When using VPN and SBS 2008 cannot resolve netbios name of connecting CPU

Good morning,

My company is running an SBS 2008 server configured for VPN access.  Our VPN clients are using Dell laptops installed with Web Server 2008.  However, when we connect to the office via VPN, we cannot resolve the netbios name of the connecting computers from our SBS server.  We need to be able to use the netbios name (and not have to use the FQDN or IP address) to be able to sync our SQL tables between the two computers.  

When connecting the clients via VPN, from the Web Server we can ping any netbios name on our office network.  However, this does not work going from our SBS server back to the VPN’d Web Server.

Do you have any ideas on how we can get the Web Server identified by the computer name from the SBS server?


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Rob WilliamsCommented:
To the best of my knowledge you cannot. They do not register in WINS even if you enable it and NetBIOS broadcast traffic is not routable via the VPN.
The only solution I could see is to assign the VPN clients a static IP and then create an LMHosts table. Not a pretty solution but it would work.
See my blog for
Assign a Windows VPN Client a Static IP
LMHosts files

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NickAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick response.  

What about if I give the VPN clients static IPs and manually add an “A” record in our SBS server's DNS for that instance?  My thinking is from there it should be able to use the laptop name instead of IP.

What VPN service are you using, RRAS?
Are you connecting your external laptops with the vpn to the sbs or web server?
>>Dell laptops installed with Web Server 2008.
I'm not sure about this comment?
I'm assuming you are using the sbs server for internal DHCP and DNS services?
Are you using Web Server 2008 R2?
If you look into the DNS on SBS do you see the web server listed and how is it listed?
Please elaborate, so I can better understand what you are actually trying to accomplish.
I hope this is helpful, if you need further clarification or I have not understood you situation please elaborate.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>"What about if I give the VPN clients static IPs and manually add an “A” record in our SBS server's DNS for that instance?"
Sure, that will work fine but you were asking about NetBIOS names which requires WINS or LMHosts file.
NickAuthor Commented:
The VPN is now functioning the way we want it to.  I have our SBS server setup to give static IP addresses to computers connecting via VPN.  I have also created an “A” record in our DNS to point traffic to that IP address to “computername”.

Working great!

Thanks to RobWill for the help.  Your blog on setting up static IPs when using VPN was great!


Rob WilliamsCommented:
Thanks RadWREB. Glad it worked out for you.
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