point-to-point issues

Posted on 2002-05-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I have a point-to-point setup between two locations with point B users (connected to a switch connected to a Cisco 2500 router (ip accessing the network services at point A.  When I setup the routers on each end I tried to do as little programming as I needed.  For the most part, point B is successfully able to access the point A network.  I am experiencing two annoying issues as follows:
(1)  Outlook Exchange.  When a point B user opens Outlook, Outlook takes longer for the point B user to open then it does for the point A user.  After some investigation, I have discovered that Outlook software uses a mail server name as opposed to a mail server ip address; and, the point B user Outlook takes awhile to resolve this mail server name (eg. am1st-mail1).  In the client Outlook setup, I have tried replacing the name with the ip address and each time I do this the ip address resolves much quicker but after resolving Outlook setup changes the ip address into the name.  Since I cannot force Outlook to always use the mail server ip address (eg. in place of the mail server name (am1st-mail1), it takes about a minute to open Outlook.
(2)  AOL.  When a point B user loads AOL, the AOL software cannot (find) connect to the Internet.  When a point A user loads AOL it automatically finds the Internet.  I have tried to manually set the point B user AOL software but that does not work.  My assumption is, the time it takes for AOL to find the Internet is longer then what the AOL software allows and according to AOL there is no way to increase the timeout.  
Is there something I can do in my router configuration to eliminate these issues?
Question by:Rexx
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Accepted Solution

scraig84 earned 800 total points
ID: 6996987
Can you provide more details about the network?  Where does DNS and NetBIOS name resolution come from?  Where is the Internet router?  Where is address translation occuring?  What do the current router configs look like?

Problem 1) What happens if you just try to ping the name from a PC at site B?  Does name resolution take a while?  Is the name a DNS or NetBIOS name?  

Problem 2) There are a number of things that could be going wrong here.  You could have more name resolution issues, or a simple routing issue.  Also, why are they using AOL?  Do you have a direct connection to the Internet?  If so, can you ping anything out there by IP address or name?

There are a number of other questions I have, but we'll start there.  
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 6997240
good points.

1. It does sounds like you have name resolution issues at point B.  Exchange wants to resolve the server name via Netbios.  If yo udo not have a name resolution scheme in place you should look into WINS/DNS/LMHOSTS.

2. Is it only AOL that does not work correctly?  or are other internet services also effected?  Can you telnet or ftp to sites on the internet?  If not, then I would look at it as a routing issue.  The default gateway on point A probably does not have a route back to point B. Are you using static routes on the servers at point A?

Author Comment

ID: 6999154
Simply putting answers to your questions helped me resolve both issues.

DNS translated am1st-mail1 as am1st-mail1.am1st.com.  By replacing the am1st-mail1 with am1st-mail1.am1st.com in the network clients' hosts file, this resolved the naming issues on both sites but especially site B.  Actually both comments to my post were on the right track but I started with your questions and it was enough.  Thanks!

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