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Questions about Windows 2003  such as Why cant I access the internet if my windows server 2003 is down?

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Hi I have been given the responsibility of overseeing two different Networks. (I don't have any formal network training, just have been learning as I go.) Both of them have one network server with Windows Server 2003.
1. Network A: 20  Windows XP Home computers connected to a Netgear FS750T2 Switch which is then connected to a Linksys RVS 4000 Router, which then connects to our Internet modem. The Linksys provides DHCP.  The network server is connected to the Netgear switch. Active Directory, DNS,  etc are not used on this server. The workstations all have "Obtain DNS servers automatically checked" The server holds files that are shared by everyone, and a SQLserver database.  There is no domain on this network

2. Network B: 40 Windows XP Pro computers connected to 2 Netgear Switches, which are then connected to a router, which then connects to the Internet Modem. The network server has to network cards, both of which are connected to the Netgear Swtich. Active Dirctory, and DNS are enabled.  the workstations all have the Windows Server set as the Primary DNS address, and a DNS server provided by our ISP as the secondary DNS server. There is a domain on this network. DHCP is provided by the router, other than for the servers 2 NIC cards, which have static IPs entered.

So here are my questions:
1. What is the advantage to the Network B setup, where the DNS server is provided by our Network server instead of the ISP DNS server?
2. In Network A, if the Network Server goes down, all workstations still have internet access. This is not the case in Network B. Is that due to the DNS server set up or can there be other reasons for this?
3. What would be the downside to changing Network B over to the set up that Network A uses, where the DNS is provided by our ISP? (Making Internet access independent of the network server)
4. If all workstations in Network B cannot ping the router today, when they could yesterday. Assuming that the cabling is not a problem. Can there be any other causes other than a bad switch or a bad router? (Could something in the network server cause this symptom?)
5. If the network server cannot ping the router when the server is connected via the switch, but it CAN ping the router when it bypasses the switch and plugs directly into the router, can there be any other cause to this problem besides a bad switch?
6. Is it common for some ports of a switch to fail, while others continue to work/

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Question by:LearningToProgram
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it_saige earned 500 total points
ID: 34911044
1.  The advantage is better central management of network resources.  With a domain, all users and their access levels are defined by the domain controller.  This way if a user needs access to a resource, instead of needing to visit a few workstations to provide the access, you set their rights in Active Directory (there is alot more to it as you have more flexibility).  When DNS is provided internally (which is the ideal method) your network communications stay internal and only go outside when an external resource is needed.

2.  Yes, this goes back to DNS, in the Network A configuration, your ISP is your DNS server (this is bad as your ISP does not know who you are [from a DNS perspective]).  For redundancy, you would add a second server for AD and DNS.

3.  Your ISP cannot be your internal DNS server, they do not know who you are so your internal lookups take longer as TCP/IP first has to fail-over on a lookup query back to some other non-routable protocol like WINs or NETBIOS.

4.  If they cannot ping the router it could be cause by the fact that you have both server NIC's assigned with IP addresses.  Depended upon how they are configured this can cause problems.

5.  It could be the NIC configuration (again this depends on how the NIC's are configured).  It also depends on your provider order as well as your NIC order.

6.  Yes and no.  It depends on the Switch.  Some switches use ports that are on seperate controllers, others use ports that are on controller blocks and others use ports that are all controlled by one controller.  This however, does not account for the fact that the contacts on a single port can be damaged without damaging the internal port controllers.

HTH,

-saige-
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by:LearningToProgram
ID: 34912088
Hi Saige,
thanks for the answers.
on Q #4 and 5. How would I be able to determine if the NICs are configured correctly?
thanks
Paul
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Author Closing Comment

by:LearningToProgram
ID: 35138299
I didn't get an answer to my question about the correct way to set up two NIC cards on the server.
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