10 Sep 1987 19:39:48 EDT

I'm forwarding this to this list because I think most of the answers
can come from it. These people are building themselves a marvelous
environment and are looking for the superglue. Of course, not one
brand of superglue exists to solve it all, but I think the components
are present here.

Each one contribute one idea and we can build them a viable internet.




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To: "Kevin M. Leahy" <LEAHYKM@A.ISI.EDU>,
              Dan Lynch <LYNCH@A.ISI.EDU>

Request for Information

10 September 1987

We are currently investigating methods of providing networked
services to PC users at a large government
installation and would appreciate any leads anyone could give us.


The user community may eventually number 2000-3000 persons using
IBM compatible PCs primarily for word processing, spreadsheet,
and database applications (WordPerfect, Lotus, and DBASE). We
must allow these users to share files, printers, and other
resources and to exchange mail with one another and across the
MILNET. These users are located in multiple buildings at two
geographic sites separated by over 50 miles.

We have a large base of installed
minicomputers (VAXen, CCI Power 6, Pyramid, Sun) which run Unix
(4.1c, 4.2, Ultrix, Pyramid's OSX) and which we want to reuse to
the greatest extent possible as servers for the PCs. These
minicomputers are connected via an 802.3 baseband network using
the DoD TCP/IP protocols; the two geographic sites are connected
via a T1 microwave link.

Required capabilities include:

     Transparent file service. The user should be able to access
     the server's disk as if it were a hard drive on on the
     workstation. Telnet and ftp-type applications are welcome,
     but alone are not sufficient.

     Transparent print service. At the least, the user should
     be able to send documents from his PC to a shared printer
     with a simple command. It would be nice if all his
     applications (WordPerfect, DBase) could do the same thing.

     A mail service which receives and stores the user's mail
     even if the PC is not online, allows the user to read his
     mail from his PC, and uses or can interface to smtp mail.

Acceptable solutions must adhere to IEEE 802.3 and must use the
DoD TCP/IP protocols or provide gateway services to a TCP/IP
network. They don't have to work with Macintoshes, but that
would be an added plus.

We have looked or are now looking at Novell NetWare, the IBM PC
Network, 3Com 3+Share, Sun NFS, Locus PC Interface, Syntax
SMBserver, and several public domain packages (CMU PCTCP, CMU
Repository Mailer, Phil Karn's KA9Q PCTCP).


Has anybody out there solved a similar problem? If so, what did
you use and how would you rate your solution?

Does anybody have a lead on a product not in the list above which
would meet all or most of our criteria?

How important is NetBIOS compatibility? From what we've seen,
nobody as yet is adhering to the RFCs from the NetBIOS over TCP
Working Group. We are also concerned about the advent of OS/2
and the LAN Manager and what that will mean to NetBIOS. Is
NetBIOS an emerging/existing standard for PC networking, or will
it go away?

Thanks for any help you can offer.


Vicky White
Code K33
Dahlgren, VA 22448
(703) 663-7745


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