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Intranet Site Redirection Issue

Posted on 2015-02-18
Last Modified: 2015-03-03
We have a server named PWAPP that runs a web-based app used by dozens of people.

The path to the app is http://pwapp/appname

What happens is random times during the day, the site will start trying to redirect to pwapp.com (which is owned by a domain squatter). I've logged tickets with the app vendor and finally determined that it's a DNS issue of some kind.

In DNS, I created a forward lookup zone for pwapp.com with an A record pointing to the IP of the server named PWAPP, but the problem still occurs. I also added an alias CNAME with the FQDN and the problem still happens.

I've checked all through IIS and there is nothing forwarding or anything like that. The app vendor confirmed this. We have some kind of networking problem because other internal servers running IIS will sometimes do the same thing.

On my own PC I have edited HOSTS to set pwapp to the IP of the server but I still get page timeout issues on my end.

Part of what makes this so frustrating is that it's hard to test when the issue is so sporadic. I'm to the point where I wonder if renaming the server to something not registered as a domain name might help. Any suggestions?
Question by:William Fulks
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 40617711
-If you have multiple DNS servers make sure they all contain the correct record.
-Make sure you clients are using your internal DNS ip as their local dns server.
-Disable any search addons in IE to prevent the hostname from being interpreted as a search term.
-Add the name to the Intranet zone in internet explorer. Tools->Internet options->Security->Local Intranet->Sites->Advanced
LVL 14

Author Comment

by:William Fulks
ID: 40619088
Thanks. I'll look into this.

What about options for Firefox?
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 40619547
After re-reading your question I don't think it is a browser configuration issue unless you are using a proxy. adding a zone for pwapp.com  doesn't do anything because you aren't using pwapp.com, you are using pwapp. You can create a cname for this in the default active directory domain, assuming you are using active directory. This is odd because if it is sometimes working using http://pwapp/appname I'm not sure how it would be working with your current setup.

I would still check to make sure the clients are only using internal DNS servers. because if some clients are going to an external dns server, it wont be able to find it.

You say the problem is sporadic but does that mean it only works for specific clients? Or does it mean it can sometimes work but for the same client it can fail?

if possible I would try to use a long running ping command and keep it running such as:
ping pwapp -t

Open in new window

This should prove that we can resolve the name pwapp to an internal ip address and if we keep it running, when you notice it failing you can view the command window to see if any timeouts occur or if the ping takes longer than normal. This will help narrow it down to being a network/server issue rather than client configuration.

Also, what kind of equipment in general are you running in your network, meaning a load balancer, IDS/IPS.
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LVL 14

Author Comment

by:William Fulks
ID: 40619591
I saw some msg board posts about setting up a cname for an intranet but it wasn't entirely clear. We are using AD, so where should I put it instead of the forward lookup zone?
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 40619597
It should be in whatever domain you active directory is. If you internal domain is company.local, then you put it in there
LVL 14

Author Comment

by:William Fulks
ID: 40619679
I removed the forward lookup zone then tried adding the CNAME and it gives an error saying a new record cannot be created. An alias (CNAME) record cannot be added to this DNS name. The DNS name contains records that are incompatible with the CNAME record.

There is a Host (A) record already for pwapp listed under the main lookup zone. Should that be removed first?
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

OriNetworks earned 500 total points
ID: 40621898
In that case, no. The required dns record exists, assumingly as the server name.

You can also try having users referenced the site by FQDN e.g. http://pwapp.internalADdomain.com/appname
LVL 14

Author Closing Comment

by:William Fulks
ID: 40642918
Thanks. Using the FQDN seems to be the workaround whenever this pops up. We haven't had the problem again since I posted this!

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