Connecting to two Notes servers using same DNS name

Posted on 2006-05-13
Last Modified: 2013-11-16
We have two Notes servers, server A (aaa/domain) and server B (bbb/domain). We have a DNS called "aaa" that is point to the IP of Notes server A, but durig business recovery, we will change the "aaa" DNS to IP of Notes server B.

1. When an internal app (in C) is using "aaa" as the server name to connect, it possible to still use the "aaa" dns to connect to Notes server B, if we change the "aaa" DNS's IP?

2. How can we enable Notes Client users to connect to two different Notes server user, without changing the server name in the "Open, Database, Server name" drop down? Is this even possible?If not possible, why?

Or the only way to do this is to have two different Notes server wit the same Notes server name but different IP?

Any comments or suggestions are apprciated. Thanks

Question by:liucw
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Hi liucw,
    Can't have two notes servers with the same name, I don't think.  Easy to have two notes servers in two different domains and users able to access both.

    These are called adjacent Domains, and the biggest thing you have to do in cross-certify each serverID with the other Domain, so that the servers can talk to each other.  Then you can allow users from AAA/Domain to passthrough to BBB/Domain and vice versa, you would also use directory assistance and include bbb/domain's address book on aaa/domain server and aaa/domain's address book in bbb/domain's server.

    See here:

    You would also replicate the address books, but be sure to create NEW copies else AAA's NAB will be a replica of BBB's NAB.  And then be sure to specify exactly what things you want to replicate between servers, if anything.   Else, all the base files will replicate, and that would not be a good thing.

    Users just need a connection document (if authenticating through internet), or one replica Icon/bookmark on their workspace from that server so that when you select File>>Database>Open, you use the drop-down list and select a server.   To push one icon, edit the default set up profile and have every user keep a  icon/bookmark of BBB/Domain's NAB.   If you didn't use setup profiles, then you can send a button, or have the user initially type in the server name and select a database in order to create the "path" for Notes.

    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    >  server A (aaa/domain) and server B (bbb/domain). We have a DNS called
    > "aaa" that is point to the IP of Notes server A, but durig business
    > recovery, we will change the "aaa" DNS to IP of Notes server B.

    Re-reading.. so, if you need to recover stuff, you want to switch over to use the other server?  Hmmm..

    I don't know of an easy way, other than clustering the servers, because in order to keep bbb/Domain up to date, you'd have to replicate with it, so that there is a counterpart on bbb/Domain.  But users are all registered to aaa/Domain, so if aaa/Domain failed, the only thing you can to is to make BBB/Domain, AAA/Domain, and  you can't do that because they're different domains.  That is you can't just make bbb server = aaa server on the Notes Side, unless you copied everything to bbb as aaa, and in disaster, just booted up bbb server as aaa, complete with nat and IP addresses, since it would affect MX records, too.

    without clustering, you would have aserver/Domain, bserver/domain - then these two can replicate everything, and if aserver went down, you change the IP to point to bserver and change the DNS so that bserver becomes Aserver, and take aserver offline.

    Clustering might be easier.. :)
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    Another option is to add another Location Document via a button to all users.

    If the mail is somehow rerouted to ServerB in a disaster, the users could simply choose the secondary Location docuemnt.

    It would require cross certification also.

    I hope this helps !

    Author Comment

    Thanks. Let me rephrase the question and the premise...

    This is a disaster/fail over scenerio.  During this fail over situation, the network connectivity between aaa/domain in (A network) and bbb/domain (in B network) will be cut.

    If I setup a new domino server(with a new & different IP) as a PASS-THROUGH server with connection to bbb/domain (in B network)  but I name it as "aaa/domain", which is the same as the real "aaa/domain" server, will users in B network be able to "aaa/domain" as the server name, but really connecting to "bbb/domain"?

    I don't want to setup cluster...
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    You would have to set bbb/domain as a secondary server that replicates everything.  And either:

    1) Do as sysExpert suggests and create a secondary location document that points to that server so you can advise your users to change to the other location document, and two agents:  one that will cycle through the NAB and change every instance of aaa/domain to bbb/domain, and another that can change it back when the disaster is over.

    2) make sure you have the server id on bbb/domain,and when disaster occurs, just rename the server to aaa/domain in the DNS, so that calls to the original 12.123.123 IP address are routed to the newly named aaa/server.

    Make sense?  I'm not sure about any of these, and would suggest testing.

    LVL 63

    Accepted Solution

    The Passtheu server idea will not work, since that is not how pasthru is defined with Domino.

    marilyng has the right idea, but it depends on how you expect to get mail to your "bbb/domain" from the outside.

    If you change the IP Address then you still will need to change the Server name and Domain also via an agent in the Peson Docs.

    I would also agree that this needs testing.

    Depending on how critical mail is to your company, it would be better to set up a second server AA1, for aaa Domain  at a different location for disaster recovery, and have it replicate with your primary aaa server frequently.

    This will help in case your primary AAA server fails, or your Network to AAA is cut off.

    You can then change the ID and IP of AA1 to AAA and continue to work.

    Or alternatively change the MX and DNS to point to AA1, and have the users switch location documents.

    Lastly, if bandwidth is sufficient you can Cluster across a WAN, meanin AA1 is clustered with AAA

    All this does require testing and involvement with the Networking team.

    I hope this helps !
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment


    I think, and having been through disaster recovery here, the problem is that you need the server to assume the IP address, server name and routing in the DNS as the old one.  If the bbb/server can't assume the IP address for MX records, then you have a problem, because updating the MX records takes 24 hours.  (and usually they can't because in order for disaster recovery to work, the "recovery" server is far away on another network, right?)

    If it's not able to assume the aaa/server identity, then you're pretty much stuck with bbb/server replicating and have a 20 or 30 on the MX records, and then having to figure a way to change the persondocs and user location docs to point to the right server when you switch.

    Clustering is seamless.  The companies I worked with pretty much rented a distaster space that switches the IP addresses,or clustered servers.

    Author Comment


    Author Comment

    Thanks marilyng and SysExpert for your valuable input. In order to make this work in my particular BR situation, I have to swap the server id, change the server id reference in the notes.ini, change the IP of the DNS, clear the local location documents and server document cache, and a one-time change of using the DNS name as the value for "Fully qualified Internet host name" and "Net Address" in Domino config.

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