North American Network Operators Group

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RE: WINS Proxy vs. Cisco IP Helper

  • From: Mark Persiko
  • Date: Tue Apr 25 17:16:29 2000

We use ip helper-address in our network at each
subnet and we haven't had any problems with PC's 
finding the WINS servers.  It seems like a very
scalable way to handle WINS and DHCP relays.

We do get into problems with multiple NT servers 
on the same subnet that all want to be master browsers,
which we resolve by hacking the NT registry to force 
master browsing on only one server.


- Mark C. Persiko, [email protected]
- MIS Dept, Boulder Valley Public Schools

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Carter, Gregory [mailto:[email protected]]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2000 1:26 PM
> To: '[email protected]'
> Cc: '[email protected]'; '[email protected]'
> Subject: WINS Proxy vs. Cisco IP Helper
> Greetings!
> 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
> for.
> 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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