[Samba] The "single WINS" problem

John H Terpstra jht at samba.org
Mon Nov 28 04:16:14 GMT 2005

On Saturday 26 November 2005 01:29, Tomasz Chmielewski wrote:
> John H Terpstra schrieb:
> > On Friday 25 November 2005 17:41, Andreas Hasenack wrote:
> >>Em Sexta 25 Novembro 2005 21:45, John H Terpstra escreveu:
> >>>With all due respect, I belive that your alarm and concern is a little
> >>>excessive.
> >>>
> >>>What sort of response are you looking for? What are you hoping to
> >>> achieve from
> >>>your request?
> >>
> >>The point is not how often the wins service (or its machine) fails, but
> >>what happens to the rest of the network when it does. Considering netbios
> >>name resolution is not just about mapping name->IP, but also about
> >> locating services (who is the logon server? who is the domain master
> >> browser?), a single wins makes the windows network, which is already
> >> fragile, even more so.
> >>I've seen a wins server fail (kernel panic), and it wasn't pretty to the
> >>rest of the network.
> >
> > That failure was not the fault of the WINS server.
> Certainly the kernel panic wasn't the fault of Samba running WINS, but
> the consequences point us to the limitations of Samba.

Ah, but we all have limitations. Remember, to err is human but to really stuff 
things up requires a computer.

> Even a single network disruption between WINS/PDC and the rest of your
> network can cause trouble similar to WINS/PDC kernel panicking.

A wedged kernel is bad news! Mucho bad news! :-)

> To prevent such cases, where networks are separate (i.e. in different
> cities) but use a single user database (in LDAP), I just set up PDCs
> instead of BDCs (they don't see each other via netbios anyway), and each
> of them is acting as a WINS server.
> I find it much more resistent to such failures.

Ah, so you followed my example in chapter 6 of "Samba-3 by Example". It was 
added to the documentation because it works so well for the one company I 
know of that used it. Just make absolutely certain that the all PDCs run the 
same version of Samba.

- John T.

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