(Lack Of) Resilience Of WINS Registration

Boyce, Nick nick.boyce at eds.com
Mon Jan 14 13:13:40 GMT 2002

[I realise the Team is very busy currently, so ignore me if you don't have
the time]

Noticing Andrew Bartlett's "Current patch for DHCP discovery of WINS
servers" posting, I thought that if folks are working on the WINS
registration code, maybe I could submit this for consideration :

context: We run a gaggle of (2.0.x) Sambas (mostly Unix, some VMS), all
registering their existence with our main corporate *NT* WINS servers so the
Windows users can find them - we don't run any Sambas as WINS servers in
their own right.

I (and others - see para 3 of
http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/net/netinfo/WINS/Samba.html) have noticed that
when the company NT admins reboot the WINS servers (actually I mean just the
*one* WINS server we list in smb.conf, as Samba can't register with more
than one anyway ... can it ?), then our Sambas all drop off the map until we
notice (the phone calls coming in !) and restart nmbd on all the Samba
boxes.  This doesn't seem to be an issue for the NT servers dotted around
the network, so I assume NT has some kind of mechanism for periodically
reminding its WINS server of its existence - can Samba be made to do the
same ?

Thinks: when I took my (gulp) MCSE exams, IIRC the lecturer told us that a
WINS server will periodically "tickle" all registered hosts to see if
they're still alive - is it perhaps the case that this tickling *is*
happening but Samba doesn't/can't handle it ?

I think it would help the average commercial DP shop a lot if this could be
enhanced ...


> Nick Boyce
> EDS Southwest Solution Centre, Bristol, UK

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