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Two SBS servers on same network?

Posted on 2006-11-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
My client has an SBS 2003 network, but also has link to the company next door who have an NT4 network. My client accesses a shared folder on that server. It was easy to establish the link. The NT4 server has an IP address of 192.168.0.100 the clients in there have fixed IP addresses. So I assigned the SBS box with an internal IP address of 192.168.0.2 and allowed the DHCP server to assigned addresses in that segment. Everything is working fine.

However, the next door people are shorlty upgrading to an SBS Box. I wondering about problems now. Is it possible to have two SBS domains on the same network segment? I can imagine problems with DHCP also. We could spilt things so that each server allocates addresses within a certain range, but how can you dicatate which server a client requests and address from.

Are there any other problems I am unaware of?
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Question by:ipendlebury
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Expert Comment

by:dnsadmin
ID: 17858782
More than likely you will need to assign static ip addresses to your clients or at the very least statically define the clients DNS.  It is important that each client's DNS settings point to the SBS for which it is part of the domain.  You will also need to add the users in both Active Directories (AD).

1. Choose one of the SBS servers or a router to assisgn IP addresses. Hard Code the DNS Settings to point to their respective Domain Controllers (SBS)
or in a small network just hard code the IP settings.
2. Add the users that need access to both SBS Active Directory.
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Author Comment

by:ipendlebury
ID: 17858910
One immediate problem here is that 'my' clients all use laptops which they take home and to other comapnies. It's going to get messy if I tell them that they are going to have to use Static IP addresses in the office. Static DNS frightens me also. It will all have to be undone when they switch on elsewhere.

Another problem is that I won't have access to administer the other server. It will be adminstered by a third party company of which I have no knowledge. No doubt they will add users etc. I'm unsure of how much cooperation I will get beyond that.

But in theory, it is possible then to have two SBS servers on the same network subject to the suggestions you made above? I remember in the days of SBS 4.5 I think, that an SBS PDC would not tolerate any other PDC on the network.
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Expert Comment

by:dnsadmin
ID: 17859810
If it is simply the one user you should be able to add him/her to the other companies AD and then configure your side accordingly.  
Another idea, is to add a USB NIC to the laptop that plugs into the other companies network that way only the one user is tied to both networks.
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Author Comment

by:ipendlebury
ID: 17859960
There are three users who access the other network. But I think you have given me the solution...

Currently the two networks are hard wired together. The laptop users users are all using wireless to connect via a wireless basestation to the entire network.

I could make it so that the wire coming in from the other company just goes to a 4 port switch without being connected to the main network. The 3 laptops concerned could contunue connecting to their 'main' network via wireless and use the laptop RJ45 port to connect to the 4 port switch from the other network.

This sounds like an excellent solution as it means there is no direct connection between the two networks. What do you think?

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Accepted Solution

by:
dnsadmin earned 150 total points
ID: 17860262
Not to keep giving you ideas but you might also try a second router.  It would be used to only route traffic to the other network.  Your primary router/gateway could have a route added for any traffic that is going to the other network.

gateway:  192.168.1.1
Second router: 192.168.1.199
Other network:  192.168.0.x
Add router to gateway router that points traffic for the 192.168.0.x network to the second router.

Worth a shot and a little cleaner.  that way each client points to its SBS and as long as you have users in both domains should work.

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Author Comment

by:ipendlebury
ID: 17860561
I don't have a router currently. Just a cheap switch. But if it solved the problem I would get one. Wouldn't it be the case that if I added a second router as you suggest, that the clients will still be able to see both servers and still be subject to the original problems?
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Assisted Solution

by:tray_jones
tray_jones earned 100 total points
ID: 17861906
get a list of all of your clients MAC Addresses and add them as reservations.  Also have your neighbor do the same thing.  But now that I think about it, i want to say that the DHCP server will not start the service if it detects another DHCP server on the network.  As for haveing two SBS's, it should only care if you are putting them on the same domain, SBS has to be the first server in a domain.  have you thought about adding a second NIC to your server and configing LAN routing in RRas?  you may have to do some conditional forwarding settings in DNS.

By installing a router you would create two dhcp "realms" for the lack of a better word.  Be default most routers will not forward DHCP request as these are broadcast packets and routers are limiters in broadcast domains.  I forget the RFC for this, its also known as forward BootP.  If you used RRAS for it, you would have to manually setup a DHCP relay agent, but you dont want that.

This may get it done.
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Author Comment

by:ipendlebury
ID: 17862109
I thought about a second NIC, but all the pci slots are full in my server. I remember now a problem I had on another network. The DHCP service did not start because it detected another DHCP server. It's critical the the laptop clients are configured to get IP and DNS automatically for when they are operated off-site.

All this routing terminology is new ground for me. I'm going to draw a line here and thank you both for your input. I need to find what level of cooperation I am going to get from the new server administrator before I decide my next step.
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