SUMMARY: Integrating SGIs into Sun Network (Surprise!)

From: Dustin Clampitt (
Date: Wed Oct 09 1991 - 19:35:29 CDT


Here's my summary on my request for info on integrating Silicon
Graphics workstations into a Sun network. I got 35-40 great
responses, too many to properly summarize or credit here. Send
me mail if you'd like the whole compressed packaged (36K), there
is *lots* of good info in it.

The basic summary is that with the help we got from sun-managers
we were able to evaluate and test everything to our satisfaction
and we plan to buy one and then see how it goes. There is nothing
too scary to be dealt with if you have any reasonable amount of
UNIX sysadmin experience.

Here are a few responses. Sorry I couldn't quote everyone, I
gotta get some work done. :-)

For a (compressed) package of all the responses mail a request

>> Subject: Surprise!! Here's an SGI to integrate with your Suns.
>> Date: Tue, 24 Sep 91 19:56:16 EDT
>> Two hours ago I learned that in two days a Silicon Graphics Inc.
>> (SGI) workstation will be delivered for evaluation. We currently
>> manage 100+ Suns. The question for you is:
>> How easy will this be to integrate with Suns? Gotchas? Warnings?
>> Is NFS cool?

Andrew Torda <> says:

  "Yep. Not only that but we have both irises and suns as both servers
   and clients. We even have the automounter running in both directions
   on both brands. No support for direct maps on the irises, but this can
   be worked around and direct automount maps is in their next OS release."
>> Is there NIS?

Tad Guy <> says:

  "Yep, though it's the SunOS 3 style NFS (ie, ypbind -i instead of
   makedbm -b to do DNS stuff)."

>> Is there DNS support?

Tad Guy <> goes on to say:

  "Better than Suns! All one has to do is ether run named or make a
   resolv.conf. No silly twiddling with shared libraries. You still
   need ypserv -i if you use NIS, though..."

>> Is this "System Manager" administrative interface necessary? Can I
>> ignore it? ( I hate menued system management tools. )

mstacy@mayo.EDU (Mahlon Stacy 4-4558) says:

  "Sysadm tool is not necessary. chkconfig is not necessarily necessary,
   but it does allow you to turn things on and off from a command line.`
   Options for ifconfig and automount are added as files in the /etc/config
   directory, different but just as workable as Suns.

>> They need to decide in a hurry if they are going to buy this thing.
>> If they buy one, chances are they will buy more. Being exclusively a
>> Sun shop (so far) my Boss wants to know what the extra administrative
>> load will be to introduce non-Suns into the network.
>> I'm sorry to ask about SGIs in this forum, but I have *zero* useful
>> information in front of me. I've grep-ed the old sun-managers stuff
>> and found nothing. I'd love to hear from Sun admins who have these
>> SGI beasts on their networks.

Other caveats:

mday@picasso.mmwb.ucsf.EDU says:

  "SGI doesn't use the Berkeley file system, and therefore has no dump. People
   here use a combination of find and tar to backup their files to an
   exabyte, but that can be a royal pain when it comes time to restore."

kpc!!cdr@uunet.UU.NET (Carl Rigney) says:

  "You know about the broadcast 0 vs. broadcast 1 business, right? If
   you're broadcasting 0's for the Suns (their default, because 4.2BSD did
   it that way) make SURE SURE SURE that the SGI box is using 0's and not
   1's (the 4.3BSD way). Either way is fine as long as everything on your
   network does it the same way." (Tim Perala) says:

  "Found the BSD lpd software on something called an "Execution only Software
   Environment" tape. You will notice that as shipped, there is NOTHING on
   the system for doing any type of software development, not even cc nor the
   man pages. NFS also does not come with the machine but needs to be loaded
   from tape."

Want more? Send me mail for a compressed file containing all the responses.

Many thanks to the following contributors. ( I hope I got everone! )

From: "Anthony A. Datri" <>
From: "Brian R. Smith" <>
From: Andrew Luebker <>
From: Andrew Torda <>
From: Dave Mitchell <>
From: Denis Laplante <>
From: Frank Kuiper <>
From: John R. Kilheffer <>
From: Ken Lalonde <>
From: Loki Jorgenson <>
From: Mike Walker <>
From: Rudolf Baumann <>
From: Sheryl Coppenger <>
From: Steve Hanson <>
From: Tad Guy <>
From: arnold@mango.Synopsys.COM (Arnold de Leon)
From: (Daryl Crandall)
From: deltam!dm!mark@uunet.UU.NET (mark galbraith)
From: (Fred Seals 5-2298)
From: (Joe Garbarino)
From: (Joseph Godsil)
From: (Jim Hendrickson x7348 M233)
From: johnb@edge.CIS.McMaster.CA (John Benjamins)
From: kpc!!cdr@uunet.UU.NET (Carl Rigney)
From: (Kian-Tat Lim)
From: mday@picasso.mmwb.ucsf.EDU
From: mstacy@mayo.EDU (Mahlon Stacy 4-4558)
From: phil@er.Arco.COM (Phil Meyer)
From: (Phil Irey 703.663.1582)
From: (Randy Thomas)
From: (Steve Jay)
From: (Syd Weinstein)
From: (Tim Perala)

| Dustin Clampitt                                                       |
| PictureTel Corporation                                                |
| 1984 Corporation Way, Peabody, MA 01960  -  508-977-9500 x555         |
| -- UUNET:uunet!pictel!dustin               |
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