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Rationalisation of Network Protocol Support

Mike Gerard , IT/CS

CERN's network infrastructure currently supports many different protocols, some of which are nearly obsolete and others supporting obsolete equipment. It is, however, the stated intention to eliminate progressively as many as possible of those protocols which are unnecessary or used by an increasingly small number of systems. The ultimate goal is only to support IP protocols.

AppleTalk protocols will continue to be supported until all Macintosh computers can switch to IP protocols. However, the support of AppleTalk protocols on the LocalTalk network segments, which requires in turn support for Shiva FastPath AppleTalk-Ethernet routers, will cease at some time during 2001. Note that any Macintosh, or LaserWriter, which only has a LocalTalk interface, can actually be connected onto normal Ethernet via an adapter box. Such Macintoshes and LaserWriters are certainly so old that a replacement system would be beneficial.

The new Gigabit network backbone now being deployed does not support AppleTalk directly. Therefore AppleTalk connectivity across the site will be limited to the speed of the current infrastructure, namely 10 megabits/second.

Another network protocol, already starting to be phased out, is the LAT protocol. This is a protocol used by terminal servers, to which are connected simple asynchronous terminals, and which permits the terminals to access LAT server systems. However, the recommended protocol for terminal servers is now IP Telnet. Although there is not yet a fixed date for stopping LAT it is highly recommended not to introduce any new LAT-based terminal servers, nor to develop any new application based on LAT.

For matters related to this article please contact the author.

Vol. XXXIV, issue no 1

Last Updated on Fri Mar 17 21:33:28 GMT+04:30 2000.
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