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Symbolics machines as Internet Gateways

I am looking for information on how sites are connected to the Internet.
I am trying to put together a package for upper management which would
spell out the steps and costs required.

Currently, we have a registered (not connected) Internet address, we
have a few potential Darpa sponsors; we lack a site to connect to and
information on what the hardware and software requirements are.

It is this latter information I am asking slug for.  (On the otherhand,
if you don't mind us hooking up to your end of the Internet, please let
me know!  (We are located near LAX....)

What network configuration is your site using?  Whose hardware, and
whose software?

Our network would consist of many Symbolics machines, the occasional TI,
but primarily a herd of VAXen (running VMS) and a globular cluster of
Suns.  And I shouldn't forget the occasional PC or Mac.

We have several aging Symbolics machines, Suns, and VAXen which could be
used as our gateway.  From a cost standpoint, using one as a gateway
seems to be preferred.  Do you have any recommendations as to whether we
should recycle one of these machines (which kind?), or is buying an
actual gateway box (from Cisco, or from whom?) justified by other costs,
ease of use, or security issues?

Note: we have a fairly large network (~ 100 machines), no network
analyzers, and a systems group which is conscious, but not truly
cognizant.  Which is to say that after the connection is set up, if they
are to run it, then perhaps it better run itself: it should not require
much maintenance or hacking to maintain it.

Perhaps a nifty solution for our situation would be to put Multinet up
on one of our VMS systems.  I understand it offers serial line IP (SLIP)
which we could then connect via modems and leased lines.  I would like
Multinet for a variety of reasons, NFS, Chaos, and TCP being three.
Does anyone have any experience with this product?

What does one gain buying a gateway box?  Reliability?  Performance?
Security?  What should I be looking for?

Thanks for your attention; I will be looking for your responses, and
will gladly summarize any information back to the slug list.

Jerry Bakin

Inference Corporation
5300 W. Century Blvd
LA, CA 90045
(213) 417-7997