We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Systems Network Architecture?

M. McGee
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Systems Network Architecture is a proprietary networking protocol owned and marketed by International Business Machines (IBM) from 1974 to 2002. This protocol contains a group of interconnected applications, protocols and services that run on the IBM 3745/3746 communications controller. This controller is still common in thousands of different companies, most notably financial companies such as banks and brokerage houses. Even though production of the IBM 3745/3746 communications controller stopped, the system still receives updates from IBM, and a wide range of third-party systems use the controller as their base hardware.

The point of the Systems Network Architecture protocol was the connection of mainframe computers with other mainframes and communication terminals. This process was primarily achieved through hard connections and phone lines. When this technology came on the market in the mid-70s, the industry with the greatest need for fast and reliable interconnectivity was banking. As a result, Systems Network Architecture became a common method of exchanging information between financial systems.

This technology was designed to overcome two major technological disadvantages of the time. This first problem was the communication system itself. Terminals and mainframes of the time used hardwired communication ports to talk to one another. These ports were buggy on their own, but when ports of different makes or models attempted to communicate, the error rate often made connectivity impossible. Systems Network Architecture was a technological overlay that forced dissimilar ports to operate the same way, reducing error rates.

The other major disadvantage was built directly into the IBM systems. At the time, the phone network was so poor that transmissions were extremely slow. In order to overcome this technological limitation, large computers used line bundles to connect. Each of these bundles had hundreds of communication lines. Even though the connection was slow, so much information came in through the different lines that it allowed reasonable transmission speeds.

The IBM systems had a hard-coded limit of 256 peripheral connections per processor. While this was fine for most systems since they only had a handful of printers and keyboards connected, each line connection counted as its own peripheral. This severely limited the size of line bundles available to the computer. Systems Network Architecture allowed the system to read a group of lines as a single peripheral, increasing the number of available connections.

As computing changed, Systems Network Architecture changed with it, but not fast enough. Modern computing protocols and methods made certain aspects of Systems Network Architecture unwieldy or obsolete. As a result, when the contract for production of the IBM 3745/3746 communications controller ran out in 2002, it was not renewed. A third-party system continued producing the controller and upgrade kits until 2009.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M. McGee
By M. McGee
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences. With a background in communication-related fields, he brings strong organizational and interpersonal skills to his writing, ensuring that his work is both informative and engaging.
Discussion Comments
M. McGee
M. McGee
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences....
Learn more
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.