SUMMARY: Dial-up remote connections.

From: Andrew Rakowski - USU - RS/GIS Lab (
Date: Sat Jun 19 1993 - 03:48:51 CDT

Sorry for the delay in providing a SUMMARY for my question concerning
the best ways of providing dial-up remote communications between our
lab of Sun systems and other Sun-based labs and Sun stand-alone

The results fell into several categories:

o A majority of respondents stated that they were using Telebit
  NetBlazers for doing remote communications, and most of these folks
  seemed very happy with the solution.

  This configuration appears to be the "simplest" configuration, as the
  NetBlazers do ALL the work, no software required on the Suns. The
  downside is the extra cost (routers at each end) for this

  I have requested a quote for this type of setup, using a NetBlazer/ST
  at the central site, and NetBlazer/PN routers (that can be configured
  with a built-in modem or can use external modems), to see the cost of
  this convenience..

o Several folks commented that using Sun's PPP product does NOT require
  the HSI/S communications card, and that the SunLink-PPP product will
  run with the inboard (onboard) serial ports.

  [However, I have heard from Sun sales folks that this is only true
  with some Sun models since SunLink PPP seems to require synchronous
  communications, and not all Sun serial ports support the required
  signals on the port.]

o One person suggested that using Public Domain PPP software, with
  software configurable link timeouts, etc. and dialing into Telebit
  NetBlazer server/routers as the dial-in hub. I did not get the name
  of the PPP software in use.

o Another person said that they use MorningStar's PPP software with
  14400 modems and V.42 compression, and this is been very easy to use
  after getting the configuration completed. In fact they use this
  between the US and Japan, and have been able to survive semi-frequent
  line-drops without application failures.

  [Morning Star Technologies provides lots of literature on PPP, and
  their product's implementation, all available online via anonymous
  ftp. The site is "", and includes white papers on
  PPP, the MorningStar PPP software User's Guides, Quick Reference
  cards, etc. (Check the /pub/papers and /pub/ppp directories for the
  various docs, etc.)

  Their price list is dated "8/91", so I would suggest contacting them
  for any recent updates to products or prices.]

o One respondent mentioned using small Cisco routers with 1 serial port
  and 1 ethernet connection at the remote sites, and a large Cisco with
  lots of ports as the main router. This was mentioned as an extremely
  robust configuration, with Cisco's never crashing, and good routing
  and filtering capabilities.

o The June-1993 issue of Data Comm Magazine had a short article on page
  13 entitled "Speeding up Synchronous Data". I have not yet had the
  chance to find and read this article, but pass on the info.

o Finally, an interesting suggestion to let a third-party service
  provider (such as UUNET or others) do the work of providing the
  network hook-up. If this project expands significantly, that could
  very well be the best solution.

My thanx to the following folks that responded:

  Adam Shostack, Bob Smart, Kevin Sheehan, Rob Allan, Butch Deal, Bruce
  Kall, Bert Robbins (proof-reader award for catching my "Mbps" finger
  check!), Rich Ralston, 0000-Admin(0000), Jay Twery, Birger A. Wathne,
  John Conlon, David Doherty, Louis M. Brune, Bill Emery, and anyone
  else whose response I might have missed.

FINALLY, some interesting sun-managers mailing list trivia -

  In case you ever think about sending mail to the sun-managers list
  with "Return-Receipt-To:" in your mail, be prepared ahead of time.

  My unintentional automatic survey of subscribers indicated at least
  1,850 mailboxes receive sun-managers mail. I'm sure that there are
  more, although not everyone's mailer responds to "receipt" requests.

  No wonder there's always somebody that knows the answer!

  Also, it seems to take anywhere from an hour to a couple of days
  before mail actually makes it to the hordes...I quickly received a
  couple of mail alias expansion errors (since lost in the flurry)
  followed by the barrage of receipts over a three day period.

My original query was:

} I'm trying to figure out the best way of providing remote connectivity
} to (at least initially) Sun workstations across the country. I would
} be providing data transfer (bulk map data, etc.) as well as a likely
} scenario of X-displays of both text and graphics (map images, both
} raster and vector overlays), with interactive editing of same.
} Switched digital service would be nice, but not easily available in all
} areas. Ditto for ISDN (which would be handy with the SS10 and LX
} having built-in ISDN connections).
} My current idea is to go with Sun's high speed serial interface
} adapters (the HSI/S SBus card), and use SunLink-PPP. I'd like to know
} if anybody has used these combinations with the new breed of high-speed
} modems that have popped up in the last couple of years.
} I'd like to use something with the highest possible data speeds, but I
} need to be able to operate over long-distance dialup connections. The
} combination has to also be "easy to use", so there would not be system
} administrator at the remote site (think of a high-paid manager that
} needs to perform graphically oriented queries and analysis, sitting at
} her desk with a SPARCstation and a modem of some type hooked to the
} phone line).
} Looking through some data comm catalogues (that seem slanted towards
} the PC connectivity side of things) I saw the "MultiModel MT1432BA"
} that is supposed to support synchronous operation, and will supposedly
} handle up to 57.6 Mbps communications.
} Anyhow, I'm looking for ideas, or even info on which FM is the right
} one to read to see what works with switched Sun-to-Sun communications.
| Andrew Rakowski - Lab Manager |
| Remote Sensing & GIS Laboratory |
| Mailstop: UMC-5240 (801) 750-2793 [office] |
| Utah State University |=| (801) 750-2792 [lab] |
| Logan, UT 84322-5240 (o o) (801) 750-4048 [fax] |
| ---------------------------------oOO--V--OOo------------------------ |
| He said with a smile, "I work, but do not speak, for the University" |

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