Multi-WINS behavior.

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Sun Jul 16 16:31:09 GMT 2000

> > That is, it only took a few hours to find the right files on the CD
> > and get them to work.
> I am severely impressed.  Having multiple SGI's around here, I didn't
> have to go through that, but if I had had to, I don't know if I would
> have figured it out or not.

Most kind, but it was dumb luck (and having gone through it before).  Oh, 
I also discovered that I didn't have to jump through all of the foolish 
hoops just to get the C compiler licensed.  Once I was able to repair the 
bad disk I copied the licenses and they worked.

> Yes, I know, different machines might see different parts of the
> namespace, but at the heart of it all there is still only the One True,
> Flat Namespace.

I see it as multiple, disjoint namespaces, but perhaps this is just a
question of terminology.  I'm calling the broadcast domain a namespace,
and the set of all names in the WINS server database is a namespace.  The
namespace of a given node is the union of all namespaces in which it

> Maybe in another five years everyone will have migrated to Win2k with
> DNS and we can all forget about this. 

Trade the old problems for the new.

> (Hmmm, does Win2k use DNS or AD
> for browsing, or does it still need NetBIOS names for that?)

I *think* that W2K abuses DNS to find the AD server, but the services are 
listed in the AD.

> > What I really don't understand is this: If you *want* multiple name
> > spaces and you're *going* to do the work of preventing collisions
> > anyway, why not just sync the WINS servers.  Yes, yes, I understand
> > that Samba doesn't do this yet.
> Well, that's why, then. (:

The people who were asking are using MS WINS servers.

> > I really, really did ask if anyone wanted this a while back and
> > really really didn't get much of a 'hurrah' from the crowd.
> It would be cool to have around, but Samba is reliable enough that most 
> of us don't see a pressing need for failover....

I'd just like to know how it's done.  MS uses port 42 for WINS
replication.  This port is 'officially' assigned to an old nameservice of
some kind.  I'm not sure what it was for, but MS apparently figured that
it wasn't being used any more so they grabbed it.

Unfortunately, I don't have the equipment to run two VMWare sessions...

> The cold, hard reality that on a given network there is only One True
> Namespace, and any attempt to play with multiple disjoint namespaces
> that can talk to each other is at best a crude hack.

Okay, how do you define "a given network"?  I do consider the broadcast 
namespace and the WINS server namespace to be disjoint, which would put M 
and H nodes into the 'crude hack' category (which might very well be the 
case, but...).

Try as I might, I can't see any problems with participating in two WINS
server namespaces.  It's more complicated for the admin, but that's about

> > > Me neither, I hate browsing.  It confuses me like you wouldn't
> > > believe. 
> > 
> > Grin.  Well, we've got something else in common then.
> Yeah, but you probably at least have a basic understanding of it.  I
> sometimes like to think I do, but every time I run into a browsing
> problem I'm left scratching my head and muttering "Windows bugs,
> Windows bug," even though it probably isn't one.

It's a design flaw.  The whole system was designed for a broadcast LAN. 
When you find yourself dealing with such a problem, think in terms of
NetBEUI.  The only thing that Browsing over NBT really adds is the Domain 
Local Browser and browser sync.  (Well, that's a lot I suppose.)

Chris -)-----

Christopher R. Hertel -)-----                   University of Minnesota
crh at              Networking and Telecommunications Services

    Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them
    with your choose them as your guides, and following
    them you will reach your destiny.  --Carl Schultz

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