BOOTP vs RARP and Old School Networking


I remember using BOOTP back in the days when I was working as an IT Analyst at Sony Electronics. We had it on our boot disks that we used to boot up a PC or laptop and then connected to the network to the NetWare 3.1 file server. This was before NetWare 4.11, and when Microsoft Windows for Workgroups was a very poor option compared to Novell. I really miss IPX/SPX and SYSCON… you old school IT managers know what i’m talking about. Anyways, back in those days we had the original version of Norton Ghost with the image loaded onto a Novell file server, which was the best way to image a PC and how we managed hundreds of PCs.

Our boot disk also used IBM Dos 7 which in my opinion was way better than MS DOS. I am reading that RARP (Reverse Address Resolution Protocol) was supposed to be an alternative method to BOOTP before DHCP became the standard but I don’t remember every using RARP. Anyways, let me know if you had some experience with RARP, i am interested to see if it was any good or if there is any reason why someone would have used it. As I understand BOOTP was routable versus RARP, which only worked within a single LAN. I believe that we used BOOTP with thin clients for our dumb terminals that connected to the Cobalt mainframe we had back then. Supposedly they both RARP and BOOTPcame about in the 80’s and I used BOOTP primarily in the mid 90’s.

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