TCP/IP implementations for DG/UX on MV series Hardware (was Honeywell and DG)


Samudra E. Haque (dg.cs.umn.edu!haque@umn-cs.arpa)
14 May 88 06:19:56 GMT


>From: chris@ACC-SB-UNIX.ARPA (Chris VandenBerg)
>Date: 9 May 88 17:45:19 GMT

>> I am going to be running Honeywell and Data General systems on a
>>LAN soon and have been told by a customer that they have TCP/IP implement-
>>ations running on them. Does anyone have any comments, suggestions, war
>>stories or anything else that relates to these implementations? I have never

I run a MV10000 machine with Data General native unix here at the
Computer Science Laboratories, current revision of the OS is 3.11 and
revision of the TCP/IP portion is 2.1 I believe.

Summary of TCP/IP on DG machines: not bad, but could be better.

You might want to be aware of a couple of things "peculiar" or "unique"
to Data General Unix software:

    Disclaimer: Your mileage may vary in proportion to the relation you
    have with the company and its sales offices.

    a) There ARE people directly connected with Data General on the
    net and who have access to this and other newsgroups. Maybe they'd
    like to publicise their own product some day? [Dg-Rtp people:With
    the recent Unix announcement by De Castro, don't you think your
    management would love a few extra customers? :-) ]

    b) Currently DG has several TCP/IP packages with different O/S's:
            AOS/VS with MV/UX (Unix) as a sub-process.
            DG/UX native Unix (SVID compatible System V/BSD 4.2)

        We used to have AOS/VS at our site but about 9 months ago
        switched over to DG/UX. While the cutover itself was painless,
        and while DG/UX makes our machine a far better and useful CPU
        on the whole, lack of good networking utilities hampered us a
        bit. Also something that really hurt us was the "inability"
        for DG/UX to communicate with certain vendor machines
        including other MV series machines themselves.

        Some of these problems are currently under going investigation
        (Data General has a very good customer support service at
        least), but here are a few details:

            1) Most of the code for the TCP/IP version 2.1 coupled
            with DG/UX 3.11 were written in 1985 or 1986. code
            currently is predominantly based on 4.2 code with *ALL* of
            the bugs still present.

            2) No nameserver support.

            3) Occasionally some of our SUN-2's and SUN-3's will not
            be able to communicate with the MV and vice-versa.

            4) I find it impossible to work from an MV10000 <->MV20000
            over the arpanet using DG/UX 3.11 and TCP/IP. Connections
                        will inevitably hang or refuse to start at all.

            5) In one nasty case, we found that they had ('as a result
            of a design decision in previous revisions ') written parts
            of the O/S code that relied on a particular level of
            revisions of the boards inside the CPU including the ILC
            (intelligent lan controller). What would happen if you
            weren't running that particular level was that occasionally
            (read: randomly) there was the possibility of a board being
            *IGNORED* by the CPU. Only a hardware reset would bring that
            board back up!

            There was no fix except to *up* the hardware, and if it happens
            again I'm tearing somebody's desk in half.

    b) Things ARE going to change: (All for the better I hope)
        1) revision numbers are going to be standardised. Thus DG/UX
        revision 4, due out mid summer is going to have TCP/IP rev 4.

        2) nameserver support will be provided.

        3) new code fixing trailing headers and other problems

    The reason for this change in progress is the advent of DG/UX
    revision 4: (100% system V and 80-90% BSD, according to sales
    reps). Data General wants to get into the Unix market with a
    stronger line of products and hence it has just recently increased
    support of DG/UX internally. Overall I have heard DG/UX revision 4
    to be a worthwile operating system.

    c) Currently DG/UX has neat stuff like NFS/YP (we use NFS, but not
    YP) pretty good implementations, except for lacking in symbolic
    links (fixed in rev 4 of course). It has also the standard BSD 'R'
    functions : rsh/rlogin etc. etc.

    Programming with TCP/IP isn't that bad from my limited experience
    with it, ( I ported RRN at least) like any other piece of software
    that is to exist in a hybrid environment the following apply:

            1) If you use system independent packages (i.e. curses and
            not terminfo) software will tend to port easier.

            2) If you really really REALLY want to break a piece of
            software - you will be able to.

            3) Rtfm,rtfm, RTFM!

    d) Corporate Software support is good now from the customer support
    center in Atlanta, GA - but it could be a lot better. It used to be until
    a few weeks ago that the first level reps would not know the
    remotest Unix type questions even if you told them the page number
    of the manual to look at. Again, with the turn towards unix, more
    and more staff are taking Unix classes. (I can just see it now:
        "you mean if I do a 'ls' it will print out the same
        information as the DIR command in AOS/VS? ":-)

    If they (DGC software problem management dept), happen to fix a bug,
    then often times they will give you binaries of all the programs
    ($22,000 for source code if you are inclined to buy it) and they won't
    even provide the *.o modules for convinience. That means of course you
    *have* to be upto date with the software revisions.

Other than that - I don't have much to say. (i've already said enough
don't you think?). Again, it's raining now but the outlook for the future
is clear and getting warmer. Oh, I think 75 F, and 35% humidity please..

Cheers!

                          Samudra E. Haque
    Computer Science Laboratories, Computer Science Department
         University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455
(1)-(612)-625-0876 || haque@dg.cs.umn.edu || umn-cs!haque%dg.cs.umn.edu



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