NetBIOS over 2 Subnets

Posted on 2006-07-19
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Any suggestions on getting NetBIOS to be seen over two seperate subnets? My VPN's at the different branches would like to be able to browse the entire domain, etc.
Question by:pctechcorp
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Expert Comment

ID: 17142784
have you setup NetBIOS over TCP/IP
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Rick Hobbs
ID: 17143006
NetBIOS is a broadcast.  Broadcasts are not routed.  Some routers can forward the NetBIOS broadcasts, but it is strongly discouraged because it eats up bandwidth and can cause other problems.
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

ID: 17143316
Are you in a Domain?  Are you using AD yet?  If so, this should not be a problem.

If not, then the links provided by Dbergert will help setup WINS, which will allow for NETBIOS name resolution that is like IP name resolution.

Author Comment

ID: 17143800
I have a 2003 active directory, yes, but I don't have a DC on each subnet. I really don't want to set up WINS, that's just old technology and prefer to use AD integrated DNS. I was aware that NetBIOS is a broadcast and those don't get through layer 3 devices but my question was more asking if anyone had a creative workaround, etc without having to open up those broadcasts on the routers or have a DC on the smaller VPN LAN's.
LVL 25

Accepted Solution

Ron Malmstead earned 32 total points
ID: 17145940
Ad Integrated DNS, regardless you still should have WINS.  WINS IS NETBIOS....formerly referred to as NBNS "netbios name server".

You need to setup another DC at your other location, install WINS, DNS...and get replication working...then join clients to the domain...this will become thier logon server.  Otherwise you are going to slow down your network to a crawl, by sending authentication packets/directory lookups/dns queries ....accross your vpn.
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:Rick Hobbs
Rick Hobbs earned 31 total points
ID: 17146506
I agree with xuserx2000.  It doesn't have to be anything special to provide DC and WINS services and authentication.  Check the minimum specs for a server.

Assisted Solution

marce_lito earned 31 total points
ID: 17148137
actually, you don't need to have a wins server in the remote location... once you've got layer 4 connectivity to the wins server, you just need to specify its address in your clients (dhcp maybe?)
LVL 57

Assisted Solution

giltjr earned 31 total points
ID: 17148215
WINS should only be needed if you have older clients on your network.  From a Windows OS point of view Windows 2000 and newer do not need WINS.  Anything that is "AD" aware should be using DNS and not NetBIOS broadcasts or WINS.

However if you have older OS's or other OS's that do not support AD, then you will need a WINS server.  I would install a WINS server at the remote location.  First, and formost, it will reduce traffic over the WAN link.  Second, if the WAN link fails, you can still reslove names using WINS instead of broadcasts, which reduces network traffic on the local LAN.

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