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WINS Proxy vs. Cisco IP Helper

  • From: Carter, Gregory
  • Date: Tue Apr 25 15:25:57 2000


I have a bit of a philosophical question regarding the use of a WINS Proxy
versus using Cisco's IP Helper to forward UDP datagram packets off to a central
WINS server.  Let me give some background to the setup of the company I work

Currently we are noticing that we have too many WINS servers running throughout
our divisions and some of our servers are corrupting the WINS database.  As a
whole our IS divisional managers will be meeting soon and would like to discuss
this situation and limit our WINS servers down to one per division.  We have a
total of five divisions; the fifth is a central office where for the most part
the whole company looks to as the head office.  Each division is also split up
into regions, which usually have a hub site that is connected up to the division
hub site then to our main hub site (the fifth division).  All of our locations
are setup on frame relay and all of them have Cisco 1600 routers.  Currently we
have a WINS server at the division site, and two regions with WINS servers in
them.  The Cisco routers use IP helper at our spoke sites to forward the UDP
datagram packets from the local LAN of the spoke sites up to the WINS server for
that region.  The regional WINS servers then push pull up to the division WINS
server and the division WINS server push pulls up to the company's main hub site
(fifth division) thereby syncing the entire company.

By limiting the divisions to a single WINS server obviously the regional WINS
servers will either need to go away or they will need to be replaced with WINS
proxy servers that will proxy the requests back up to the divisional server.

My concern is to whether it would be wiser for us to dump the regional WINS
servers altogether and change IP helper to point back to the division WINS
server instead, or to go ahead and shut down the regional WINS servers and
replace them with WINS proxying.  I have come to the conclusion that either way
would take the same amount of bandwidth, and as far as redundancy is concerned
we can simply change the secondary WINS server address in DHCP to the main hub
site's address.

Does anyone here have a relevant opinion on this matter, or any reasons not to
implement one or the other of the solutions?

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