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Users cannot access NAS shares when SBS 2003 is down

Abid Muhammad
Abid Muhammad used Ask the Experts™
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Hi there,

This is my first post in EE forums. We have a SBS 2003 which is running all the usual SBS services - in dual NIC configuration (please have a look at the Network diagram attached). As a BC perspective I attached a Buffalo NAS directly to the switch, added shares and security and a script which mirrors server's file shares to NAS on daily bases.

All worked fine until server was down. Within 15-20 mins no machines on LAN could access NAS or any shares on it. I am wondering what has happened and what do I need to do to make sure that NAS is available when server is down because thats the whole purpose of having it.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Abid
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If the server (as SBS does) is performing DNS for the network, when the server is down they will need to connect to the NAS via IP address not through a machine name that needs DNS to resolve it.
Commented:
You should probably consider setting up a secondary DNS server to avoid this.
Abid MuhammadIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the feedback guys.

Yes, the server is doing DNS for the network.

I will test the suggestion of using IP address instead of 'NAS/machine name' to access folders when server is down next time.

I would really like to get some redundency by setting up a secondery server to perform DNS, DHCP and print services for the network. Do you have any step by step guide to do it on a virual machine using VMWare ESXi hypervisor?

Thanks!
Commented:
Are you planning on just deploying another Windows 2008 server?

You would just need to install the DNS and DHCP roles once you had it up and running.

If you also make it a Domain Controller, you will get all the corporate DNS automatically.

To configure redundant DHCP, just split your DHCP scope in half, and assign addresses from one half from the first server and use the other half of the scope on the secondary server.
Abid MuhammadIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Hi Matt,

Thanks. I am planning to deploy a Windows 2003 Standard server to run on VMware ESXi hypervisor on a good spec HP desktop. The main SBS 2003 server is dual NI:

Internet router      =====>  NIC-1 (external IP)
NIC-2 (internal IP)  =====>  Switch

I want people to get on internet, be able to print, and access NAS and WiFi when SBS 2003 is down. Can I achieve this by putting in a secondary DC running Windows Standard 2003?
IT Manager
Commented:
I have expereienced

I have now deployed a replica DC and also assigned it Secondary DNS server role, then defined it in DHCP scope on SBS 2003 and now all clients have picked up the IP address of Sec DNS server. Hopefully now when SBS 2003 is down the network wont collapse and clients will be able to find NAS and be able to print.

I am not splitting DHCP scope and will leave SBS 2003 as DHCP server. As a next step now I will change SBS 2003 from dual to single NIC configuration and also install a hardware firewall for network protection.

Thanks for the comments guys! Points will be awarded now.
Abid MuhammadIT Manager

Author

Commented:
I have now deployed a replica DC and also assigned it Secondary DNS server role, then defined it in DHCP scope on SBS 2003 and now all clients have picked up the IP address of Sec DNS server. The member server is now also a Global catalog server. Hopefully now when SBS 2003 is down the network wont collapse and clients will be able to find NAS and be able to print.

I am not splitting DHCP scope and will leave SBS 2003 as DHCP server. As a next step now I will change SBS 2003 from dual to single NIC configuration and also install a hardware firewall for network protection.