Can't We All Just Get Along?

Editor's Note: In this two part interoperability series, you'll learn how to get your HP 3000 working and playing well with others in HP-UX, Novell and Windows NT environments.

Is it possible for HP 9000s, HP 3000s, Windows NT servers and Microsoft networked desktops all to share resources in ways that save time and money for IT departments and the companies they serve?

Many legacy IT resources continue to work very well on corporate networks. But as moreHP 3000 and HP 9000 servers are placed on the same networks as Windows desktops andWindows NT servers, IT managers face the challenge of getting these different platforms toshare available file and printer resources. Of course, the goal is to improve or refineLANs already in place, rather than force a costly overhaul of systems.

This article explores the currently available LAN options that can help improve andrefine your networks using HP 3000, HP 9000 and Intel systems.

Over the years, four kinds of LAN protocols have been used for file and print sharing.

HP Resource Sharing
The specification was originally developed by HP as an early Server Message Block (SMB)implementation for the HP 1000 and HP 3000. HP Resource Sharing worked with HP's desktopproduct for DOS, Officeshare, to provide connectivity to host applications and if needed,the host's hard drive space and attached printers.

The was a proprietary solution requiring the use of TCP/IP over IEEE's 802.3 Ethernetspecification, the older HP probe protocol and a DOS NetIPC interface for the client. Noneof these became accepted open standards for interoperability at least partially because oftheir dependence on each other.

While TCP/IP over Ethernet evolved into today's inter-networking foundation, theoriginal 802.3 specification gave way to the more common Ethernet II, originally calledDIX or Xerox frame types. Because HP's Probe and NetPC both required running TCP/IP overthe original 802.3, they too have faded from wide use.

Although the HP 3000 continues to provide these protocols today, 32-bit Windows clientproducts are no longer available as vendors opted to abandon them in favor of newerinterfaces such as Winsock 1.1 and NetBIOS. However, several DOS and 16-bit Windowsproducts that support TCP/IP over 802.3 and Ethernet II such as WRQ's Reflection 3000Connection are still available. Because of the proprietary nature of this specification itdoes not provide much LAN interoperability.

Network File System (NFS)
NFS sprang from UNIX and became an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard inthe late 1980's. Major strides have been made in recent years, such as the addition ofPOSIX compliance, to provide higher levels of interoperability between HP 3000 systems andUNIX with NFS.

NFS has also been made available through products like Quest Software's NFS/iX (NewportBeach, Calif.), with which the HP 3000 can become a NFS file server. Once running on theHP 3000 server, UNIX workstations can connect to it for access to disk and printerresources. By adding NFS client software to Windows desktops and servers, they too canaccess resources on the HP 3000. Upcoming Microsoft and third-party solutions are soon tobe available for the NFS Protocol SMB and CIFS.

NetWare's Core Protocol (NCP)
NCP client and server software is available for the HP 3000 (as NetWare/iX), the HP9000 (as NetWare 3.1.2) and Windows desktops and servers. HP began shipping NetWare/iXwith MPE/iX 5.0, which provided important interoperability for HP 3000s and Novell LANsrunning NetWare, IPX/SPX and the NCP protocol.

The current version of NetWare 3.1.2 for HP-UX will soon be replaced with Netware/9000,which is based on Novell's NetWare 4.1. Microsoft provides NetWare-compatible clients inWindows 9x and Windows NT. Core NCP and Novell Directory Services (NDS) are provided inWindows NT server, making it easier to share between devices on a NetWare network.

The HP 9000s also has a long history of making file and print sharing available. Thefirst instance came in the form of NFS, which HP continues to refine and support. Thesecond came by way of SMB networking that continues to evolve today.

Server Message Block (SMB)
SMB and its most recent incarnation CIFS, emerged out of the LAN Manager NOS as anX/Open standard in the late 1980's and was adopted as Microsoft's standard for local areanetworking.

SMB servers and clients are available for the HP 3000, the HP 9000 and of courseMicrosoft desktops and servers, making it a very useful LAN protocol for integrating fileand print services across these systems. The use of SMB-style networking has become animportant alternative to the other forms of local area networking made available. Theproduct that provides SMB networking for the HP3000 is called Samba/iX.

Samba/iX is free open source software. Once Samba/iX is installed on a HP 3000, aMicrosoft networked desktop or server can access that server using the SMB protocol.Samba/iX can be configured to look like a LAN Manager or a Windows NT server participatingon the Microsoft network. The client portion of Samba/iX makes it possible for that HP3000 to access other LAN Manager or Windows NT servers.

Originally, SMB networking was provided by means of LAN Manager for UNIX (LANMan/X),which provided a LAN Manager server component for HP-UX and support for NetBIOS overTCP/IP (Internet Architecture Board's Requests For Comment (RFC) 1001 and 1002). This madeis possible for DOS and Windows desktops to access file and print resources on the HP 9000by using a NetBIOS redirector and SMB. Most recently HP has released a replacement forLANMan/X called HP Advanced Server/9000.

Third-party NFS and Microsoft-style SMB networking products such as Quest's NFS/iX,Samba/iX and WRQ's Reflection Suite have emerged as very useful ways of making HP 3000file and print service available to both UNIX and Microsoft networks.

Now that your caught up on the protocols, next month, Dave will help you determinewhere your LAN protocols should reside and what integration technology you need to use.

Relevant Web Sites

Quest Software's NFS/iX information can be found at www.quests.com/html/nfs_ix.html.

Samba/iX source and binary code is available at jazz.external.hp.com/src/samba/index.html or www.sambaix.com.

Information on HP Advanced Server/9000 and NetWare/9000 4.1 is available at www.hp.com/ibpprogs/gsy/advantage/aug96/news/advanced.html.

Go to www.wrq.com for information on WRQ's Reflection Suite and Reflection 3000 Connection.

--Dave Herbert is WRQ, Inc.'s Product Marketing Manager for Reflection NT/UNIXIntegration