C C C C C 1 2 3 4 5 Design Overview Gateway Control Manager Network Control Manager Database Control Manager Database Management & Applications

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C1: VANSYS DESIGN OVERVIEW --------------------------------------------------INTRODUCTION C1.1 T w o S e r v i c e L i n e s ...............................................................1 . 1 a C ' V i d e o M a r t ' P u b l i c S i t e S e r v i c e ........................ . 1 a C1 ' V A N ' R e s i d e n t i a l S e r v i c e ...................................... C1 1a2 DESIGN OBJECTIVES C1.2 PROTOCOL COMPATIBILITY




Layering Concept = = = = = = = = = = C1.3a Governing Principles = = = = = = = = C1.3b L a y e r e d S t r u c t u r e ................................................................1 . 3 c C P h y s i c a l L a y e r ................................................................1 . 3 c C Data Link Layer = = = = = = = = = C1.3c Network Layer = = = = = = = = = = C1.3c Transport Layer = = = = = = = = = C1.3c Session Layer = = = = = = = = = = C1.3c = P r e s e n t a t i o n L a y e r .....................................................1 . 3 c C Application Layer = = = = = = C1.3c = 7 C9 SYSTEM STRUCTURE C1.4 VANGCM: Gateway Controller = = = = = C1.4a VANNCM. Network Controller = = = = = C1.4b V A N D C M : D a t a b a s e C o n t r o l l e r ................................ 1 . 4 c C C10 SYSTEM OPERATIONS C1.5


VIRTUAL COMPUTER SYSTEM Processors = = = = = = = = = Processors = = = = = = = = = = = = PHASED DEVELOPMENT

C1.6 C1.6a C1.6b C1.7 C1.7a C1.7b C1.7c

Central I/O C12

1.0. No-Transactional Videotex . . 2.0. Videodial Transactional Videotex. 3.0. VTI Transactional Videotex. . .


C1 VASSYS OVERVIEW C1.1 INTRODUCTION VANSYS is a proprietary videotex system combining interactive virtual-packet switching with store-andforward message switching to provide a high data-rate communications network that interconnects multiple processors and shared peripheral devices. This distributed-intelligence system provides an optimum mixture of centralized control and decentralized network intelligence to support online information retrieval and interactive processing while at the same time managing its own operations by monitoring system-wide states and events and reacting ac-cording to predefined routines. VANSYS provides both prepackaged and customized electronic services to Information Providers, information consumers, and other videotex system operators. These users require a high-performance, transactionally-oriented service that can manage and electronically distribute both dynamic and static databases and can provide maximum service availability and reliability, response-time consistency, database integrity and security, on-line and batch mode database maintenance, and assisted application development. VASSYS components are fully duplexed and mirrored to permit instantaneous recovery of the System image. The bootable system image for its three primary systems is written twice to an otherwise clean, formatted disk. These images are updated periodically from the memory-resident tables to facilitate System initialization. VTI will combine its proprietary software with vendor-supplied hardware, firmware, and software components to create a logical software system. This software system, in addition to operating 'VideoMart' and 'VAN' services, will be available to firms wishing to lease a videotex system either to use as a base for customized videotex services or to provide VTI services through its own IBM system resources. VANSYS will be developed in three major phases with the first phas e pr oviding a lim ited 'VideoMart' public site service, the second phase expanding the functionality of the system by leasing a proprietary ' videotex monitor and developing application systems for both VideoMar t' and 'VAN', and the third phas e r e- placing the leased videotex monitor with a videotex monitor developed by VTI.

C1.1a TWO SERVICE LINES VANSYS is designed to serve two basic VTI service lines. 'Video-Mart' in public sites and 'VAN' in the home and small business, delivering a synchronized mix of audio, text, graphics, and video through b o t h service lines. VANSYS also provides production and billing services for VTI or external Information Provider staffs. C1.1a1 'VideoMart' Public Site Service 'VideoMart' is an advertising/merchandising tool for the public sector to provide merchandising and community information i n public sites with heavy pedestrian traffic such as s h op p in g malls, department stores, airports, etc. Installations are housed in manned kiosks or 'Info Stations' and i n c l u d e t wo b a sic elements. a billboard service and a touchecreen service. BILLBOARD S ER V IC E : T he billboard service is a 'broadcast' medium consisting of overhead tv projectors or monitors that display a continuous cycle of high-resolution color ads for passing shoppers. Billboards are positioned in the towers of the kiosks, normally facing each of four directions. The bill-board cycle, consisting of a defined loop of 60 10-second NAPLPS pages, is maintained and updated remotely from the VTI central office. TOUCHSCREEN SERVICE The touchecreen service is a 'narrowcast' medium consisting of tv-like terminals with touch-sensitive screens which shoppers touch within labeled 'boxes' to access a treestructured database of alphanumeric and NAPLPS formatted pages. Attached printers provide hard copy coupons, maps, etc., upon touch-request. C1.1a2

'VAN' is a locally-focused residential service that 'bundles' Bank-at-home and Shop-at-Home transactional services with community informational, interactive, and gateway services.
'VAN' offers a wide variety of active videotex applications via either a wideband cable system or a telephone system or a hybrid combination of the two. C1.2 DESIGN OBJECTIVES VANSYS hue four primary design objectives: 1) that it be cost effective in all three phases of operation, 2) that it provide universal accessibility, 3) that it enable efficient gateway services, and 4) that it be 'friendly' to the user. Cost-Effective Services: VANSYS must be cost effective during initial phases, when VTI services are limited and simple, as well as when services are expanded and complex. It must there-fore be capable of incrementally increasing its capacity to respond to expanded service requests with minimal turn-around de-lays whether servicing from a VTI database or foreign processing environment. Universal Accessibility: VANSYS must be compatible with evolving protocol standards and de facto standards, and with various versions within these standards, to assure connectivity with other processing environments. Gateway Switching: VANSYS must be capable of transparently gatewaying to the appropriate database to access requested in-formation while maintaining minimal turn-around delays. Switching services must function efficiently with the operating system to assure sensitive scheduling. Friendly Services: VANSYS must provide services that are easy for the non-technical user to understand and use and which add time, cost, and place convenience to daily living.

'VAN' Residential Service

VANSYS meets these objectives with the following features: Cost-Effective Services


top-down modular design to support customized, on-going system development and incremental expansion open-ended design to support increasing numbers of concurrent users, ultimately an entire metropolitan area


efficiencies of large-scale IBM hardware and software resources in a fully-duplexed/redundant configuration

Universal Accessibility - system structure in conformity with the seven layers of the OSI reference model of the International Standards Organization as discussed below - protocol use in conformity with official and de facto protocols within the seven 0S1 layers - flexible access security throughout the system Gateway Switching - intelligent gateway to provide protocol, code, speed con-version - interactive, virtual circuit switching and batch store-and-forward message switching User-Friendly Services - centralized control of network, gateway, and database cont r o l f a c i l i t i e s - friendly interfaces to m anage the system and its performance, to update database content and structure, to pro-vide application development and modifications - online configuration of users and communication f a c i l i t i e s - customized report generation through recorded states and events



VANSYS is structured to be compatible with international standards and protocols being established by the International Standards Organization (ISO). In order to standardize rules of interaction between interconnected systems the ISO has set up an Open System Interconnection Model (O51), a reference model for universally-accessible system software, VANSYS is structured according to this model. The OSI Model has seven functional levels or layers, only three of which have been officially standardized to date but all seven of which will constitute official and de facto standards for the industry and VTI.



The basic ISO concept is that each of its seven layers is designed to accept services from the preceding (lower) layer, to enhance these services, and then to pass the enhanced services up to the next (upper) layer. This functional layering simplifies interconnection problems by dividing the overall task into smaller, more manageable problems, with each functional division isolated from the others. Entities within a level (N) are termed N entities. The next level up is then the N +1 level and contains N +1 entities while the layer below is the N -1 level and contains N -1 entit i e s . Rules defining cooperation between N e n t i t i e s are called L protocols and these N protocols specify how each N entity functions as a logical unit, using N -1 services to perform N functions wh i c h i n t u r n a d d v a l u e t o N -1 services before being passed up to N +1 entities. Services are passed between layers through Service Access Points (SAPs). SAPs and their Connection End Points (CEPs) are referenced in N directories which provide a system address to access services from the N level. All levels of the OSI Model are involved when a message is sent through the System. The communication is generally virtual, however, since physical communication occurs only at Level 1, the physical level. The protocol governing Level 1 is managed by link protocols of Level 2 with Level 2 in

turn managed by Level 3, etc. PRINCIPLES GOVERNING OSI LAYERS The following principles govern the determination and develop- C1.3b ment of the seven layers of the O51 Model Establish number of layers:  that will simplify task of integrating functional units  that will maximize internal activity and thus reduce communication between layers Create layer b o u n d a r i e s .  to separate fundamentally different functions/units using fundamentally different hardware  to support historical breakdowns  where seems practical to have a standardized protocol at some future time Create separate layers:  with similar functions  with easily-localized functions so layer can be totally redesigned a n d protocols changed to take advantage of new hardware, etc., without need to modify neighboring layers where different level of abstraction is needed to deal with the data, e.g., syntax, morphology, semantics which interface

only with the upper (7th) and lower (1st) layer
Create sublayers:  with common, and therefore minimal, functionality to allow interface operations with adjacent layers  with bypassing features C1.3c OSI LAYERED STRUCTURE The seven O S I m o d e l layers, each built on top of the last are: 1) Physical Layer, 2) Data Link Layer 3) Network Layer, 4) Transport Layer, 5) session Layer. 6) Presentation Layer, and 7) Application Layer. C1.3c1 1 Physical (Bit) Layer The lowest OSI layer, the Physical Layer, supports control procedures that interconnect various physical mediums. This layer provides mechanical, electrical, functional, and procedural pro-

connection between a pair of transport entities and thus relieves all higher levels of all routing and switching functions. An important basis for this layer is Level 3 of Recommendation X.25 which uses the HDLC protocols of Level 2 to compose packet framing and provide error detection and correction, and which in turn is supported by Recommendation X.24 at the physical level. 4 Transport Layer ----------------The Transport Layer, the busiest of the seven OSI layers, pro- C1.3c4 vides a universal transport service in association with services of lower layers, thus providing transparent transfer of data from a source-session entity to a destination-session entity. This layer relieves all higher layers from any concern for transportation of their services. Transport Protocols address end-user DTEs without concern to routing, map addresses to logical names, multiplex end-user nodes onto the network, maintain end-to-end error detection and recovery, monitor throughput characteristics of session, and disassemble session messages into packets and reassemble them into messages at the session destination when required. The Transport Layer is responsible for the efficient use of System bandwidth and for providing the most cost-effective connection between session entities. No standards yet exist for this layer; the most widely-known proposal is the Transport Protocol proposed by IFIP and known as INWG 96.1. 5 Session Layer .. ------------ ..-_............. -The Session Layer directly supports presentation layer entities C1.3c5 through two levels; session administration and session dialogue. The session administration level binds and unbinds presentation entities. The session dialogue level controls data exchange and delimits and synchronizes data operations between two presentation entities, thus controlling data exchange with respect both to synchronization and structure. To implement transfer of data between two presentation entities the session level calls on services provided by the Transport Layer. session Protocols govern how a user establishes an end-to-end interconnection, starts and stops tasks in both a graceful and abrupt manner, passes information between peer tasks to provide cooperation and synchronization, establishes dialogue control which defines who, when, how l o n g , a n d w h e t h e r d u p l e x o r s i m plex, and provides a mechanism to recover from communication breaks without perceived loss of service.

No standards are yet defined for this level but are expected from the ISO in early 1964. 6 Presentation Layer The Presentation Layer manipulates structured data for the next C1.3c6 layer up, the Application Layer. it provides a set of functions to enable the Application Layer to interpret data exchange with respect both to synchronization and structure. Presentation Protocols control syntax information for character sets, text strings, data display masks, graphics formats, file organizations. and data types, as well as commonly used routines and libraries for such functions as data compaction, encription, and code conversion. Presentation Protocols also govern virtual terminal and virtual file functionality. The Presentation Layer is location independent but is considered to follow the Session Layer which interlinks Presentation entities. The presentation level controls functions which the user requests often and which therefore warrant general treatment. Standards are not defined for this layer, but are expected from the the ISO in early 1984.


7 Application Layer

The top 05I layer is the Application Layer. Application entities reside in host systems, either in the VTI database or in a foreign host environment. Applications are the result of coordinated application processes intercommunicating according to Application Protocols which respond to specific end-user requests by providing distributed information-processing services. The VANSYS a plication level uses information packets to trans-port data between application processes data from an application process is built into a packet which is then passed down to the lower levels for presentation and transport support. As the packet passes through the lower layers it gains a header and a trailer and the information and the new overhead become the data field for the next lower level, i.e., data produced by the application processes is combined with the packet overhead to form an information packet. This packet is considered as data by the session level which adds session-level overhead and passes i t to the Transport Layer which in turn adds overhead information and so on until the packet reaches the Physical Layer. Application protocols govern password verification, logon, downline loading, file transfer, file access, services, remote job entry, job manipulation, graphic procedures, color control, chart creation and display, database management, messaging, and user-specific applications such as editing, word processing, funds exchange, and transaction processing. C1.4 VANSYS STRUCTURE

Designed to meet all functional requirements of the OSI Model, VANSYS is structured with top-down modular design and with soft-ware components hierarchically structured in five levels: VANSYS is a logical system composed of three primary, interconnected systems each of which has its own operating systems and i s composed of subsystems, modules, submodules, routines, and subroutines. The three primary systems which constitute VANSYS are 1) VANGCM: the Gateway Control Manager, 2) VANGCM: the Network Control Manager, and 3) VANDCM: the Database Control Manager. C1.4a VANGCM Gateway Control Manager The Gateway Control Manager (GCM) acts as a central switching component with responsibility for managing the System on physical, data link, transport, network, and presentation levels, thus providing the functions of OSI Layers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6.. GCM enables universal interconnection of application entities by using a combination of software, firmware, and hardware to establish and maintain logical connections. Because of its centralized

location in the System, GCM also provides presentation level support for foreign host processor environments. C1.4b VANNCM. Network Control Manager The Network Control Manager (NCM) is responsible for all session level applications, thus providing OSI Layer 5 functions. NCM also provides management applications (OSI Layer 7 functions) such as statistical message collection and processing and port and user configuration as required for monitoring and controlling System configuration and utilization. NCM can man-age multiple gateway systems as well as multiple database systems. It provides both hot and cold system initialization; it can self-generate and remotely downline load the other two primary system images into the appropriate processor and initialize them. C1.4c 3 VANDCM. Database Control Manager

The Database Control Manager (DCM), operating as a logically-independent system to provide information and process maintenance and access, is responsible for all general user applications resident in VANSYS. DCM provides maintenance and retrieval of information and process services, thus providing the bulk of Layer 7 functions (with NCM providing Layer 7 system application functions).
C1.5 SYSTEM OPERATIONS VANSYS is designed to i n t e r c o n n e c t t h o u s a n d s o f concurrent users, providing speed, protocol, and code conversion with compatibility across the various standards boundaries. The System accommodates both rapid and slow development of both wideband/ low-delay and narrowband/delay-tolerant applications. VANSYS provides both interactive virtual circuit switching and batch store-and-forward message switching. Users generally access VANSYS via a virtual circuit while Information Provider host systems may require access via a batch message link. All communications links between VANGCM, VANNCM and VANDCM use Recommendation X.25/HDLC with systems linked through port se-lectors. Batch messages are switched from the GCM I/O processor directly to disk storage for delayed processing during low-load conditions. When processed these messages are broken into lengths that will not disrupt throughput delays of VANGCM. Speed and therefore throughput tolerances require that all I/O in VANGCM be restricted to block-mode memory switching to avoid delays in servicing the virtual circuit interface. Security precautions require that all management applications be restricted to VANNCM to provide a centralized control facility. in early stages of operation the System will be run within a single processor environment, providing communications between primary systems via commonly-mapped memory sockets and memory pipelines to reduce CPU overhead. The fully-developed System requires a dedicated pair of processors for each of the three primary systems: a primary and fallback processor for each system. Processors are interconnected through a fully redundant port selector to permit instant recovery in the event of hardware failure. Three types of virtual circuits are used to interconnect these processors: semi-permanent virtual circuits established during system initialization, temporary virtual circuits established for user s e s s i o n s , a n d administrative virtual circuits for inter-processor communications. User needs will require continuous analysis as VTI service changes the market and creates new functional needs and the System therefore provides the mechanism to collect and analyze usage patterns of consumers and information Providers.



Each primary system has its own Virtual Computer System, alogical processing environment consisting of a central processor and one or more input/output (I/0) processors interconnected wi t h i n t e l l i g e n t channels and device controllers. This distributed processing environment permits concurrent processing, thus reducing the burden on the central processor of managing the high incidence of interrupts associated with I/O processing. C1.6a CENTRAL PROCESSORS Each primary system's central processor consists of an Executive Operating System (kernel) combined with hardware and firmware and functions as a multi-tasking processor with no need to swap task images to/from memory during normal operations. The EXEC provides the real time clock, process scheduling, interrupt and trap management, shadow circuit, disk and console driver m anag em en t, a n d system initialization (bootstrap). It contains system work/storage tables to manage interrupts, traps, etc, provides pipeline communications links between processes, and manages reentrant utility routines. It uses firm-ware for diagnostics, hardware bootstrap, and dedicated locations for firmware-driven interrupts and traps. The central processor is a fully duplexed and redundant IBM main frame processor (43XX series). It provides master control functions to a series of independent processors, permitting specialization and concurrent processor execution by linking the processors through a commonly-mapped memory and using general and binary semaphore primitives: 1) to provide mutual exclusion in the critical sections of memory, 2) to serve as resource counters, and 3) to synchronize resource production and consumption. The Virtual Computer Systems provide six hardware functions. 1. Dynamic establishment of hardware interrupt precedents to service interrupts from I/O channels, other devices, program errors, deliberate traps, timers, and hardware malfunctions Hardware traps to protect regions of main memory and restrict use of deliberate interrupts (SYS CALLS) available to a specific process Dynamic address allocation to compute instruction and data addresses concurrently with execution of another program Hardware timer to produce an interrupt for multiple processes after c o un t in g a predetermined number of small increments Base registers to provide multiple user processes and shared utility routines,

2. 3.



6. Direct access auxiliary storage to provide flexibility in selecting the job to load as well as to increase the efficiency of overall throughput into and out of main memory by maximizing

overlap between central and I/O processor execution. C1.6b I/O PROCESSORS One or more dedicated I/O processors are connected to the each central processor through an intelligent channel and device driver. The primary purpose for these I/O processors is to relieve the central processor from the highfrequency interrupt process of I/O processing by interrupting it at the end of each message rather th a n at t he end of each character. The I/O processors buffer messages and transmit or receive them from the specified l i n e . Low- level line functions (Levels 1, 2, and 3) are serviced for bit-oriented, byte-oriented, or character-oriented communications protocols. Characters can arrive t hr o ug h a synchronous or asynchronous link, through either serial or parallel channels. T he c en tr a l processor maintains tables to instruct the I/o processors in managing I/O for each of its lines and queues messages specifying the length of the next I/O message and its initial address. The I/O processor then generates interrupts at the end of the message rather than at the end of each character. Message transfer is accomplished by DMA.

VTI plans ongoing design and development in both system-level and application-level components in three progressively-complex phases. This phased program will incorporate both evolving standards and de facto standards as well as technological advances that offer new, cost-effective solutions to specialized networking and data processing needs. By the end of this development period the Company expects to be established in most of its major target markets and to have interconnected its various market regions into a national network of Metropolitan Area Net-works (MANS). The Company believes that as consumers and Information Providers experience VTI services affording time-cost-place convenience they will demand increasingly-complex levels of service. C1.7a Version 1.0. Non-Transactional Videotex Monitor Version 1.0, required by Spring of 1984 to support 'VideoMart' and limited operational staff services only (not 'VAN' or ' VANBUS') , is a low-investment, limited-function videotex service with little or no transactional capabilities. It will depend upon IBM general purpose software to provide record management, networking, and session-support functionality. See Chapter D1 for Version 1.0 requirements. Expected life of Version 1.0 is 6-9 months. Although some of its applications will migrate into later versions, much of its code will be obsolete by Version 2.0 and therefore any enhancements of its software functionality will depend on whether such enhancements will provide an efficient module of code for later use and on how quickly and easily such code can be developed, tested, and implemented.

C1.7b Version 2.0: Videodial Transactional Videotex Monitor Version 2.0, scheduled for use by Fall of 1984, will be an intermediate solution to increase the functional capabilities of 'VideoMart' and to provide a base for interactive/transactional 'VAN' services. Version 2.0 will utilize a proprietary system-level software monitor from Videodial with limited modification access. This monitor is designed as the foundation for a transactionally-oriented videotex system operating in a distributed configuration. Version 2.0 therefore will provide the functionality of a transactionally-based monitor while giving VTI the opportunity to study Videodial's functionality and efficiency; although since Videodial software is proprietary such study necessarily will be based on assumptions. During Version 2.0 VANSYS development will center on developing the applications code required to customize the proprietary monitor to meet VTI market needs. Much or most of Version 2.0 code will easily migrate into Version 3.0 operations with little enhancement required. C1.7c Version 3.0. VTI Transactional Videotex Monitor p Version 3.0 will be a pro rietary VTI product designed for use in VTI direct operations, satellite operations, and gateways to other videotex operators and also for lease as a turn-key videotex operation.

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