LANs have gone through stages. Early LANs connected asychronous terminals to minicomputers. With the advent of the IBM PC the focus on technology changed to that of PCs connected to some type of 'file server'. After a number of years, the battle over file servers turned into a battle of network operating systems. With the advent of the client server model, and high performance workstations, one direction the battle has been taking is to develop a high performance server engine.
The general strategy in this arena is to attempt to remove bottlenecks in the processing of service requests to the various networks operating. Several consortiums of venture capitalists have poured amounts of money in the range of $20m into developing the ultimate high performance server. With Novell shipping thousands of copies of NetWare 386 per month, this lucrative market is about to undergo intense long term competition.
This report describes the general approaches that can be used to develop a high performance server and several of the key products in the area including products from several start up ventures.