Chapter 1. Overview

This chapter provides an overview of connecting to the Internet with the WebFORCE Internet Gateway product It provides an overview of the basic steps to setting up a WebFORCE Internet Gateway server, a list of the basic parts of the WebFORCE Internet Gateway package, information you may need to provide to your Internet service provider (ISP), and information your ISP may require from you.

About the WebFORCE Internet Gateway

WebFORCE Internet Gateway connects hosts on a local area network (LAN) to the Internet, a network cooperative that allows several million network users to publish and exchange information easily. In addition to providing access to the Internet, the WebFORCE Internet Gateway acts as an applications server, providing Internet mail, news, and other services to client hosts on the LAN.

Hosts on the Internet operate by a common standard, formally known as Transport Control Protocol, Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). This means that the Internet Gateway system and its clients, such as personal computers and workstations, must also run the TCP/IP stack (so called because of its layered, or stacked, software architecture). The Gateway and its clients must also be assigned an Internet address (IP address), which uniquely identifies each host on the Internet.

A specialized private or public agency, known as an Internet service provider (ISP), handles membership for new Internet members. An ISP assists with obtaining a registered network address from the Network Information Center, which maintains the Internet database. It also issues blocks of Internet addresses for clients in the new network and may recommend addressing and routing schemes.

Because direct connections to the Internet backbone are limited, all hosts must connect to the Internet through an ISP. The WebFORCE Internet Gateway is designed to help you do this (see Figure 1-1). The Gateway and the ISP host are connected by either a standard telephone line and modem, an ISDN line, or a T1 line. The PPP protocol (an implementation of the TCP/IP stack for remote hosts with a single point of connection) supports communications between computers that are attached by these types of lines.

The Internet is organized into a hierarchy of administrative areas known as domains. Each network on the Internet is assigned a domain name that uniquely identifies the network and the hosts that reside on it. This domain name is used to transfer Internet messages to a destination that might be anywhere in the world. Special servers, called name servers, contain a domain name database that is used to locate the correct destination.

Figure 1-1 illustrates how the WebFORCE Internet Gateway connects a local area network to the Internet.

Figure 1-1. WebFORCE Internet Gateway Connection to the Internet

The Basic Steps

To set up your Silicon Graphics WebFORCE Internet Gateway server, perform the following steps:

  1. Unpack and assemble the Challenge S server (described in the CHALLENGE S Server Owner's Guide).

  2. Attach a system console to the server using the cables provided. The system console can be a character (ASCII) terminal, an IBM compatible computer, a Macintosh computer, or another workstation.

  3. Configure the server so that you can access it over your local network with a World Wide Web browser (such as NetscapeTM).

  4. Use the Web browser to configure the server to connect to the Internet.

Checking the Parts of the WebFORCE Internet Gateway Shipment

WebFORCE Internet Gateway ships with the following components:

  • a Challenge S server, including documentation (the CHALLENGE S Server Owner's Guide plus online reference pages) and an 8-pin-to-25-pin serial cable

  • WebFORCE Internet Gateway software, installed on the server's system disk and provided on a separate CD-ROM

  • two adapter cables: a 25-pin-to-9-pin cable for IBM compatible personal computers and a 25-pin-to-8-pin adapter cable for Macintosh computers

  • this installation guide

Figure 1-2 shows the basic items included in the WebFORCE Internet Gateway package.

Figure 1-2. Basic Parts of the WebFORCE Internet Gateway Package

Before You Start

Before you start, you may wish to contact your Internet service provider (ISP). Your ISP will need some basic information about your network and WebFORCE Internet Gateway server, and should provide you with information that you need to configure the WebFORCE Internet Gateway server to communicate with the Internet.

Information Your ISP May Require

Table 1-1 describes some of the general information your ISP may require.

Table 1-1. General Information Your ISP May Require

Type of Information


Name of gateway machine (server)

Whatever you decide to name the machine; for example, the name of your company or organization. Typically, it is a good idea to keep the name short, easy to type, and easy to remember.

Type of machine

Silicon Graphics CHALLENGE S server.

Type operating system


Ethernet address

Unique for each system on a network; the Ethernet address of your Challenge S server is the same as the serial number of the machine. Both are imprinted on the rear of the machine and printed on the shipping label for the server. One example is 08:00:69:08:19:24. You can also find the Ethernet address of the system once it is booted by entering the following command at a shell prompt: nvram eaddr

Maximum baud rate for your modem (if you are using a modem)

The maximum speed at which your modem can communicate with the ISP, often 14.4 Kbaud or 28.8 Kbaud.

Information Your ISP May Provide

Table 1-2 shows some of the information your ISP may provide.

Table 1-2. Information Your ISP May Provide

Type of Information


Account name

The name of the account you will use to access the ISP. This is similar to an IRIX (UNIX) login account name; it might be an abbreviated name of your company or organization, or it could be some other series of letters or numbers.

Account password

The password your software uses to access the account you have with your ISP.

Phone number

If you are using ISDN or a dial-up (modem) connection, this is the phone number the Challenge S server calls to connect to your ISP.

Baud rate for your modem

If you are using a modem, the maximum baud rate at which the ISP accept data from your modem.

IP address of your gateway

Your ISP may assign an Internet protocol (IP) address to your gateway machine. This address number is how other systems on both the Internet and on your local area network (LAN) identify your Challenge S server. The address is a series of numbers separated by decimal points, for example

IP address of a name server

This is the IP address of another machine, probably located at the ISP, that provides Internet name services for you. When your Challenge S server needs to locate another system on the Internet, it contacts this machine. Conversely, when other systems try to locate your server they contact this machine.

Domain name

This is the name of the Internet domain in which your Challenge S server resides. It can be the name of your company (for example,, the name of your organization (, or some part of your geographic location (for example,, which would indicate a server located in San Francisco, California, in the United States of America.)