OSF DCE RPC (ACK!ronym overload)

OSF DCE RPC (ACK!ronym overload)

Post by Sam Rushi » Sat, 03 Jul 1993 05:59:13



OSFDCERPC ==
        Open Software Foundation
        Distributed Computing Environment
        Remote Procedure Call

I cannot overemphasize how important this standard could be.

It is a VERY GOOD THING.

These are the platforms that I know of that support it:

OSF/1  (I would assume.  Don't have a copy yet.)
Windows NT (no joke.)
There may be more.

- and MS plans to support it in upcoming versions of DOS
and Windows.

Is anyone thinking about this for Linux?  I suspect the entire
world of network programming is going to drift in the direction
of DCE.  Drifting along would be a GOOD THING.

Anyone have docs from OSF?

-Sam

 
 
 

OSF DCE RPC (ACK!ronym overload)

Post by Steve Lo » Sat, 03 Jul 1993 17:49:08



> OSFDCERPC ==
>    Open Software Foundation
>    Distributed Computing Environment
>    Remote Procedure Call

> I cannot overemphasize how important this standard could be.

> It is a VERY GOOD THING.

> These are the platforms that I know of that support it:

> OSF/1  (I would assume.  Don't have a copy yet.)
> Windows NT (no joke.)
> There may be more.

> - and MS plans to support it in upcoming versions of DOS
> and Windows.

> Is anyone thinking about this for Linux?  I suspect the entire
> world of network programming is going to drift in the direction
> of DCE.  Drifting along would be a GOOD THING.

> Anyone have docs from OSF?

> -Sam

Well, there is the same licensing problem with DCE as there is with
Motif - I don't know the cost, but source code costs a bunch
($20,000 to $40,000 range I think) then you have to pay a license
fee to OSF for every copy distributed.

These people demonstrated DCE interoperability recently :-

  Bull          DEC       Gradient  HP   IBM
  NCR           Pyramid   SCO       SNI  Stratus
  Transarc      USL                    

So its a bit more widespread than OSF/1 and Windows NT.... contact
your local Cray salesman if you want it for a Cray :-)

I measure DCE documentation by the inch rather than the page since
there is so much of it - the standard manuals run to about a foot,
the spec for RPC is about 3 inches thick (600 pages). You can get
the standard documentation from Prentice Hall, but I don't know
the details.

---------------

OK, sillyness aside, it should work on Linux, but you cannot
get away with just RPC. The RPC implementation is multi-threaded
and sits on top of DCE threads which are based upon an older
draft of Posix threads. Threads code comes with DCE - you have to
plug in your own bottom layer to do the context switching.

To get the full set of RPC services (security and directory
services) you would also need to port the Core Directory Services
(CDS) and DCE security (Kerboros V based + a bunch). Ignoring
DFS you can probably get away with porting about 50% of the
50 Mbytes of source code which make up DCE.

This is not a small project, DCE porting efforts tend to take
several full time people for a year or so, but RPCs without all
the baggage (no security, no clever naming) should be possible
with a few months effort (its the threads that will get you,
and trying to rip out the hooks to the rest of the product).

For it to be worth a commercial concerns while there would need
to be evidence of a lot of customer potential - so far DCE is
being done mostly by manufacturers who don't want to appear to
have missed the boat. The best bet is probably for someone who
is already a licensee (i.e. already payed the money) to do it
and work out the DCE licensing for Linux with OSF.

I don't really even have the time to read this news group
anymore, never mind taking on something this big.

Good Luck!

  Steve

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