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Preferable file server configurations
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 89 08:11 CDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Donald H. Mitchell)
I'd love to hear about using the Sun for a file server. I asked my
Symbolics rep about this when we bought our Symbolics, and he didn't
sound too reassuring. (We have over 50 Suns and only one Symbolics.)
The software distribution for the Symbolics UX400 (7.4 ECO #3)
incorporates a new version of the NFS Client, which now uses Symbolics
RPC instead of its own implementation (for improved performance), and is
better at dealing with file versions and properties. With this
software, using a UNIX42 file server is quite reasonable, and we in fact
recommend using a UNIX42 system as a SYS host.
This software is not yet available for other Symbolics machines,
but will be by early 1990.
We are successfully using NSF for quick file transfer; however, I don't
see how you could possibly use the Sun for World saves or loads since
the network software only exists in the worlds, and the Suns would have
no idea what the Symbolics was asking for when it tries to boot. I'm
also uncertain about using the Sun tape drives for reading/writing
Symbolics compatible tapes (maybe FEP tapes are harder than others?).
Does anyone know whether the drives can read the same tapes? One thing
seems certain, you would have to initiate the tape transfers from the
Sun side. The Symbolics tape programs seem incompatible with the Sun OS
tape control (?). If I'm correct about initiating from the Sun side,
then you'd have to ensure that you can mount not only the LMFS but also
the FEP if you wanted to back up any of that stuff. (Now how did I get
from the Sun as Fileserver to the Sun as tape drive custodian?)
The Symbolics UX400 software distribution also includes client support
for the UNIX rmt server, which lets you use the tape drive on just about
any UNIX system. The only limitations are poor error reporting, since
that protocol includes no mechanisms for reporting status information,
and also the LMFS backup dumper will not work through this protocol.
Distribution tapes, carry tapes, and FEP tapes are all supported.
The tape drives on all Sun-3s and Sun-4s can read the same QIC-11 format
tapes used with the Symbolics 3600. I believe the QIC-150 drive
available as an option on the new sparcstations cannot write that