SUN and Subnets


NASA ARC Code ED (medin@orion.arpa)
Sat, 09 Aug 86 16:15:00 PDT


Hi folks. I'm working on building some IP based networks for NASA, and
in talking with several sites, I've found that many would like to shove
an additiional ethernet board into a SUN fileserver, and gateway the traffic
from the busy local ethernet to a 'backbone' type ethernet. Further, a couple
places are using Sun's SUNlink package running over 9600 baud synch. lines
linking a couple machines out in remote locations, and would prefer to
continue using it. The problem I've run into is that SUN doesn't support
subnetting. We subnet here at Ames, and have some SUNs in the local
internet, but none as gateways. We can deal with them because our IP
gateways run with the 'arphack' and so we fool the SUNs into working
into the subnet structure of the local network. But you can't deal with
subnetting if the gateway doesn't know about it. So I'm faced with swapping
out all the SUN machines being used as gateways with a 'real' gateway, or
using bunches of Class C nets here and there. Using a more capable
gateway is probably in the future for all the long haul links, but
the campus LAN's will probably continue to use SUN fileservers as gateways
simply because they may have a lot of diskless SUN clusters.

When I asked my SUN rep. about subnetting, he said that SUN OS 4.0 might
have it, and that would be released in the Jan./Feb. '87 timeframe, but would
make no committments. Other people I know who have asked got no commitment
from SUN at all. Further, my SUN rep. mentioned that subnetting requires
some non-trivial changes in NFS. I can't understand why this would be the
case. I'm aware that various sites have patched up SUN kernels
to run with subnets, and that it was fairly easy if you had source code.
Many of the sites I talk to however, would really not like for
me to come in with a special set of .o files and start messing
with their working vanilla SUN kernels unless I absolutely had to.
I can't figure out why SUN is being so tardy about implementing
subnetting. RFC 950 has been out for some time, and considering
the amount of business they do with universities, I would think many
people would be grateful for some relief in this area. Has anyone
out there gotten a committment from SUN to implement subnetting,
or gotten any reason why its hard for them to do so? It sure would
be easier on the Internet community if they did so. Anybody from
SUN care to comment?

                                        Milo Medin
                                        NASA Ames Research Center
                                        Moffett Field, CA

                              Internet: medin@ames.arpa
                              UUCP: {seismo,amdcad}!nike!medin



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