SUMMARY: Suns to Macs Connectivity

From: Amir Katz (matis!amir@uunet.UU.NET)
Date: Wed Mar 18 1992 - 07:03:17 CST

Once again sun-managers proves to be indispensable!

Recently, I posted the following inquiry:

>> We have a net of Suns and a small AppleTalk net of Macs. What would be
>> the cheapest way to connect the two nets?

I have received many responses, which I'm trying to summarize below. Thanks
to all who responded. And please, no more (:-)

The choices, ordered by decreasing popularity, are:

1) Use an Apple- (or Mac-) based network and making use of a gateway
   box to Ethernet.
2) Connect the Macs directly to the Ethernet, then install software on the
   Macs to handle the communication,
3) Connect a Sun to the Apple net by an S-Bus AppleTalk card,
4) Use a serial communications program (like Kermit).

The break-even point between solutions 1 and 2 is when the price of one
Ethernet Mac card, multiplied by the number of Macs is equal to the price of
the gateway box. Currently, it stands around 10 (an Ethernet card can be had
for around $200, while the boxes cost around $2000).

Our particular setup is <5 Macs, so we're opting for the Mac Ethernet cards
with Telnet software on those Macs.

- The gateway boxes most popular are:
  o GatorBox (from Cayman Systems)
  o FastPath (from Kinetics Inc. or from Shiva)

- The software choices are:
    MacTCP (from Apple)
    NCSA Telnet for Macintosh (Public domain).
    MAC/NFS (from Wollongong)
    TOPS (from Sun)

The majority of people have voted for the GatorBox solution with or without
some optional software running on the Macs.

In order not to swamp the net, I'm not enclosing a more detailed summary.
If anybody needs more information, just drop me a line and I'll forward
the responses I got.

A special thank-you goes to Loki Jorgenson, who forwarded a very long
summary gleaned from the now-defunct Mac-Sun mailing list.

My thanks go to these people:

Loki Jorgenson loki@Physics.McGill.CA
Simon Shickman
Hans-J. Nagel
Jacques Beigbeder
Dave Grootwassink
Jeff Martin
John Noerenberg
Phil Green pgreen@zia.AOC.NRAO.EDU
Keith Stone
Danielle Sanine
Russ Button
Mark Mann
David Mostardi
John D'Amour clarify!
Geert Jan de Groot
Stuart Freedman
Kevin Sheehan kevin@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM
Dwight A. Ernest
Steve Puchkoff steve_puchkoff@tobago.Cayman.COM

/* Amir J. Katz          | UUCP:     uunet!ingr!matis!amir               */
/* System Specialist     | Internet: amir%matis.UUCP@ingr.COM            */
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