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Brian Wink, Network Appliance, Inc.


There have been many things said about Windows NT and how it compares to UNIX and the problems involved with applications that are supposed to work on both systems. Many of these things are false and many are true, but there is one thing that is for sure: Windows NT is here and people are using it. Seeing this trend in the market my company at the time, Internet MiddleWare, hired me to take a UNIX product and design an NT version. At that time the product was named Harvest Cached and the goal was to port it while still using the same code base that the UNIX version used. Today the company is no longer Internet MiddleWare, but Network Appliance and the produce has been renamed from Harvest Cached to NetCache, and there is a Windows NT version that shares the same code base as the UNIX version.

In doing the work on the NetCache NT version I had a few design issues that I had to work through before I could start: mainly should I try to port it to NT, but still use all the UNIX functions, or should I use the native NT functions and exploit the tools that NT had to offer. I originally tried to use a library that was said to make NT act like UNIX from a programming point of view, shortly after getting this version to work I discovered that this was just not an option, the library was slow and it imposed crippling limitations on system resources. Because NetCache is designed not only to run fast, but to also handle a very high load of users and volume of traffic by each of these users, I had to think fast. Finally I decided that the only option would be to use the tools that NT had to offer.

Brian C. Wink

Software Engineer - Web Products
Network Appliance, Inc.
2770 San Tomas Expressway
Santa Clara, CA 95051
Phone: (408) 367-3401