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Network access between 2 windows servers (connected through switch)

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have 2 servers connected to each other through a Cisco unmanaged switch.
The first server is a Windows 2003 Small Business Server, and the second is a Windows Server 2008 Standard.

The Small Business Server is not part of any Workgroup, but has its own domain named "Computername" (member of Computername.local). The Windows Server 2008 is member of Workgroup.

I need to make a connection between the servers so I easily can transfer files between them (make file browsing and copying possible). I don't understand how to fix this. Hope someone can give me some help :)
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Question by:webressurs
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16 Comments
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:ormerodrutter
ID: 33509273
Are the two servers on the same site? IF so you can simply do this via mapped network drives.

If they are not on the same site you need to create VPN tunnels. You can have software VPN (most VPN client and is on demand) if it is only being used occassionally. If it is being used regularly then a hardware VPN is recommended. Most (NOT all) router/firewall support 24/7 VPN tunnels but if possible I would suggest you do this with two identical routers.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:DanMar
ID: 33509306
You may be restricted to communicating via IP however you can sometimes get away with configuring same username with same password.  You will need to set permissions on your shares to allow anonymous or everyone etc.  Be aware however this will open a security risk that will actually allow what you select for access.
This document will explain more re: permissions:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753731.aspx 
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Accepted Solution

by:
amieldar earned 100 total points
ID: 33509485
In server 2008 you have default firewall witch blocks alot of ports
first try to disale the firewall in 2008 server
then try to get conection from 2003 to 2008 by ip and not dns name .
if it works try dns name
if not rhen you need to add on hosts file in 2003 server the 2008 server

G.L.
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Author Comment

by:webressurs
ID: 33509797
ormerodrutter: What do you mean with "if the servers are on the same site"? They are conneted to each other throught a switch... Each server has its own IP address.

The Small Business Server has its own domain (servername.local). It the other server was member of this domain (not Workgroup), could this be a solution? I tried to change from Workgroup to "servername.local" but get this error:  "An active directory domain controller for the domain could not be contacted".

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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:DanMar
ID: 33510050
If you want to join the domain of the SBS server make sure you set the DNS server on the other server to be the SBS server if this is running your internal AD DNS Server.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:aoakeley
aoakeley earned 400 total points
ID: 33510148
I assume that you have configured an IP Address on each and the two servers can PING each other?
If the above is true:
1. a shared folder on the SBS Server, assign appropriate permissions
2. from the windows 2008 server
   where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP Address of the SBS Server
   Start -> Run: \\xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx\Sharename
3. When prompted for username and password enter a valid domain\username and Password on the SBS Domain
    eg.  domainname\administrator and password

This should allow you to simply move files between the two. A more permanent solution would be to add the 2008 server to the SBS Domain, but that's another exercise.
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Author Comment

by:webressurs
ID: 33510249
Hi aoakeley!

Thanks for your help. Each server has its own IP adress and I can access them both from my office. But, when I try to ping one server from another (using RDP) it seems like there is a problem. I get Request timed out.

I just sent an email to the hosting company and asked why the servers not can ping each other.

So long,
Webressurs
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:ormerodrutter
ID: 33510382
Sounds like they are using different DNS server and/or gateway. Do you know their IP addresses?

THe Win 2008 server do NOT need to be on the same domain for file access, although life would be simplier if it is :)

The above only works if both server are on the same network.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:aoakeley
aoakeley earned 400 total points
ID: 33511633
ormerodrutter is correct "The above only works if both server are on the same network" however as both are plugged into single unmanaged switch I assumed they were.... (never assume huh?)

not sure how you ping using RDP, but anyway..... if you have disabled firewall on both and they still cannot oing each other you will have to solve the networking issue before you can solve the file sharing issue. Back to basics for you.
a) check they are plugged into same switch
b) check IP Address and subnet mask to ensure both on same subnet
c) if on same subnet DNS and gateway should be irrelevant, you should be able to share between by using \\xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
d) if they are not on the same subnet then there must be a default gateway and some way for traffic to route between the subnets, even if they are on the same unmanaged switch.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:webressurs
ID: 33514534
Hi!
Both servers has the same Default gateway, Subnet mask, Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server. They are plugged into the same switch. When I ping using RDP (Remote Desktop) I just log into one of the servers, run cmd, and try to ping the other IP address. Then I get "Request times out" (100% loss).

I know the servers are behind a firewall. This has open ports for http, ftp, rdp, and some other. As far as I know ping should not return "Request timed out" because of a firewall. Should a spesific port be opened to share files between these servers?

On the Windows 2008 Server I see that "Network discovery and file sharing are turned off". If I turn it on I can see other servers (not mine) in the Workgroup. I cannot see my Small Business Server since this is not in this Workgroup... Since my Small Business Server has its own domain ("Servername.local"), could my windows server 2008 be part of (member of) this? Will that solve anything?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:webressurs
ID: 33515031
Hi!

I just turned on "Network discovery and file sharing" on the Windows 2008 Server. Now I can ping this server from my Small Business Server 2003! If i type the Ip address in Explorer I see an IIS7 logo. But I don't know how ta access files / folders on this server...?

Still I can't ping the other way. Do I have to allow "Network discovery and file sharing" on the Small Business Server also (guess it is calles something else here)? How do I do that?
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:webressurs
ID: 33515345
Ok, now I can access files in public folder on Windows 2008 server by typing this (from my Small Business server):

\\IpAddress\Public

Hope someone can assure me that none of the computers I see listed in "Network" can access my server without a username and password? The computers I see listed in "Network" is not mine (extept my Windows 2008 server I work on now). Is there a way to check if my server is password protected, or is this default?

The final question is: How can I access my Windows 2003 Small Business Server from my Windows 2008 Server?
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:aoakeley
aoakeley earned 400 total points
ID: 33516964
> Since my Small Business Server has its own domain ("Servername.local"), could my windows server 2008 be part of (member of) this? Will that solve anything?

As previously mentioned, yes that will make things simpler. But I would first check thet the SBS Server does not have the windows firewall enabled and that the correct protocols are enable on the network card attached to the lan. The firewall to the outside world is irrelevant to what you are trying to do here. If the sbs server is configured correctly you should be able to access a share on it with \\ipadddress\share

If typing \\IpAddress\Public public for the SBS server allowed you into those files without asking for a username and password then it is probable that anyone else on the network can also see those files.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:webressurs
ID: 33518792
Thank you so much, now it works!!

One final thing: I don't want to disable the windows firewall, is it possible to open just one port to make this work? Which port should that be?
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:aoakeley
aoakeley earned 400 total points
ID: 33518816
In firewall exceptions there should be a tick box for "File and Printer Sharing"

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/298804/en-gb
The following ports are associated with file sharing and server message block (SMB) communications:
    * Microsoft file sharing SMB: User Datagram Protocol (UDP) ports from 135 through 139 and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) ports from 135 through 139.
    * Direct-hosted SMB traffic without a network basic input/output system (NetBIOS): port 445 (TCP and UPD).

Andy

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Author Closing Comment

by:webressurs
ID: 33518920
Thanks for all help :)
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