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| Networking older systems|
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Location: Sunny Blackpool
|I would imagine most of us don't sneakernet data to our older systems. |
So, how do you handle network connectivity for older systems?
The way I handle it is a dual-homed Linux box acting as a router (no NAT, thanks!) and static routes both ways.
Then I can run whatever I want (IPX anyone?) on it's own broadcast domain.
At the mo it's configured as such:
2 internet connections (VM home 200d/12u & one VM business 200d/15u) go to the ClearOS box:
ClearOS box -> 172.16.2.254 (v4) 2001:470:1f09:b45::3/64 (v6)
All this does is load balancing and IPTables.
Main LAN -> 172.16.0.0/21 (v4) 2001:470:1f09:b45::/64 (v6)
Everything newer than XP goes here and just uses IPv4 / v6. A Windows AD domain ties the whole thing together.
DHCP is used for v4, and is handled by a Windows(!) VM. v6 is currently handled by stateless autoconfig.
Dual-Homed Linux Box - eth0 - 172.16.7.254 (v4)
eth1 - 172.17.0.254 (v4)
Retro Stuff -> 172.17.0.0/24 (v4). No v6 as nothing before XP really supports it well.
Everything XP and older goes here. On this network I also run a variety of weird protocols such as AppleTalk for the old Macs.
The dual-homed Linux box also hands out DHCP for this network and handles upstream DNS registration such that I can resolve names from the main LAN.
I previously used a single broadcast domain but that got out of hand quickly and doing it this way allows for trivial control over ingress / egress traffic from the older systems.
Location: Hull, UK
|That sounds as though it should cover everything, I bet it was tedious to set up though. |
I need to tidy my network up at some stage. I used to have it split into two networks - with a Co-ax network hanging off of one end, though logically it was the same as the rest of the second network. Basically my original network was a slower than hell Co-Axial cable nightmare with machines communicating over IPX. It used Microsoft LAN Manager for a brief time before moving to LANTastic... It sucked, but it stayed. At that time I had a 386SX-16 acting as a server, identified as Mars with the other two machines labelled Phobos and Deimos... Running out of moons and gaining better hardware anyway I moved to Fast Ethernet, but left the older part of the network alone for the most part. Compatibility was maintained somewhere down the line, after the 386's motherboard died somewhere in 2007/8, by running a server on NT 4.0 which bridged the gap between both networks and breaking any dependency on tools like LANTastic as that had always been trouble so far as connectivity to other networks was concerned. The main network on the other side of the server was simply another Windows network on the TCP protocol exclusively. This newer part of the network used a Windows 2003 server to handle everything, I had no internet access at the time but the implementation proved problematic when I eventually got DSL and needed to use a router. Originally I used a second NIC in the server and relied on ICS to handle it.
Typically I favored 10.#.#.# IP ranges, but due to limitations of some hardware on the network I now use boring old 192.168.0.# instead.
Eventually I moved away from that because it was hard to manage, using only one network and one IP range... mostly. The server the forum is hosted on, along with its VMs occupy a different VLAN to everything else in the house because it's cheaper to use less switches. The only time that VLAN and the mostly VM occupied network is connected to the main VLAN is when disk imaging takes place. A lot of old machines have problems so I've taken to relying on FTP, CF cards and other means to get things done if I need to and it's not great. I used to use a VM on the workstation to get files in and out of older systems but it had stability issues with the integration features, so I stopped doing this, it usually took longer than it would to just burn a CD or something. Even pulling out the hard drive and copying the files that way was usually faster. Windows 7 is horrible for talking to old machines, slow. Oddly, it speeds up if you use a Win9X VM, so it's clearly a software or configuration issue. Disabling "Large Send Offload" seems to negate this slightly.
I'm planning on retiring the DES-1526 switch, or at least relegating it to second switch and replacing it with a fully gigabit one for newer machines. When that happens I'll probably re-organize everything to run smoother. Obviously I'm stuck with a crappy DSL router at the very end of the chain no matter what, not how I'd like to do things but there's no choice in the matter.
Location: Sunny Blackpool
|It wasn't too bad to set up really, I have pretty much always had the home LAN as it is now so when I started seriously poking about with older machines in quantities larger than 1 I just grabbed a cheap 8-port unmanaged GigE switch and went from there. |
I run an XP VM ('Legacy-vFS1' ) which most of my older machines talk to over SMB and a Win2K server VM ('Legacy-vFS2' ) which runs 'Services for Macintosh' providing AFP for my Mac OS 8/9 clients.
As for a replacement for your DLink thing... I use an old 3Com 'Baseline' switch which was acquired on eBay for £60, it's a 48-port Gigabit affair and has been very reliable in the 2 years or so I have had it. Supports everything you would expect.
It's the '3Com Baseline Switch 2948 Plus' if you fancy a search on eBay.
Have you ever played with Token Ring networking at home before? It's something I really want to have a play with but don't know much about it yet.
Edited by edneil 2016-11-05 11:12 PM
|I hook shit up and pray it works. Maybe install some services, enable some file sharing. I can usually get things to talk to each other between 95/98/2k/xp and 7 computers to share files and game. |
I've got some old routers, mainly 10mb/s and a few modems with network capability that can do 100. Gave my mother my nicer router with wireless G and such.. the blue cisco ones.
Had an 8 computer lan in my grandparents basement 15 years ago.. boy was I cool. No not really.
|Oh boy. Im a lazy SOB. Everything I usually network uses standard 10 base Ethernet, with ms tcp/ip installed. And yes, windows 95 / 98 machiens are on the real internet at (thinks for a moment...) "SWIM's" house... lol|
Location: Quebec, Canada
|My lil' D-Link DIR-505 pocket router in repeater mode acts also as a client for WiFi-deprived machines. For SMB transfers, all members of my "fleet" can be used, but it's either Inspiron-15 (8.1 and Windows CE don't do well..) or one of the 7 machines or my Latitude D600. Everyone (the machines) loves that lil' grey (that's how i spell white-and-black-in-equal-amounts) Dell.|
|I've used a Raspberry Pi running raspbian (works pretty much like a PC under linux if you ask me) as a router for all my retro PCs. See, my internet router is absolutely not in the same room as my retro PCs and I wanted to separate the old stuff from the new stuff, so this raspberry pi is the only route to the internet for these old computers. I'm using a crappy USB wifi dongle to connect to the internet and the retro PCs are connected to a 100Mbps ethernet switch which is connected to the pi's ethernet port. |
The pi runs a samba file server which comes really handy for many things (I can put drivers, games, etc on there without bothering with dying floppy discs or dozens of CD roms that some CD drive won't read and that you may loose somewhere). It also runs a PXE server which allows me to boot on small floppy images that I can use next to connect to the file server and start a windows installation for example. Very useful too !
All of my computers are using 3com NICs because they just work and that the PCI version gets installed right out of the box under Windows 98 so after installing this os through the network I can install all the drivers I need. This way, I can completely set up a pentium 1,2 or 3 under an hour (or even less, I never really measured that)
Under DOS, I just use microsoft network client 3.0 to connect to the samba share.
There's only one thing I wish I managed to do : network boot on ISA cards. See, PXE is 1998/1999 tech and it only works on PCI cards (apparently the PXE program won't fit on a rom on an ISA card) so on ISA cards, I have to use an older technique which is RPL ... and I never ever managed to make this to work ... I just do not know how to do it, and there is very little information on this on the internet unfortunately. I guess I should look for an old book that would explain this, but this is going to take a lot of time to find ^^
I know that iPXE exists but first : I'd still need one floppy disk (and my goal is to have zero floppy disk needed) and secondly, this do not work on 486s unfortunately, so there's zero interest to me as most things newer than 486s have PCI slots so I'd just put a PCI network card that supports PXE booting
Location: Sunny Blackpool
|RPL is a pig of a thing... I'm not surprised you are struggling with it! |
There's a *really* old page here http://gimel.esc.cam.ac.uk/james/rpld/index.html which may be of use. Do note it's from 1999.
I have _no idea_ if it will even think about compiling on a modern system though.
|Well that's the first thing I've seen, the documentation is really really poor ... but it's still available on repositories. I did try many things with that thing, but never managed to make it to work|
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