Project Cascade?

Chris Stacey cstacey1 at
Fri Sep 25 07:57:18 GMT 1998

> Subject: Project Cascade?
> Hi all.  I was wondering if anyone has heard of the new Sun product called
> Project Cascade?  You can find more information about it at a link
> directly off the main page.
> I'm curious as to whether or not it will be as good as samba, and if
> people are going to think that an equivilent hasn't been around for quite
> some time...

We had Sun come and give us a presentation on it here last week.  The
background to it is that for some time Microsoft has given AT&T source code
for NT.  AT&T has then produced a samba like product called Advanced File
and Print Server (or something).  Other Unix vendors (including HP, and SCO)
have long licensed the code from AT&T put their own badge on it.  Project
Casade is Sun joining the band wagon.

One of the major questions we had was how secure is the relationship between
AT&T and Microsoft, especially given NT5 coming up.  Sun told us that there
was no problem and assured us that AT&T (and hence all the other vendors)
would continue to get code updates weekly!  However, we happened to meet
with NetworkApplicance this week and they mentioned that AT&T had just taken
Microsoft to court to force them to release the code for NT5 to them.  AT&T
lost.  So, it appears that all of the products based on the AT&T code are
doomed to remain at NT4 levels.

Another major reservation of ours is that in order to provide NT ACL's each
file is duplicated in the filesystem.  There is one directory entry for the
unix version of the file and one for the SMB version of the file.  The SMB
version has a completely different name and is owned by a pseudo SMB daemon
user.  Additional ACL info for each file is also stored in . directories (or
files I can't remember) within each directory.   So, multiprotocol access to
the same data is at best tricky, at worst impossible.

Having said that the AT&T based products have a couple of nice features.
One is that they can be PDC's or BDC's, and when they are a PDC any changes
to either unix or NT passwords are synchronised with the other domain.  That
is, if you change your NT password your unix password will be changed to

The selling point of all of the AT&T code based products is that Unix boxes
are more reliable then NT boxes and can handle more tasks then the average
NT server.  Basically the usual scenario is to have a couple of large unix
boxes providing a large number of services, while we usually have a large
number of NT servers providing only one or two services each.  So, using a
unix box rather than a whole tribe of NT boxes allows you to cut down on the
number of boxes and hence administration.  Good for some people in some

The second phase of Project Cascade (assuming it stays alive) is supposed to
add the ability for Solaris boxes to do user authention against an NT
domain, and access network drives via SMB (ie. they port the linux code to
solaris).  All they'd have to do then would to grab the FVWM95 code and
Solaris would look and feel like NT.

We are trying to get onto the early access program for Project Casacade,
however we're not likely to replace our samba servers here with it.  We
might be interested for small offices where we have to have a unix box
anyway. Adding a BDC without adding a box might be useful.  But hey a PC to
act as a BDC doesn't take much room or cost much.

Chris Stacey
Senior Systems Engineer, Motorola ECID
Tel: +44 (0)1793 565142  Fax: +44 (0)1793 565419
mailto: cstacey1 at
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
and I'm not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

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