Unix PC networking (SUMMARY of EMail)

Chris Rende car at trux.UUCP
Tue Oct 10 04:21:07 AEST 1989

Here is the summary of Email received from my two posting about
"Unix PC networking" and "Call for information on PC-NFS".


Here is my original posting:

> We will be implementing a fairly large, multi-server/multi-site network.
> Systems to be networked include PC's (>100) and several unix systems (~6).
> The PC's need access to file servers, 3270 gateways, and direct access
> to other unix systems on the network.
> We want a unix-based network OS and are currently looking at Banyan Vines
> to run on a 386 box or a Banyan server.

>From edsews!uunet!hpcndr.cnd.hp.com!jason  Wed Oct  4 08:37:11 1989 remote from rphroy

Are you really stuck on using a network OS, or are you willing to look at
something like LAN Manager on Unix (LM/X)?

LM/X, available from several companies (like HP), lets your file and print
servers live directly on your UNIX hosts. LM/X client software should
include Telnet capability as well, giving you connectivity to the UNIX
systems directly. Also, several UNIX vendors (HP included) provide 3270
gateway software on their UNIX systems; you may need to use some fancy
termulation software on the PC, but it should work.

You might contact your local HP sales critter to see what he or she can put
together for you. You might be surprised as to what the connectivity
picture can look like...

Good luck; please send me your summary of results if you decide not to post
This is not an official statement of Hewlett-Packard Corp., and does not 
necessarily reflect the views of HP. It is provided completely without warranty
of any kind. Lawyers take 3d10 damage and roll a saving throw vs. ego attack.

Jason Zions				Hewlett-Packard Corp.
Colorado Networks Division		3404 E. Harmony Road
Mail Stop 102				Ft. Collins, CO  80525-9599
{known_world}!hplabs!hpcndm!jason  or  jason%hpcndm at hplabs.HP.COM

>From cfctech!mailrus!wuarchive!texbell!cs.utexas.edu!uunet.UU.NET!ldc-net!rod  Wed Oct  4 08:37:12 1989 remote from rphroy

I'd take a look at Sun's or FTP Software's PC/NFS packages.  You get the
same DOS file server capability, plus access to all of Unix ( the Banyan
hides anything useful).  You can also use any Unix box which runs NFS as a
server.  I've been using Banyan since 4/89, after using PC/NFS for about
a year, and have nothing good to say about it.


Rod Merry                          Email: uunet!ldc-net!rod
Lee Data		           Phone: 612-828-0323		

>From edsews!uunet!mimsy!oddjob.uchicago.edu!nucsrl!chinet.uucp!les  Wed Oct  4 08:37:14 1989 remote from rphroy

I'm working with a system of about the same size (10 unix machines - 90 PC's)
running AT&T Starlan and it provides all of the functions you mention.  We
use a PC with a CXI (now owned by Novell) board as a 3270 gateway using
netbios to talk to the other PC's directly, but you could use a board in
a unix machine instead.
There are 1M and 10M versions of Starlan - ours is the 1M and it struggles
with the load during busy parts of the day.  The 10M version should handle
it nicely, and there are bridges availble to connect 10 <-> 1 and routers
for X.25 or fiber links if you exceed the physical size limits of the
twisted-pair or coax connections.

>Any input regarding Token Ring vs. Ethernet would also be appreciated.

The 10M Starlan is basically Ethernet over twisted pair wiring (coax will
work too), but it uses the OSI protocols.  You can get it for AT&T
3B2's & 386 unix as the transport for RFS, uucp and terminal session links
as well as the DOS Server (a seperate piece of unix software).  The PC
client and server software should run on anything that is reasonably
IBM compatible.  There is also a nice mail interface for the PC's called
PMX-Starmail that uses unix mail as the transport.

Les Mikesell
  les at chinet.chi.il.us

>From edsews!uunet!dsinc.dsi.com!wells!mdi386!bruce  Wed Oct  4 08:37:18 1989 remote from rphroy
Please make sure and repost your responses.. I am trying to implement
something somewhat smaller, and would like to see what you are doing..

I am setting up as follows:
1 Arix 875
1 NCR 32/600
2 IBM RT (115 and 135)
12 various PC systems

This is being set up on Ethernet, with PC-NFS and TCP/IP.  I would like
to have used the DOS SERVICES on the IBM, but maybe later.  The users
on the PC's do not generally run applications that share data, so for
that they will log onto one of the various UNIX machines.  However, they
will use Wordprocessing, Spreadsheets, etc. on the PC's.
	Bruce A. McIntyre, McIntyre Designs, Inc. VOICE(215)322-1895
	143 Bridgetown Pike, Langhorne, Pa. 19047 DATA (215)357-2915
	{wells|lgnp1}!mdi386!bruce		bruce at mdi386 tbit+

>From cfctech!hacgate.scg.hac.com!hacgate.scg.hac.com:ashtate!unisol!haral!elroy!  Thu Oct  5 08:48:22 1989 remote from rphroy

In article <271 at trux.UUCP> you write:
>Does anyone have any experience to share regarding Vines or similar products?

I am not using Vines, but I interface with a PC running Vines and all I 
can say is, am I glad that I am not running Vines!

Vines does not seem to talk straight TCP/IP among other Vines machines, and,
the machine that actually has a TCP/IP service loaded on, seems to be loosing
the service fairly frequently, requiring reboots or restarts of the software.

--Haral Tsitsivas
  UniSolutions Associates
  (213) 542-0068
--Haral Tsitsivas
  UniSolutions Associates
  (213) 542-0068

>From cfctech!mailrus!wuarchive!texbell!cs.utexas.edu!uunet.UU.NET!cucstud!tfd!tons61!harrys  Thu Oct  5 08:48:25 1989 remote from rphroy

Your best bet is to find a *nix system that allows or supports NFS.  If you
wish to network the PC's into it.  Some other TCP/IP products can do this but
I have PC-NFS and NFS from my vendor on my UNIX machine.  It works great!
For the cost, however, you may want to check the public source archive for
the public domain version of TCP/IP and load that on the PC's and save the 
cost of purchasing software (you still need the controler cards).

Lator gator.
Harry Skelton - Senior Systems Administrator - U.S. Dept. of Transportation
   ..!attctc!tons61!harrys ..!obdient!tons61!harrys ..!tfd!tons61!harrys
[  Views expressed by Harry Skelton are not those of the US Gov. or CBSI  ]

>From edsews!uunet!ukc!vision.uucp!davel  Thu Oct  5 08:48:33 1989 remote from rphroy

This company has commercial product "PC-Connect" and others which integrate
Dos and Unix systems over networks. I can send details if you wish.

 * I I               Dave Lockwood                 These opinions are shareware.
 * II             Technical Consultant             If you like them, send $10...
 * I *   *
 *  **  *          davel at vision.UUCP               VisionWare Ltd,
 * * * *   ...!uunet!mcvax!ukc!vision!davel        Leeds Business Park,
 **  **           +44-532-529292 X2439             Leeds, LS27 0JG,
 *   *                                             United Kingdom

>From edsews!uunet!fciva!dag  Thu Oct  5 08:48:39 1989 remote from rphroy

We are running a smaller version of something similar here.  We have 3 unix
machines (Prime EXLs, 386 MultiBusII boxes.  These could easily be replaced
with a perhaps twice that number of fast 386 AT machines).  The EXLs are 
running AT&T System V.3.1, TCP/IP over ethernet, and Locus Computing's Merge
386 DOS under unix product.  Each EXL has an average of 16 Wyse 60s which
are used in native mode primarily for DB access, but also can be used for
light DOS word processing and spreadsheet work in PC Scancode mode.  We have
the PC-Enhanced keyboards, so the terminals behave exactly like small PCs.
This allowed us to keep a lid on the number of PCs sitting idle on desks.

We are also running Locus Computing's PC-Interface product on about 20 286
AT class machines.  This provides multiple host file service, printer service,
remote execution, and terminal emulation on the PCs.  The terminal emulation
is inflexable, but that was easily fixed with SuperKey macros.  The file,
printer, and remote execution services are very well implemented from the PC
user's point of view.  I would have liked some better diagnotics in the host
software on the unix machines.  The services use udp/ip over the same thin

One of the EXLs, with associated terminals and PCs is in California (we are
located in Virginia).  Currently we are using uucp over Telebit Trailblazer+s
to move data between sites.  In particular, I wrote an lp interface script that
cat $file | uux -n - "$machine!lp -s -o$option -t$usetitle -n$copies"
so that printers at remote sites are transparently accessable.

I have a similar interface script on the two EXLs here that uses rcp and remsh
to accomplish the same thing over ethernet.  Eventually, I suspect we will set
up a SLIP connection over either T2500s or a leased line for the California
site.  This would allow PCs at one site to log in a disk drive at the remote
site.  It would be slow, but it would work.

All this software, and the hardware except for the PCs and terminals, was
purchased as a package from Prime, but is available separately elsewhere.  The
first generation was buggy, but the current software releases are quite good,
and single sourcing has support advantages.  I've been quite pleased with what
we've accomplished, my management is mostly pleased, and a colleage who is an
ex IBM-mainframer is amazed at the cost/performance ratio we've achieved, even
with paying double high prices to Prime for the hardware.

This is probably more information than you expected.  Let me know if you have
any questions.

Daniel A. Graifer			Franklin Capital Investments
uunet!fciva!dag				7900 Westpark Drive, Suite A130
(703)821-3244				McLean, VA  22102

>From edsews!sun!sunburn.West.Sun.COM!mcdphx!zztop!xroads!ronnie  Fri Oct  6 08:54:05 1989 remote from rphroy

I am sysadmin at IDEA Courier in Tempe, Arizona and we currently
have 120 pc's (of varying types) with Sun's pcnfs and using
Sun 3/260's and Sun 3/280's as servers.  We also hook the pc's
up via coax to a patch panel with direct access to our 3270
mainframe.  The pc's have a 3270 emulator and users can switch
between using pc-dos, telnet, 3270 and ftp/nfs.

If you need more detail on our current set-up, just let me
know, but the Sun's used as servers seem to provide out needs
adequately and without much problem. (the biggest problem is
notifying the pc's when the Sun is going down for maintenance
or sending mail to user's on the pc's and having them KNOW they
have mail.  We have Lifeline mail but it doesn't tell the pc
user when he has mail if he is doing another application.  I guess
the biggest problem is that the pc's are not multitasking.....


\  /  C r o s s r o a d s  C o m m u n i c a t i o n s
 /\   (602) 941-2005 300|1200 Baud 24 hrs/day
/  \  hplabs!hp-sdd!crash!xroads!ronnie

>From edsews!mailrus!uflorida!novavax!branch!branch.FIDONET.ORG!wcr  Fri Oct  6 16:46:33 1989 remote from rphroy

I work for Winn Dixie Stores in Florida.  We are using an NCR Tower 650  
running Unix System 5 with our PC on a Token Ring netowrk.  We also have a  
3174 controller (local) on the ring for use with the emulator.  For the most  
part, everything runs fine on the netowrk, the tower is a file/print server.   
And the pc's, mostly PS2/ mod 25's are work stations.  We even have a cron  
backup the user files at 2 a.m.  IBM's 3270 emulator is designed to work on a  
token ring, and a station is needed for Gateway functions.  The Tower runs  
TFS Consumer (I beleive..) and the PC's are running PCLAN.

Unfortunately, I don't have any expirence with Vines or eithernet.

Sorry I couldn't have been more help.
"Out on a Limb in The Branch Office...."                            ]
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          1:369/0   Treasure Coast Net.                             ]
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                                gatech!uflorida!novavax!branch!wcr  ]
INTERNET: wcr at branch.FIDONET.ORG -or- wcr at f11.n369.z1.FIDONET.ORG   ]
BBS     : +1 305 979-2073                                           ]
                                   'I was asking for it.....'       ]

>From edsews!mailrus!gatech!harvard!spdcc!esegue!johnl  Sat Oct  7 10:43:55 1989 remote from rphroy

Remote files, rlogin, rsh, rcp, printing, telnet, ftp.  Backup and email
available at extra cost.  You want gateways, telnet or rlogin to some other
machine.  It understands ARP and packet forwarding so you are a real member
of your TCP network, even if it is as large as the Internet.

There is a developer's kit available at extra cost that lets you implement
network applications of your own.

>Can the PC component of PC-NFS run on XT's?

>How much memory does the PC component of PC-NFS use?
Too much, nearly 100K, but I don't think you'll find anything else as
functional that takes much less.

>How does the performance of PC-NFS compare with other PC servers?
It feels pretty respectable.  I haven't benchmarked it, though others
certainly have.

>How does PC-NFS interact with the host Unix machine?
It looks just like any other NFS client.  At a place where I consult, we
have a network of about 25 Suns and 386/ix machines running NFS, and several
PCs that mount filesystems from any and all of the other hosts.

There is a special daemon for PC-NFS that provides login validation and
printer service.  But you only need to run one copy per ether, not a copy per

PC NFS is also supposed to work via SLIP over serial links, but I've never
tried it.  I suspect that zmodem would be a lot faster.

FTP Software in Wakefield MA also has a PC version of NFS which supports a
wider variety of PC hardware.  Since FTP's primary line of business is
TCP/IP for PCs, while PC NFS is definitely a sideline for Sun, I'd strongly
consider FTP.

>From edsews!uunet!ukc!ibmpcug.co.uk!dwight  Sat Oct  7 10:43:58 1989 remote from rphroy

At The Independent (a daily national newspaper in the UK), we are using
Sun's PC-NFS to link about 100 PCs with nine Sun servers running SunOS
(Unix). We love it, although there are some problems. I can't think of
anything better for this particular kind of need.

I am writing a paper on the subject for the Sun UK Unix Users Group.
If you're interested in getting the paper, or in more information,
let me know.

Questions like yours about the differences between Ethernet and Token
Ring are best answered elsewhere, like in the various trade journals.
We run Ethernet. It's fine.

--Dwight Ernest
  (Best to reply to dwight%independent.uucp at ukc.ac.uk)

>From edsews!ames!pacbell!dumbcat!marc  Mon Oct  9 09:27:12 1989 remote from rphroy

In article <274 at trux.UUCP> you write:
    In general, what services does PC-NFS provide for the PC user?
    (I.e., file sharing, printer services, EMail, modems, rlogin, gateways,...)

PC-NFS allows you to define virtual disk drives with the actual disk drive
existion upon the NFS server.  The package also comes with FTP, Telnet (with
a brain damaged VT100 implementation), rcp, and some other unix like
utilities tailored toward dos.  Printers on the server can also be used,
however several NFS versions were buggy in that you could only spool to a
printer using the ``net print'' command -- you could not have a program talk
to the printer directly.
    Can the PC component of PC-NFS run on XT's?

    How much memory does the PC component of PC-NFS use?

With PC-NFS drivers loaded it takes up aout 80K.  That jumps to over 100 (I
for get ho buch over a hundred) when the print spooler is enabled.
    How does the performance of PC-NFS compare with other PC servers?
PC-NFS is client only.  The assumption is that you have a Server box
somewhere on your network.  With a Vax 780 running VMS and Wollengongs NFS
implementation the disk access is about the same as a slow floppie.  Using a
Sun-3/280 as the server makes disk access a little bit slower than the local
hard disk.  It's fast enough to use when you must have shared files.

    How does PC-NFS interact with the host Unix machine?
It's just another NFS client.  It can access any exported filesystem from
any NFS server.  It can use Yellow pages.  There is an authentication daemon
that comes with PC-NFS (in source form) that you must put on one of your
hosts.  Putting the daemon on the YP master seems to be the best way.

Hope this helps.

// Marco S. Hyman		{ames,pyramid,sun}!pacbell!dumbcat!marc
Christopher A. Rende           Central Cartage (Nixdorf/Pyramid/SysV/BSD4.3)
uunet!edsews!rphroy!trux!car   Multics,DTSS,Unix,Shortwave,Scanners,StarTrek
 trux!car at uunet.uu.net         Minix,PC/XT,Mac+,TRS-80 Model I: Buy Sell Trade
       "I don't ever remember forgetting anything." - Chris Rende

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