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Date:      Wed, 24 Jun 1998 22:30:30 -0700 (PDT)
From:      Doug White <dwhite@resnet.uoregon.edu>
To:        GLEN.W.MANN@monsanto.com
Cc:        freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: Feasibility as Enterprise Server
Message-ID:  <Pine.BSF.3.96.980624220827.29163D-100000@resnet.uoregon.edu>
In-Reply-To: <"0624140818-Feasibility as Enterprise Server"@MHS>

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On 24 Jun 1998 GLEN.W.MANN@monsanto.com wrote:

> Usually the two choices for a Small company LAN OS are NT or Netware.  
> Each have advantages and disadvantages.  I don't like either very much.

Good. :)

> I would like to head toward FreeBSD 2.2.6 as the network OS for a new 
> network with about 50 DOS, WfW, and Windows NT, and even MAC clients.  
> I'm looking for answers to the following questions.  I apologize there 
> are so many; I've tried to put the most important ones first.  Oh - this 
> network is not for Monsanto Company.

No problem.

> 1) Client Connectivity - we will have DOS clients, as well as WfW, 
> Win95, NT, and perhaps even MAC.  WfW, Win95, and NT are easy.  What
> about DOS and MAC?  Should I use NFS or Samba?

Unless your Mac's have a Samba/SMB client, you'll want to run Samba to hit
the Windows & DOS clients and CAP to pick up the Mac clients.

> 2) Robustness, Reliability - IMO NT doesn't come close to Netware.  Can
> I realistically put my companies files on a FreeBSD box? (with backups,
> of course!)  Do I need a HP-9000 with HP-UX?

Absolutely.  

> 3) What sort of a machine do I need.  "Jordan's picks" seem oriented
> toward workstations.  RAID?  SCSI?  Tape backups?

The picks are a bit out of date depending on what part you're interested
in.  You can use any CPU, but ASUS, Abit, and VIA motherboards are pretty
good.  Gets lots of RAM.  If you really want RAID then you'll have to get
a DPT SCSI controller (not a bad thing tho).  For tape, anything SCSi
should work; a DDS-3 drive is quite good.

> 4) What about network administration?  Is FreeBSD realistically
> usable in the office environment?

Absolutely.  It depends on your needs of couse.

> 5) How does FreeBSD handle open files during automatic backups?

As with all UNIXen, it'll back up the file as it stands written.  You'll
want to flush your database's caches before backing up their files.

> 6) Will FreeBSD support typical printers such as HP 5's with JetDirect
> software?  Or must I connect the printer to the parallel port?  Is one
> or the other way better then the other?

Both types of printers are supported.  For ease, I suggest replacing 
the stock lpr with LPRng.

> 7) What about virus immunity?

UNIX is not suceptable to viruses as long as proper security measures are
taken (which is basically not running as root al the time).

> 8) What about security, both general security and file isolation to
> particular users in my user community?

Standard fie permissions apply.  System security is a high priority;
problems are fixed immediately.

> 9) Are there e-mail clients for the WfW, Win95, NT, DOS, and MAC
> platforms that can use the FreeBSD server for the mail?

Install a POP server on the FreeBSD machine; most popular mail clients
(Like Quallcomm's Eudora) can access the POP server.

> 10) Should X be a part of a server's configuration?, or does it consume
> too many resources?

Not intially.

> 11) In Netware, client configurations are "server-based" (via login scripts).
> Is this possible using a FreeBSD server?  (I think this is a not really.)

Unfortunately no, but there is client side configuration in NetWare too.

> 12) What's going on with the move toward UNC file locators from drive 
> mappings?  Should I care?

Don't know what you're referring to, sorry.

> 13) Is NDS really necessary to have?

NDS (NetWare Directory Services) is a Novell fixture used with Netware
only.

> 14) In the future, we may require an MRP II manufacturing system.  Will my
> legs be broken, or should I just get at that time the necessary server for
> our chosen MRP software?

You'll have to get the specs on that system.

> 15) Can I use DOS, WfW, Win95, NT, MAC clients for MySQL connectivity?

I believe there is an API for MySQL access.  I'm not intimately familiar
with MySQL tho.

> 16) Finally, is FreeBSD going away?  I hope not.  It's what I use most
> at home and I've set it up everywhere I go.  It's a really great product.
> I may have the opportunity to apply it in a new way.

Not any time soon by the looks of things.  In fct I expect it to pick up
steam in the coming months.

> I'll be looking into these, but advice from other users seems to be the 
> best resource when it comes to FreeBSD.  

Indeed.  Make sure you browse the web pages at http://www.freebsd.org.

Doug White                              | University of Oregon  
Internet:  dwhite@resnet.uoregon.edu    | Residence Networking Assistant
http://gladstone.uoregon.edu/~dwhite    | Computer Science Major


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