IBM Network Transport Services/2 Version 1.0 Product Overview

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1.0 IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0

This document contains an overview of the technical content of the IBM Network Services/2 V 1.0 (NTS/2 1.0) product release, technical details, enhancements over previous product releases, and migration information. The intent of this information is to provide an understanding of the problems that are being solved by NTS/2 1.0.

The fast performing LAN Adapter and Protocol Support (LAPS) and the additional functions provided in the IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 release are designed to focus on providing solutions for the network user is several areas. The improved LAN transport subsystem provides better performance and function, especially for LAN Server 3.0 users. Improved LAN API support for DOS based applications allows popular IEEE 802.2 API based communications programs to run on the OS/2 2.0 platform. A new packaging base and corresponding installation support supplies the LAN transport subsystem for communications programs that do not require the extent of the function offered by Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0, or LAN Enabler 2.0. Lastly, NTS/2 1.0 supplies the first program offering to support IBM's new remote installation, configuration and distribution strategy.

1.1 OS/2 LAN Transport History

The LAPS function contained in the IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 product offering was initially released in the Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0 and LAN Enabler 2.0 product offerings. LAPS supplies a protocol and network adapter driver based subsystem for OS/2 Versions 1.3 and 2.0 based on the Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS). This function includes IBM NetBIOS and IEEE 802.2 protocols and APIs, IBM NetBIOS 802.2 Virtual Device Driver (VDD) support, and network adapter drivers for many of the popular Token Ring, Ethernet and PC Network adapters. This function base is termed the LAN transport.

1.1.1 LAN Transport in Extended Edition

The LAN transport function provided in the Extended Edition 1.2 and 1.3 releases was a different technology base than the LAPS included in the Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0, and LAN Enabler 2.0 releases. The LAN transport function in this release did not allow the support of additional OEM hardware. Also, major performance improvements as a result of software subsystem structure and as a benefit from new hardware technology could not be realized.

1.1.2 Network Driver Interface Specification

The Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) is a standard interface for network adapter drivers and protocol drivers. NDIS separates the protocol handling from the hardware manipulation by deeming a low level interface between protocol drivers and adapter drivers. NDIS has become an industry standard, providing a common open interface that enables different manufactures of network adapters and LAN software to work in the same system with minimal effort. NDIS is owned by 3COM and Microsoft, and IBM is a significant contributor to the architecture.

1.1.3 The New NDIS Transport

The LAN transport was completely rewritten and re-based on the NDIS subsystem technology for the Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0, and LAN Enabler 2.0 product offerings. The LAN transport function included in these products is termed LAN Adapter and Protocol Support or LAPS. The function contains vast performance improvements from the original LAN transport included in the Extended Edition 1.2 and 1.3 product releases as well as provides the crucial NDIS subsystem structure that provides the support for new network adapters.

1.2 Overview of IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 Function

IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 is the second release of the NDIS based LAN Adapter and Protocol Support (LAPS). This base function was previously released in the Extended Services and LAN Server 2.0 product shipments that coincided with the OS/2 2.0 product release in April of 1992. LAPS was also included in the LAN Enabler 2.0 product release in June of 1992.

The intent of the IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 release is to provide the LAPS function in a standalone product (instead of requiring users of LAPS to prereq the Extended Services or LAN Server 2.0), provide the base Configuration/Installation/Distribution (CID) support plus a CID-enabled LAPS installation, and continue to provide networking performance and function improvements.

IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 LAPS contains equivalent level of function with the LAPS that is available with Extended Services 1.0 and LAN Server 2.0. In addition, the following significant new functions have been added.

  • LAPS performance and function enhancements plus CSD fixes
  • IEEE LAN 802.2 VDD/PDD Support
  • Standalone Installation and Configuration Support for LAPS that is CID-enabled
  • LAN CID Utility which supplies base CID function for non-enterprise host based environments
  • NetWare Requester Support for OS/2
  • OEM Network Adapter Drivers

Note: Acronym CID means Configuration Installation and Distribution.

1.3 IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 Content

1.3.1 LAPS

The LAN Adapter and Protocol Support provided in NTS/2 1.0 contains all the CSD fixes since the initial release in the Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0, and LAN Enabler 2.0 packages as well as two major performance and functional improvements discussed below. Multiple Adapter Support

Multiple adapter support provides the ability to manage up to four logical networks concurrently. The support is enabled by the IBM NetBIOS protocol stack provided in NTS/2 1.0. Specifically, the enhancement allows NetBIOS name sharing thereby allowing each adapter in the system that is supporting a single server to use the same NetBIOS name. As a result, the number of NetBIOS sessions that can be supported for a single server is raised from 254 to 1016 (for four adapters being used for the same server).

An additional benefit of this functional improvement is the performance boost that results from load balancing when multiple adapters are used for the same server. This performance improvement is noticeable in high load environments, for example Remote Initial Program Load (RIPL) Requester initiation from a single server.

This functional enhancement can only be realized when NTS/2 1.0 is used with LAN Server 3.0. Sideband

A performance enhancement for the LAN Server 3.0 release supplies additional protocol frame support termed the NetBIOS Sideband protocol. The result of this enhancement is to increase NetBIOS throughput in heavily loaded systems. By using the knowledge that a network is normally reliable, the LAN Server and the underlying NetBIOS protocol stack cooperate in the use of non-connected communication and the reuse of duplicate header information to increase the throughput and decrease the response time for the transmission of small network packets.

The sideband enhancements will be only used with certain size frames and when Lan Server 3.0 requests that the sideband protocol format be used. If the network becomes unreliable and sideband protocol is being used, the sideband protocol will become automatically disabled by NetBios.

Sideband protocol is only supported when both the LAN Server and the connecting LAN Requester are Version 3.0.

1.3.2 IEEE LAN 802.2 VDD/PDD Support

The initial release of LAPS in Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0, and LAN Enabler 2.0 provided the OS/2 2.0 NetBIOS VDD/PDD support. This function enables existing DOS or Windows NetBIOS applications (used in LAN applications) running in the OS/2 2.0 Virtual DOS Machine (VDM), VMBOOT or WINOS2 environments, to share an adapter(s) with other DOS, Windows and OS/2 2.0 NetBIOS applications running on the same machine. The OS/2 2.0 Virtual LAN Support in NTS/2 1.0 has been enhanced to support the IEEE 802.2 API, thereby affording the same support for DOS 802.2 applications. Examples of the IEEE 802.2 application programs that can now run on the OS/2 2.0 platform are Rumba, attachmate, IBM PC Support Program, IBM PC/3270 emulation, and DOS TCP/IP.

1.3.3 Standalone Installation and Configuration Support

A Presentation Manager Installation and Configuration Utility provides a "user friendly" interface for the installation and configuration of the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support. The installation program provides support for re-installation of the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support, installation of additional network drivers, multi-boot configuration support, and removal of the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support from the system. In addition, the configuration utility in NTS/2 1.0 provides configuration support by migrating a Extended Edition 1.3 Communications Manager configuration file.

The configuration support is an enhanced version of the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support Presentation Manager based configuration utility provided in Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0, and LAN Enabler 2.0.

The configuration utility has been enhanced to support configuration of up to 16 adapters, as well as contains CSD fixes from the original release.

The standalone installation facility in NTS/2 1.0 is also CID-enabled. CID-enabled means that the function being installed and configured can support those events in an unattended environment, with required input being derived from response files. The supported syntax and behavior is common among CID-enabled products.

Another common characteristic among CID-enabled products is a set of related utilities. NTS/2 1.0 contains the LAPSDISK.EXE utility that is used to store the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support diskette image on a CID code server. NTS/2 1.0 also contains the tool LAPSRSP.EXE that will generate a LAPS response file from a input configuration file (protocol.ini file). Model LAPS response files are also included on the LCU diskette in the NTS/2 1.0 package in the \SAMPLE subdirectory. Lastly, the CID utility THINLAPS.EXE, which is required in a NetBIOS based CID environment, provides NetBIOS transport for pristine machines or non-NetBIOS configured EE 1.3 workstations.

1.3.4 LAN CID Utility (LCU)

The CID Utility provided with NTS/2 1.0 reduces workstation installation and configuration setup costs. Tailored response files generated by a system administrator can be downloaded to each workstation to automatically reduce the time and amount of knowledge each individual LAN user must have in order to install and configure LAN software.

Because the system administrator is responsible for the accuracy of the installation and configuration response file contents, LCU supplies a state of consistency for all the client workstations. Installation and configuration errors are reduced given that the CID enabled products provide either a utility or a model from which the administrator generates the response files which are distributed to the client workstations.

LCU is comprised of two functions, a installation manager and a NetBIOS based Installable File System known as SRVIFS. The installation manager supplies a variety of utilities that supply the overall CID installation management functions. These include:

    Provides access to the LCU installation client on the target workstation or workstation's bootable diskettes.
    Bootable diskettes are the means by which pristine machines or machines that don't have OS/2 NetBios network connectivity are allowed to participate in a CID event. The bootable diskettes are created using the OS/2 2.0 SEDISK utility, the NTS/2 1.0 THINLAPS utility, the NTS/2 1.0 THINIFS utility and the CASINSTL. After the diskettes are created, they are used on the appropriate target workstation to obtain connection to a CID code server and automatically initiate the CID events that have been identified for that particular workstation
    This key CID utility provides the basis of the CID installation management. CASAGENT will read the LCU REXX command file (that is stored on the CID code server) identified for a particular workstation and perform the CID tasks identified.
    This utility is used to generate a LCU REXX command file from a structured script file. This is a LCU REXX generation tool.
    This utility provides an automated setup of a LCU CID code server. It will invoke the series of utilities that are provided by NTS/2 1.0 and LCU to build a subdirectory structure, install the OS/2 CID enabled product images, install the SRVIFS server function and will build bootable diskettes for workstation clients.

SRVIFS, the NetBIOS based Installable File System is also contained on the LCU diskette in the NTS/2 1.0 package. SRVIFS provides the redirected file I/O required by the LCU installation manager. SRVIFS is comprised of an IFS that executes on the client and an application that runs on the LCU CID code server. A sample SRVIFS configuration file is supplied on the LCU diskette in the /SAMPLE subdirectory. Three installation utilities are provided to install the SRVIFS support needed for a LCU CID environment:

    This utility will install the LCU SRVIFS function that resides on the LCU CID server. It will validate the configuration and add the appropriate statements so the SRVIFS server is automatically started upon the successive system restart.
    This utility is used to provide LCU SRVIFS client support. It is used to build SRVIFS client support for the bootable diskettes or for a system that already has OS/2 NetBIOS support.
    This utility removes the LCU SRVIFS support from either a client or server. SRVIFS should not be used in any other environment than CID. It does not provide the services necessary to be considered a generalized LAN Server.

1.3.5 Using OEM adapters for CID-based networking

There are two areas that need to be addressed in order to allow OEM network adapters be used a CID-environment. Including OEM drivers on the LAPS diskette image

The LAPS publication provides instructions on how OEM adapter software can be added to the LAPS diskette image. This important step will allow the OEM adapter to be treated "almost" as an NTS/2 1.0 adapter.

The adapter's drivers can be used in almost every CID-step that would have normally used NTS/2 1.0 shipped drivers. Allowing OEM drivers to be used on the "bootable diskettes"

The CID-process prescribes that two diskettes are built and that these diskettes can be used to ipl a CID-target machine. When a system is ipl'd from these diskettes, this system will subsequently have network connectivity.

The network connectivity is provided from the protocol stacks and network adapter drivers that are shipped with NTS/2 1.0. The tool THINLAPS will put a very 'skinny' version of the LAPS on the bootable diskettes. THINLAPS will only recognize adapter drivers that were originally shipped with the NTS/2 1.0 diskettes. This is because THINLAPS will generate a protocol.ini file (LAPS configuration file) that is specific to the network adapter selected.

Support for an OEM adapter in this CID-phase is simple but requires manual editing of the CONFIG.SYS and PROTOCOL.INI files that are built and stored on the bootable diskettes. Initially, THINLAPS should be run as prescribed by the documentation. Select IBMTOK.NIF as the MAC driver that will be used as the network adapter driver. The following instructions will assume that this is the adapter network driver that was selected, and how to modify the results to work for an OEM network adapter driver.

  • Edit the config.sys
    After THINLAPS is run, the CONFIG.SYS file on the second boot diskette should be edited. The IBMTOK.OS2 statement should be changed to the name of the OEM device driver.
  • Copy the OEM adapter driver
    Copy the device driver for the OEM adapter and any other required files to the second boot diskette. These should be copied to the root. If there is insufficient room on the diskette, remove the IBMTOK.OS2 file from the diskette.
  • Edit the PROTOCOL.INI
    This step will add the required configuration for the OEM adapter. Remove all the statements in the [MAC] section and add the statements necessary for your OEM adapter driver.

1.3.6 NetWare Requester Support for OS/2

NTS/2 1.0 enables the NetWare Requester for OS/2 to share a single (or multiple) network adapter(s) with NDIS based network applications and protocols. This function reduces network hardware and network management costs.

A solution for sharing adapters between NDIS based protocol stacks and Novell protocol stacks was provided by Novell, called ODINSUP. The IBM solution is deemed to be a better performer than ODINSUP, and is considered to be a more dependable solution for other NDIS based protocol stacks, for example IBM TCP/IP for OS/2 V1.2.1 and the Banyan OS/2 Vines Requester. Also, the NetWare Requester support for OS/2 is installable and configurable via the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support PM-based configuration utility as well as being installable and configurable in the CID environment. The ODINSUP solution requires manual update for configuration support.

1.3.7 OEM Network Adapter Drivers

Support for many popular network adapters is shipped with NTS/2 1.0. As in the previous release of the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support, support for IBM and OEM network adapters are included. This network adapter support in contained on the LAPS diskette in the NTS/2 1.0 package. Also, a third diskette is included in the NTS/2 1.0 package that contains additional IBM and OEM network adapter drivers that have been certified according to the guidelines established by IBM for NDIS based network adapter drivers. The additional network driver diskette in NTS/2 1.0 package contains the network adapter drivers to support the Token Ring Network 16/4 Adapter 11 (Family 1) and the DCA IRMAtrac Token-Ring Adapter/Convertible.


A set of commonly used tools are provided on the LCU diskette. A short "readme" in the \APPLETS subdirectory provides a brief description of each tool. An example of one of the tools is NWSTAT which obtains current NetBIOS statistics.

2.0 LAN Enabler 2.0 Comparison with NTS/2 1.0

The LAN Enabler 2.0 product offering has the identical LAPS function supplied with Extended Services and LAN Server 2.0. The LAN Enabler 2.0 package also contains OS/2 LAN Requester 2.0, DOS LAN Requester 2.0 and IBM LAN Support Program (LSP) Version 1.25. This packaging allows a customer to purchase the LAN Enabler 2.0 and provide an OS/2-based client to the Microsoft LAN Manager. The NTS/2 1.0 package does not contain the OS/2 LAN Requester, DOS LAN Requester, or the LSP.

3.0 Migration to IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0

Below is a brief list of migration considerations when NTS/2 1.0 is installed over Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0 or LAN Enabler 2.0.

  • Reinstallation
    Installation of NTS/2 1.0 over Extended Services, LAN Server 2.0, or LAN Enabler 2.0 is considered by the installation program as a "reinstall". If the installation is occurring via the PM interface, a message to this effect will be displayed. If the installation is occurring in a CID environment, the appropriate LAPS response file must be created to support the reinstallation environment.
    The target drive of the reinstallation should be the same as the current installation in order to reduce DASD used by LAPS.
    The system will require a reboot after the reinstallation in order to reload the new LAN Adapter and Protocol Support. This is automatically done in the LCU based CID environment.
    Contents of a previously existing protocol.ini file will be preserved by the NTS/2 1.0 installation program in a reinstallation.
  • PROTOCOL.INI keyword changes
    Only 1 keyword has been changed between the NTS/2 1.0 release and the previous releases of the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support. The keywords PRIMARY and ALTERNATE for the IBM Token Ring Device Driver are no longer supported. The PM based configuration utility provided in NTS/2 1.0 will automatically migrate the old keyword to the new supported statement. The CID configuration will remove the unsupported keyword automatically, however, will not replace it with the new supported statement. This new keyword statement must be provided in the response file that drives the CID installation and configuration of the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support.
  • Network Adapter addresses
    Network adapter addresses can be configured in the NetBIOS configuration. The LANTRAN.LOG file that is built after each system IPL will always contain the network adapter addresses being used if NetBIOS or IEEE 802.2 protocol stacks are being used.

4.0 Summary

IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 provides the key LAN Network protocols and API's that are the best overall network performers in todays LAN market. It provides the strategic NDIS subsystem structure which enables the addition of state of the art network adapter technology without requiring product re-release.

In addition, the first offering of IBM's Configuration Installation and Distribution strategy is provided by IBM Network Transport Services/2 V 1.0 via the LAN CID Utility. The LCU function provides the CID function in a network customer environment. The installation program for the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support is a CID-enabled installation program and can be used with future CID Installation Managers. The standalone offering of the LAN Adapter and Protocol Support provided in NTS/2 1.0 and the CIL Installation management function provide the function that will be used in future products that require LAN network connectivity.


May, 1993

Issued by:

IBM Corporation
Personal Software Products
11400 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78758

First Edition (October 1992)

Second Edition (May 1993)

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The following terms in this publication, are trademarks of the IBM Corporation in the United States and/or other countries:

IBM Corporation IBM, OS/2, NETBIOS, PC Support Program, PC/3270 Emulation, DOS, LAN Server, LAN Enabler, Extended Services, Standard Edition, Extended Edition, Network Transport Services/2 (NTS/2), FDDI Adapter, DOS LAN Requester, SRVIFS, PC Network.

The following terms in this publication, are trademarks of other companies as follows:

Attachmate Attachmate
Banyan OS/2 Vines Requester
DCA IRMAtrac Token-Ring Adapter/Convertible
GRiD Systems Corporation GRid
Microsoft Corporation LAN Manager
Novell Corporation NetWare, NetWare Requester, ODINSUP
Unix Systems Laboratories, Inc. UNIX, System/T
Wahl Data Corporation Rhumba
Xerox Corporation Ethernet
3Com Corporation NDIS