In IBM's Systems Network Architecture ( SNA ), a physical unit (PU) identifies a network node that supports communication sessions between logical unit s (LU). Logical units represent end users. Two logical units that communicate depend on physical connections being established through associated physical units. The network point at each end of a communication that sets up the communication session between logical units is called the system services control point (SSCP) . The SSCP sets up its own session with the PU on behalf of the LU-LU session. Typically, a logical unit is a unique connection to an application program. A physical unit is the hardware and routing aspect of a network node . IBM's Virtual Telecommunication Access Method ( VTAM ) is used by an application program to manage session and communication requests on behalf of logical units.
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In SNA, there are different node types (formerly called physical unit types) that characterize routing, pooling, and other network capabilities.