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Outside access to webserver fails after a day - reboot restores access.

Posted on 2006-06-26
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
We recently put a new 2003 webserver on line. To make a smooth transition, we just unplugged the old webserver (also 2003) and plugged the new one in, giving the new server the same IP address as the old server, so we wouldn't have to make any DNS changes. It worked like a charm! Everyone loved the new style and content. This was on Friday around noon.

On Saturday, the site was no longer accessible from the outside, but it was still available from inside. The mail server and terminal server remained available from outside. I unplugged the new server, and plugged the old one back in, and the old one worked fine. I tried plugging the new one back in, but it still wouldn't work. Finally, we tried disabling, then re-enabling the NIC, and were once again able to access from the outside.

I didn't build either one of the webservers, and I haven't had much experience with 2003 servers, I have been going through settings on both servers to try to find what could possibly make the server stop accepting traffic from the outside, but start again after a reboot. Any ideas?
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Question by:10percent
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:prashsax
ID: 16987425
Does, this server have two NIC cards.

One for inside network and other for outside.

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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 16987437
Yes, it does.
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Expert Comment

by:prashsax
ID: 16987473
Then, check if your outside NIC might be using Power saving options.

Right Click on the network card, Select Properties.

Click Configure Button, Goto Power Management Tab.

See, if any of the check boxes are checked.

If yes, then clear both of them.

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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 16987716
This server has a dual port NIC. One port is configured for LAN and one is configured for WAN. Both ports had been configured for power management, so I cleared those boxes. However, I am skeptical that this setting caused the problem, as both ports were set the same. What "triggers" the power down if this setting is enabled?
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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 17000815
prashax - I cannot believe this was the problem, but the server has stayed up ever since I cleared the power saver settings on the NIC.

Thanks for sharing!
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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 17012785
Unforunately - this issue is happening again/still. It happened right after I awarded the points yesterday. I spent most of yesterday on the phone with Dell - it's a PE1850, but they couldn't identify the problem.

I'd like to re-open this question, how do I go about that?
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Expert Comment

by:prashsax
ID: 17012874
You can ask moderator to reopen this question.

You can do it by opening a 0 point question in Community Support Area.

Also, have you tried to ping some IP address from the server, when external NIC went down.
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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 17012948
I have asked that this question be reopened.

I have been able to PING other addresses and have been successful, but is there a way to "force" a specific address to route a PING?
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Expert Comment

by:prashsax
ID: 17013029
What do you mean.

Ping will use the default gateway to reach its detination.

If you want, you can add a static route on the machine, and then ping will use that route rather than default gateway.

What exactly you want to do.
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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 17013332
There is more than one NIC on this machine.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:prashsax
ID: 17013437
Yes, IT has two NICs.

One has Public IP.
Other has Private IP.

Have you tried swapping the NICs.

I mean assign Public IP to the one which has private IP and vice versa.

Doing this will rule out hardware problem with NIC card.
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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 17013763
Actually both IP addresses are private. There is one dual port NIC, port A is assigned 192.168.1.xxx, while port B is assigned 192.168.0.xxx. I have a PIX firewall that translates the external IP address, 12.109.149.212 to the internal address 192.168.1.xxx. My internal DNS also translates www.kepplerspeakers.com to 192.168.1.xxx.

This is what makes this problem so strange - why would I be able to access the website (192.168.1.xxx) internally, but not externally? I have checked the ARP table on the firewall and it is resolving the IP address (192.168.1.xxx) to the correct physical address. Also, why, oh why does it resolve correctly after disabling/enabling the NIC?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:prashsax
ID: 17013887
Ok.

Let suppose your Port A address is :192.168.1.10
And port B address is:192.168.0.20
Now you are translating address 192.168.1.10 to an external IP.

1. Are you able to ping 192.168.1.10, when your website access stops from outside.(from any other machine have IP in 192.168.1.x subnet).

If you cannot, then it has to be a problem with NIC. (Here you can just swap the ports A & B).
Just Swap the cables and the IP address on both ports.

If you can ping to IP 192.168.1.10 while your site in not accessible from outside, then their can be a problem in network else where.






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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 17042822
Yes, I can ping it from inside when I cannot reach the webserver from the outside. Again, this is what makes this situation so strange.
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Author Comment

by:10percent
ID: 17202290
I am testing a solution I stumbled upon with a colleague of mine - I needed another set of eyes after weeks of not finding the issue. He pointed out that my predecessor had put in two different default gateway addresses when he configured the NICs, one for the internal side of the network, and one for the external. I just continued to use the same settings with each rebuild of the server, without ever giving them more than a cursory glance - shame on me.

The web server has now been up for 60+ hours - longer than it has been since the upgrade. I am cautiously optimistic that dual default gateway entries was the problem all along.

As I answered my own question and have not had any interest in the issue for almost a month - I don't think any points shoud be awarded.
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Accepted Solution

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ee_ai_construct earned 0 total points
ID: 17280920
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ee ai construct, community support moderator
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