Adding some substance to my example network

So thanks to I thought I should add some people and setup various workstations around my fake network. With that said, here is my list:

name user id country PC
Hazel B. Forrest hforrest USA MS-DOS
James M. White jwhite USA Windows 3.1
Russell I. Ward rward USA
Valerie H. Shimp vshimp USA
Vera H. Williams vwilliams USA
Marie J. Brown mbrown UK Windows 95
Jason S. Seymore jseymore UK
Mingmei Hao mhao HK OS/2 1.21
Guang Huang ghuang HK
Wit Pawlak wpawlak PL WindowsNT 4.0
Fabio Napolitani fnapolitani IT

Which is enough to get me started in creating some users.

For starters I thought it would be fun to make up some applications the users can ‘use’ on this fine network.  A mainframe is a must, however Hercules doesn’t emulate SNA networks.  Which is kind of sad.  I did find an evaluation copy of Microsoft SNA Server 2.11 which runs great on NT 3.5 and higher.  However it is limited to two sessions, but to be honest back when I used a mainframe for work, Microsoft SNA server was honestly the best thing out there.  I had a NT 4.0 / SNA 2.11 install that had uptime in YEARS, while the later SNA 3.0, 4.0 and HIS stuff constantly had issues.

For email, I thought I’d go with something positively ancient, Microsoft Mail 2.1c.

Microsoft Mail

Microsoft Mail

Back then, email programs were just flat databases that allowed multiple people to read/write/lock files over a network. It is very reminisce of how BBS multiuser doors & databases work. MS Mail 2.1 includes clients for MS-DOS, Windows 3.X while the later 3.5 version included an OS/2 client that used the WLO libraries, which was a port of Windows 3.0 to run on top of OS/2.  I kind of covered this thing back here, although it was mostly geared to version 3.5, it basically is the same thing.

I’ve been using a Windows NT 4.0 server loaded up with the FPNW, so it looks like a NetWare server.  Although Netware 3.12 runs on Qemu 0.90, it is lacking UDP bridge support to communicate with dynagen/dynamips.  I did find out that VirtualBOX does support the UDP bridge, and will even run Netware 3.12, HOWEVER, after transferring a few megabytes, the server will stop responding, and dynamips will crash.  Not a very satisfactory solution.  So until I get around to backporting the UDP code, this NT server will serve as my virtual ‘Netware’ server for the time being.

I was also going to run SQL Server 4.21a on WindowsNT, however I did come across SQL Server for OS/2, so I will be installing an OS/2 machine complete with Lan Manager, and SQL Server.  The only downside is that LanManager relies on the non-routable NetBEUI protocol.  However it is just as awkward as bridging mainframe traffic, so I guess that is a hidden plus. While a program to talk to the database outside of the old isql stuff would be nice, I suspect that doing anything beyond Visual Basic + ODBC would take too much time, and honestly not really be all that worth it.

Also looking at this fine program, Stomper, which lets your share a modem over a network, I thought it would be fun to try in combination with rlfossil for some BBSing adventures.  Back before the internet was open to commercial ISPs it wasn’t uncommon for corporations to pool modems over a LAN.  Remote access was typically handled with specialized hardware appliances like the Shiva LanRover. As far as I know, the only real dialup server that Microsoft had was incorporated with Windows NT 3.5.

Once I get this networking operating correctly, then I’ll start to add things like redundancy via HSRP in my core site, backup network connections, an internet connection, upgrade to an exchange server, some BGP peering, and a VPN server.

Just like the real world!

7 thoughts on “Adding some substance to my example network

  1. Neat. I should toss some of my stuff in to a VLAN and join it to your VPN once you get that working. 😉 We can have multiple NT domains, along with Netware and RJE for VM/ESA instances and OS/390. 😉

    (I’ll be using real Cisco hardware though)

  2. Hi , I read that you used a Microsoft SNA server 2.11 evaluation copy for your tests, i was not able to find it, so I would like to know if you would share with me where i can get this evaluation…


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