(Lack Of) Resilience Of WINS Registration

Christopher R. Hertel crh at nts.umn.edu
Mon Jan 14 14:47:02 GMT 2002

This is interesting...

Um, what you could do on the NT side is put in redundant WINS servers.  
Do WINS replication between them.  That way, if one goes down it can 
rebuild from the other.

Regarding WINS failover:  I wrote the core pieces to do this and I have 
failed to make time to get it installed into Samba.  My fault.  It's all 
there, I just don't have the time...

> [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.

We don't (yet) to WINS replication either.

> 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 ?),

Not yet.  The code is mostly in place.  Some interesting things need to 
happen to make the magic occur, I'm afraid.

> then our Sambas all drop off the map until we
> notice (the phone calls coming in !) and restart nmbd on all the Samba
> boxes.

Hmmm...  Have you tried just sending a HUP.  I don't know if that will 
work... just a thought.

> 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 ?

Possibly, but not likely.  If the WINS server already knows the IPs of
Samba boxes then the "tickle" would be a standard name query.  We do 
respond to those.  Also, if the WINS server knows the IPs of the 
clients...why does it not resolve them?

I think, though, that the issue has more to do with Browsing than with
WINS.  The symptom your users see... are the Samba servers 'disappering' 
from the Network Neighborhood?

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

I'd need to understand the problem (and have more time).

Chris -)-----

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

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

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