Macs Losing Network Connection - Mixed Environment
Posted on 2012-08-21
I am pulling my hair out. We have a network of approximately 30 Windows machines and 12 Macs.
We are having an issue where periodically all of the Macs will lose their network connection. They cannot connect to each other, our mac file server, or the internet. Restarting all of the Macs including the file server temporarily resolves the issue. Windows machines are not affected.
The Macs where DHCP, but I changed them all to static IP addresses. Didn't seem to make a difference.
It seems like the problems are heavily related to the Mac file server (current gen Mac Mini on Lion Server) because restarting it is key to getting everything going again. If we restart all of the clients, but not the server...the network connection does not return. Restarting the server and the clients gets everything going again.
The Mac server is running only AFP file sharing (using two brand new firewire external hard drives). We are not using directory accounts nor are any of the Macs joined to the server. No other services are running. The only other thing that runs from the Mac server is Extensis Universal Type Server. But, the problem happens even when that is disabled.
We changed to another Mac mini and did a clean install of Lion Server. Everything was set up from scratch, but that did not make a difference.
We also have a Windows domain, but none of the Macs are joined to it.
Our Sonicwall serves IP addresses and handles the routing. We have a Windows server on the network that handles internal DNS.
This issue has been occurring for a few weeks now and just came out of nowhere. I don't think we have changed anything on our network that would affect this.
It is weird because it sounds like a higher level issue than what an individual machine could cause. If something was off with the Mac file server, I could see us losing connection to it, but how does it also completely hose our client's network connections to the point that we cannot even get out to the internet. Plus, the issue is Mac only. I would think if there were network infrastructure problems, the Windows machines would be affected too.
I'm sure I am missing some things that you will need to help troubleshoot the problem, but I will start here. Please let me know what further information you need.
Thanks in advance for any help!