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WINS server dilemma

I have a two-city WAN. Each office runs NetWare 3.12. All the PCs run Windows 95 as the desktop OS and run IPX/SPX, NetBIOS, and TCP/IP protocols at the workstation. Each office has an Ascend Pipeline 50 ISDN router - one channel routes TCP/IP to an ISP for LAN Internet access; the other channel routes IPX to the Pipeline at the other office.

All the PCs can "see" the two NetWare servers and printers, and the local PCs and printers. I have created a LMHOSTS file for each workstation, which enables connectivity to WAN resources. However, the resources at the "other" end of the WAN do not appear in Network Neighborhood on any workstation's desktop. I don't have a Windows NT server to designate as a Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) server. Is there any way I can get those remote resources to appear in the Network Neighborhood? - Warren WoolWithout having a WINS server, you're going to have a hard time. One possible solution, albeit ugly, would be to bridge, rather than route, IPX across your WAN link. Of course, that would probably saturate the link. The other possible solution is to run NetBEUI on both networks and bridge that traffic.

Your best bet here is really going to be to get WINS going. Even that will cause you some grief, because your IP traffic goes across the Internet. You'll want to set up packet filtering rules on the Ascend routers to only allow NetBIOS traffic between your two locations and not from stray people on the Net.

It is worth noting here that, with your LMHOSTS file, you are currently talking between offices via the Internet when you use NetBIOS over IP. The very best solution would be to add a WINS server, and add IP traffic over your point-to-point WAN link.

Web server security

I have a Web server Windows NT 4.0, IIS (Internet Information Server) 4.0 outside the institutions firewall and a Windows 95 machine inside the firewall. The one outside the firewall receives data from users via a Web-enabled database, but the files are stored on this machine. The machine behind the firewall receives data from our LAN or via faxed forms. This, of course, means I have two separate sets of data files. I want both systems to have access to the same files, preferably located on the machine behind the firewall. Is there a way to accomplish this? - Jeff KingFile sharing might help. Still, there are some security implications. You could keep the data files on the Web server, map a network drive to it from the Win 95 machine, and store everything there. Or you could do the reverse and store everything on the Win 95 machine, and have the Web server save things there. Either way, you'll need to modify your firewall rules to let that NetBIOS communication take place (be sure to only allow NetBIOS traffic between those specific IP addresses).

56Kbps ups and downs

I'd like to set up a remote-access system with 56Kbps access on my NT server. I read that 56Kbps modems can achieve speeds greater than 33.6Kbps only if a single analog/digital conversion takes place. If two conversions take place then you are limited to 33.6Kbps, so you need a digital modem at the server end. Will a regular 56Kbps modem work as a digital modem on the server end, or do you have to use a special modem and phone line on the server side? - Curt FinleyYou are definitely going to have to do something special to get 56Kbps throughput here. The 56Kbps modems attain their extra speed by capitalising on the fact that one side is only doing one digital/analog conversion, rather than two. Typically, 56Kbps modems are used by ISPs, because their incoming lines are often brought in on digital trunks or on ISDN Primary Rate Interface lines.

What you can do is install ISDN at one side, and a modem that supports server-side 56Kbps. Normal 56Kbps modems will not work because they are designed to receive at 56Kbps and send at 33.6Kbps. The Courier I-modem from US Robotics (now 3Com) is one product that supports receiving 56Kbps incoming calls when connected to an ISDN line.

But remember that 56Kbps isn't bidirectional, so you'll have to decide which side is going to need the extra bandwidth.

Connection pooling saves licences, boosts performanceWe recently implemented a database-enabled Web site using Microsoft's IIS (Internet Information Server) 3.0 and Active Server Pages (ASP), and we are eating up SQL Server licenses at an incredible rate. In addition, the application appears sluggish when accessing the database. Any ideas? - anonThe solution is to turn on connection pooling, which Microsoft introduced with IIS 3.0 and ASP.

Connection pooling allows you to open a connection to the database, keep it open, and share it among different requests. It saves processing time because the application does not have to go through a rebuild process for each ongoing connection.

To enable connection pooling for Active Server Pages or ActiveX data objects, start the registry editor (regedt32). Go into to HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINE window and go to the HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\W3SVC\ASP\Parameters and add the value name Start ConnectionPool and enter a data value of 1.

In addition, if your server's source files change a lot, then lower this value to stop system memory from caching a large number of changing objects. The ObjectCacheTTL setting is found in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\InetInfo\Parameters. Also, logging files on a separate drive from the WWW server and its associated files, and increasing the log turnover time lend a performance advantage.

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