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Computer Browsing across subnets Server 2012

Posted on 2016-10-20
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Last Modified: 2016-10-21
Team,

Looking for some guidance on the age-old problem of computers seeing all other computers across a routed network.

I have on subnet "A" a 2012 server that is the Domain Controller.
There is another Domain controller on Subnet "A" (2008 r2).

On Subnet "B" I have a Domain controller as well.  I n Active directory sites I set up subnet "B" so each DC knows about each other's subnets.

I Turned on computer browsing on all DC's

I set up DNS with both subnet sand both forward and reverse zones are working fine. You can ping, Map drives, Login and everything you would expect between the subnets, you just cant see the other subnets computers.

When you click on network on Subnet "A" you only see computers on subnet "A" and the Same for Subnet "B"

I am trying NOT to use LMHOSTS or WINS if possible.

What else am I Missing here? Is there a way to do this with AD and Not use WINS?

Any assistance is appreciated.
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Question by:jplatt1
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12 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Niten Kumar
ID: 41852886
Have you setup all subnets in the sites and services console?
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Author Comment

by:jplatt1
ID: 41852892
Yes, Subnet "A" was in there already and I added Subnet"B".
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41852923
WINS isn't a bad guy, so why not using it?
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Author Comment

by:jplatt1
ID: 41852977
Hi, Qlemo, Thanks for the Reply. If Active Directory can handle this, I didn't want to introduce WINS. IF WINS is the ONLY way to get this to work, I have no problem with that. Shouldn't Active Directory be able to do this? I have not been able to find the definitive answer anywhere.

All Comments welcome.

Thank you!!
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:sAMAccountName
ID: 41853012
Just my $.02

First,browsing isnt related to AD.  AD is an x500 directory service with additional functionality like Kerberos, group policy etc and isnt responsible in any way for electing and managing browing.  Computer browsing is a  backwards compatibility thing for older services relying on WINS- again, not related to AD.  Browsing is a horrible service which will cause you support problems and heartache of epic proportions if you are trying to deploy it as a "supported" service in an enterprise.  I personally wouldnt even consider publishing it as a legitimate service.  At all.  Ever.  I'm curious what you are using it for/trying to accomplish with it

And I'd like to go on record saying "Yes, there is a lot wrong with WINS, dont introduce it if you dont have to"

End of rant
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Author Comment

by:jplatt1
ID: 41853022
Thank you sAMAccountName,

That was one of the better explanations I have seen. I have dealt with WINS in the past and am trying to avoid it. The issue Is Client has old software that seems to rely on it. Rather than deploy WINS, I may look into an approach from said software and see if I can work around it. I agree its a nightmare and has been for decades. So if anyone can answer this one question definitively, I would be much appreciated. With 2012, there is no native way to brows amongst subnets?

Thanks again!
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:sAMAccountName
ID: 41853027
Computer browsing attempts to do with Netbios names what DNS does with domain names to generate a list of entities in your Network Places folder (or equivilent - not sure what its called now) which is completely independant from what you will see in AD.  Like I said, it will rely on the browser service in Windows and the successful election of a master browser.  if this software is truly relying on this antiquated service, Id give a good hard look at replacing it if you can.  The fact they seem to rely on something like that makes me question other things like their security standards from a software development perspective.
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 41853980
You can keep control over the Computer Browser service by disabling it everywhere but on a few servers, running 24/7. Not much of election, and nothing to go wrong with it. A workstation and the Browser service is causing havoc, though.

But if you choose to use a WINS server, it cooperates with DNS, and leaves out all the domain related stuff. DNS is *not* used for browsing info, WINS is. WINS can ask DNS. There is no issue, if configured correctly. Again, WINS is no bad if used correctly together with DNS - not in a way you have to say "avoid like the plague". More, it keeps the most NetBIOS type broadcasts away.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:sAMAccountName
ID: 41854065
WINS is an archaic protocol, which only exists in modern operating systems to support backwards compatibility of end-of-life operating systems.  Why would you even consider advocating or perpetuating its use?
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Qlemo
Qlemo earned 250 total points
ID: 41854276
Because it is still better than the NetBIOS broadcasts. And because it works beyond routers. And ...
Until MS OS is able to use DNS for "browsing", using WINS is the better choice than anything else. Many folks still want to see a populated network neighbourhood, and that requires browsing. And there is still software using Browser data for searching for printers or "services".
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
sAMAccountName earned 250 total points
ID: 41854320
@Qlemo:

Fair enough.  We will agree to disagree!  :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:jplatt1
ID: 41854693
Thank you everyone for your help. I really appreciate it.

Thank you
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