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Cannot Ping Mail server IP address

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13

I wonder if you might have an answer for me on this question.  
 
I can ping the IP address of our mail server from my laptop no problems.  However I can't ping our mail server IP address from our server which is in a data centre. This is strange because I can ping other IP's from that server that is in the datacentre, I can also ping domain names like www.google.com from it.
Any ideas on what the problem might be?  The firewall has ports 25 and 110 open.  The mail server is outside the datacentre too.

thanks
Harold
 
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Question by:hcg100
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by:oriziv
ID: 34904021
Since you have a fire-wall, The first thing I would have check is that the fire wall doesn't block ICMP (the protocol which ping uses)
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Author Comment

by:hcg100
ID: 34904184
It is not the firewall, because I can ping other external IP addresses and domains with no problem from the server.
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Expert Comment

by:oriziv
ID: 34904194
1. Make sure there's no specific rule blocking ICMP to this server.
2. Make sure there's no local fire-wall on the mail server that blocks ICMP
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Author Comment

by:hcg100
ID: 34912486
Once again, it is nothing on the mail server either, as I can ping that successfully from other locations, outside the data centre.  Try pinging 202.174.104.20.  
When I am logged onto the server in the datacentre I can ping sites like www.google.com but I can't ping the IP address above.
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:oriziv
ID: 34913656
Hi,

Since IP 202.174.104.20 is generally responding to ping, there's something on your network infrastructures that blocks ICMP.
Run tracert -d 202.174.104.20 from your server command line console. this should give you a list of hops. one of these hops blocks your ping.
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Author Comment

by:hcg100
ID: 34923887
Hi
Interesting - tracert shows timeouts as the message enters the data centre where the mailserver is (which is another city actually).  This is at the 11th hop.

I have actually overcome the issue by installing a mail server on our service in our datacentre. So its a bit of a moot point, but i would still like to understand what was happenning!

thanks
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Accepted Solution

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oriziv earned 250 total points
ID: 34937191
This means your ping got out of your site, routed to your data-center and blocked there.
There should be some software fire-wall or infra-structure that blocks ICMP.
possibilities are most likely:
1. fire-wall at your data-center back-bone
2. some security module on one of your switches or routers at the data-center
3. Some software fire-wall on your mail server's operating system or on its anti-virus program.
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Expert Comment

by:philmike
ID: 34955638
If ICMP is blocked, it will stop your ping.

You can try telneting to port 25 of the SMTP mail server.
If you get a connection the server is available.
If not your probably not getting mail.
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Author Closing Comment

by:hcg100
ID: 35361562
It turns out the mail server provider had blocked our server IP address for some reason.
Thanks
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