dns problem?


Im after some advice about a client-server application thats taking too long to load on the client side.

Some background:
We have a switch (admittedly not a very nice one) and cat-5 network cabling throughout the building. The server is new, just set up last thursday - its a Pentium 3 tualatin 1.4ghz with SCSI RAID 5, a 1000/100/10 Gigabit Server network card etc etc etc, running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition. The only application its hosting at the moment is a single Firebird database.

The database serves the client applications directly. Once the client has connected to the server the first time that session, the app runs smoothly & very fast. But to connect it takes about 30-40 sec. Ive watched network activity on both the server and a client at the same time and there is a spike in activity on both for a second or two then a long lapse of no activity followed at the end of the time by another burst for both.

My problem is people dont like sitting there waiting for the thing to load :/

Any ideas?

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Hi eekj,
That could well be a DNS problem :-)

Are other activities such as copying files working OK?

I don't know anything about Firebird I'm afraid, but I can suggest a few things to diagnose.

On the client:
When the firebird client connects, it'll make a DNS request to find the server.  It will then attempt to connect to that.
Check your firebird config and see what the name of the server it's looking for is.
Go to a command prompt and run "nslookup servername" where servername is the name of the server you've just found
You should get a fairly immediate response.

Try pinging the server with "ping servername"
You should get a response like:
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64

That establishes that the client can find the server OK.

Looking at this, it sounds more likely that the server is trying to do a Reverse-DNS lookup to find out who the client is.
On the server:
Go to a command prompt and run "nslookup PCname" where PCname is the name of the PC that you're connecting from.
What happens?

I'm guessing that you're not getting a response here.
When the client's connecting, the Firebird server is doing a Reverse-DNS lookup to find out who the client is.  After about 30 seconds, that times out and it lets you connect anyway.
This is all just a guess though :-)

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If the reverse DNS lookup isn't working properly.  Run "ipconfig /all" on the client.  What's the DNS server that the client's using?
Is this server running the MS DNS server, and is that configured to allow Dynamic updates?
eekjAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your reply.

>Are other activities such as copying files working OK?
yep, fine

>Go to a command prompt and run "nslookup PCname" where PCname is the name of the PC that you're connecting >from. What happens?
*** Cant find server name for address Non-existant domain
*** default server is unknown
Server: Unknown

>Run "ipconfig /all"
Windows IP Configuration
   Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : hf2
   Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
   Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
   IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
   WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : 3Com 3C920 Integrated Fast Ethernet Controller (3C905C-TX Compatible)
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-01-03-19-DC-DA
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
   Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
   IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :
   DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . :
   DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : Friday, October 22, 2004 2:38:10 PM
   Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : Friday, October 29, 2004 2:38:10 PM

>What's the DNS server that the client's using?
>Is this server running the MS DNS server, and is that configured to allow Dynamic updates?
How can I tell?
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It does look like I was right about the Reverse-DNS issue.

Your PC is configured to use as it's DNS server.
Is that your Windows server?

Assuming that it is, I suggest that you take a look at the instructions at http://www.petri.co.il/install_and_configure_windows_2003_dns_server.htm about installing and configuring the DNS server.
Run Dcdiag and Netdiag, and start troubleshoot from there, but one thing for sure is DNS is not set up correctly.
Glad I could help :-)
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Windows Server 2003

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