/S) computing. Network-centric Computing: Preparing the Enterprise for the Next Millennium analyzes the implementations of C/S computing and discusses the benefits, difficulties, and limitations of this technology.

Another factor in network-centric computing has been the network operating system (NOS). The report evaluates UNIX, Windows NT, and Novell's NetWare as viable network operating systems and looks at their advantages and limitations for network-centric computing.

Today, Windows 95 or NT can occupy 100 MB or more on an individual PC hard disk. Business productivity applications can occupy tens or even hundredsof additional MBs. These operating systems and applications can also be difficult and time-consuming to install. In response, the thin client concept requires very little space on the local computer, with operating system (OS) services and applications largely run from a server. The report discusses the thin client concept, explains how it works, and discusses its implications for enterprise computing.

Hardware Concerns

Network-centric computing threatens the business of desktop computers and traditional PC operating systems and applications. This threat endangers the very existence of Microsoft, which is touted as the premier software company in the world. The report describes how Microsoft is defending its core business against the onslaught of network-centric computing through a strategy of embracing the concept itself while continuing to promote the PC as a standalone computing device.

The hardware supporting the thin client concept is the network computer (NC). Currently, there existsa reference specification for the NC, which was developed by Oracle and others. The report addresses this NC reference specification and its implementation by different hardware vendors. It also looks at NC offerings that do not follow this reference specification.

Network-centric Computing: A Look Ahead

The most rapid growth in network-centric computing is not projected to occur in traditional computers, but rather in entirely new classes of devices that will be network-enabled. These devices include cellular telephones, "smart" cards, and televisions. The report examines how network-centric computing is changing the computing landscape and discusses current trends and future technology advances of the Internet, the Web, and network computing.

Network-centric Computing: Preparing the Enterprise for the Next Millennium is an invaluable resource for IS professionals who are responsible for selecting and implementing effective systems to enable network-centric computing.