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TCP/IP networks are now the primary mission-critical data backbones for today's mainframes. They have proved to be remarkably reliable and resilient even by the high-availability benchmarks associated with the SNA networks that they so summarily displaced. Mainframe TCP/IP networks, nonetheless, are deceptively complex and invariably convoluted, on both the network and mainframe sides. Given this intrinsic complexity, there is much that can go wrong, very quickly and dramatically - and in reality, often does. Though these problems may not cause total network outages, they certainly disrupt application availability, response times, service-level expectations, transaction volumes and end-user productivity. Because these networks are truly mission-critical, there is always a tangible lost opportunity cost even with the smallest of glitches.
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