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DNS issue

Posted on 2007-12-05
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hi,

Have a simple DNS server setup which is working fine.   The problem is this:  

When users are on our network they do not need to use the FQDN to resolve to a pc/server.  E.G. they can connect to a server using server1 instead of server1.example.com.  I used to think this was because the machine was added to the zone file on the DNS server so hence you did not have to specify the FQDN (I have DDNS setup so when the machine grabs an IP of the DHCP the DNS server gets updated with machines name) but I have tested this a little bit and even if the machine is using a static IP and not added to the DNS zone it can still resolve through server1 and not server1.example.com.

The problem I have is when people connect in via our VPN.  If they connect via VPN using the same machine they now have to resolve using the FQDN.  This works fine however it causes some issues as there are number of tools that they use which work of our servers... however these tools do not use the FQDN e.g they would just use server1 instead of server1.example.com.  So when users connect via the VPN they cannot use these tools.

Is there any way of resolving this issue?  I don't really understand DNS enough to know why when the client machine is on our network (even when its not resolving itself) it does not have to use the FQDN, however once connecting via the VPN it does.  

Hope somebody can help.

Cheers
Gareth
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Question by:garethcummings
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:from_exp
ID: 20410689
what dns servers clients receive via vpn?
the should receive the same dns server as working locally, more likely ip of your DC server.

ipconfig /all will show you your dns server settings on vpn interface

if it is impossible to change the dns server settings on the clients, you can modify "dns suffix for this connection" on all pcs, who needs to vpn.
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Accepted Solution

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Rob Williams earned 600 total points
ID: 20410694
server1.example.com  is a FQDN or DNS name
server1  is a NetBIOS name. The latter in a LAN relies heavily on NetBIOS broadcasts, but broadcast packets are not routable, and therefor not usable over a VPN. The alternatives are to setup WINS servers and make sure your VPN clients are assigned the WINS server addresses, or simpler and very dependable is to use LMHosts files on the VPN client machines. The drawback being they have to be added to each machine, though you can do this iwith a script.
Setting up an LMHosts file.
There are a few oddities with the file, have a look at the following:

-Lmhosts file is useful for NetBIOS name resolution where other solutions are not available.
-LMHosts is located in the Windows directory under c:\Windows (or WINNT)\System32\Drivers\Etc\LMHosts.sam , instructions are included within the file. Any line starting with # is just a comment and is ignored. Open the file with Notepad and add entries for your computers as below;
192.168.0.101      CompName       #PRE
-Hit enter when each line is complete (important), then save the file without a file extension. To be sure there is no extension ,when saving enclose in quotations like "LMHosts".
-PRE has to be capitalized, however you do not need it, though should give you faster resolution where it is "pre-loaded"
-use a Tab between entries in a line rather than spaces (recommended but not necessary)
-if adding the domain and or domain controller the # of spaces used is even critical. See:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q180094/
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Author Closing Comment

by:garethcummings
ID: 31412820
Thanks Rob, I never even thought of netbios.  I setup a wins server and pushed the address to the VPN clients and all is working well now.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 20425280
You're welcome, glad it worked out.
Thanks Gareth
Cheers !
--Rob
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