HELP! Dual (redundant) networks on Windows 2003 Server

Discussion in 'Server Networking' started by Grim Reaper, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Grim Reaper

    Grim Reaper Guest

    Network Gurus,

    I have been searching for a solution to these problems for weeks... to no
    avail. Please bear with me, it's a long and complex story!

    We have an industrial network - 6 win2k3 servers, and 12 or 13 XP nodes.
    All nodes are connected with 2 networks - separated physically - through 2
    sets of MICE (industrial managed switches). We call one network LAN Alpha,
    and the other LAN Beta.
    All IP addresses are static, we have no DNS, no WINS, no DHCP - nothing
    really! Just IP addresses. The LAN A addresses are 192.1.0.xxx and LAN B
    are 192.1.1.xxx. The problem we are having is with our 3rd party software -
    an automation/process control package - which talks on both LANs. The
    software functions normally when everything is plugged in - if we unplug a
    LAN cable or power down a switch, the servers and software switch to using
    the other LAN. I'm sure anyone familiar with redundancy knows what I'm on
    about.

    The problem is this.. when we disconnect LAN Alpha, and then reboot a
    machine (any machine) it can't connect properly when it restarts. We
    realise this is a problem with the software, and are in deep painful
    negotiations for a work around with the manufacturers. However, what I've
    noticed with Server 2003, is that the way the LANs work is affected by the
    binding order in Advanced Network Connection settings menu. Basically, I
    can set LAN A or LAN B as "top priority", but if I kill that network, the
    software can't switch to the other LAN immediately because Windows is busy
    timing out. This is noticable in Explorer, just browsing the workgroup.

    Without wanting to make the question toooo complicated... can we set both
    LAN cards to have the same priority?? IE delete the binding order???

    All this stuff worked fine in Windows 2000 Server/Professional - but there
    is definitely a difference with Server 2003.

    ANY thoughts advice or suggestions VERY welcome!!

    Thanks.
    _____________________________________
    A frustrated engineer
     
    Grim Reaper, Oct 26, 2005
    #1
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  2. Grim Reaper

    Neteng Guest

    I think that's a problem with XP. Something about which NIC becomes active
    first. Google or search MS for it. I don't think there's a fix, it's just
    the way XP works.
     
    Neteng, Oct 26, 2005
    #2
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  3. Grim Reaper

    Grim Reaper Guest

    We've been googling for weeks and weeks!!
    Looks like we'll just have to go back to BP and tell them their £30m upgrade
    is going to be delayed.. :S
    ________________________________________________
    The Grim Reaper
     
    Grim Reaper, Oct 26, 2005
    #3
  4. Why not try Nic Teaming instead. The Nics have to be designed for it and
    have the correct drivers for it, but if redundancy is what this is about
    then that may be a better solution.

    --
    Phillip Windell [MCP, MVP, CCNA]
    www.wandtv.com
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Understanding the ISA 2004 Access Rule Processing
    http://www.isaserver.org/articles/ISA2004_AccessRules.html

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Guidance
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2004.asp
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2000.asp

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Partners
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/partners/default.asp
     
    Phillip Windell, Oct 26, 2005
    #4
  5. Grim Reaper

    Grim Reaper Guest

    Thanks for the suggestion, but the project is too far gone to change
    philisophies. We're supposed to be out on site by February.
    Our company has very little knowledge of advanced (or modern!) networking
    techniques, and I'm sure you're right that teaming could be a better
    solution after a bit of analysis. However, the existing systems are all
    based on redundancy - I/O blocks, hardware controllers, PLCs, networks,
    serial links and servers - so just changing the NICs to teaming would annoy
    my boss's boss's boss... (feel free to correct that grammar :S)

    We have since discovered a further quirk, which again points to the third
    party software involved (as it inevitable does!). When pulling the LAN
    cable from the back of the PC (i.e. the NIC), the software sees a complete
    failure and just sits there - instead of failing over to the other NIC.
    However, when we plugged the switch end of the cable into an isolated switch
    (i.e. connected to a network, but that one cable being the only thing on the
    network) the software saw the connection as "available" but failed and
    promptly switched to the second LAN.

    I'm in mid-discussion (and holding off a furious manager or two...) with the
    third party company support/development personnel, and hopefully they can
    issue a patch for the software. It still annoys me (not as much as them)
    that Windows has changed philisophy without documentation... again.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    The Grim Reaper

     
    Grim Reaper, Oct 27, 2005
    #5
  6. Not really.
    ....which isn't exactly "redundating" rightnow.... :) So what good is
    redundancy that doesn't "redundate"
    I haven't seen any philisophy being changed.

    --
    Phillip Windell [MCP, MVP, CCNA]
    www.wandtv.com
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Understanding the ISA 2004 Access Rule Processing
    http://www.isaserver.org/articles/ISA2004_AccessRules.html

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Guidance
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2004.asp
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2000.asp

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Partners
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/partners/default.asp
    -----------------------------------------------------
     
    Phillip Windell, Oct 27, 2005
    #6
  7. Grim Reaper

    Grim Reaper Guest

    Thanks for the suggestion, but the project is too far gone to change
    Yes, really. Oil pumping vessels are in production 99% of the time, so
    we're on a very tight schedule. The software changeover will be performed
    on a live system anyhow, so redundancy is paramount.
    We need half the old system running while we plumb in half the new system.
    Fair point :D
    Same software's been working fine for 10 years. Same software with Windows
    2003 Server instead of 2000 Server.. and it stops working.
    OK.. I'll give you that _philisophy_ hasn't changed... but summink deep
    inside Windows did!

    Regards,

    Grim

     
    Grim Reaper, Oct 28, 2005
    #7
  8. Not that I know of,...at least not regaurding this issue anyway. Your
    attempt to build a redundant situation sounds like it is temporary until the
    new system is fully in place, ...that means that you were not redundant in
    this same way for the last 10 years before, which makes it impossible to
    determine if a change in 2003 is really causing it.

    I will look back at earlier posts and see if I see something, but I'm afraid
    this may be one of those things where I would just have to be there and see
    it for myself. There is probably some simple little design flaw in your
    method that might be easy to fix,...if we just knew what it was.

    --
    Phillip Windell [MCP, MVP, CCNA]
    www.wandtv.com
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Understanding the ISA 2004 Access Rule Processing
    http://www.isaserver.org/articles/ISA2004_AccessRules.html

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Guidance
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2004.asp
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2000.asp

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Partners
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/partners/default.asp
    -----------------------------------------------------
     
    Phillip Windell, Oct 28, 2005
    #8
  9. Ok, I've been looking back at an earlier post. I see no "real" solution. I
    had a big long post with a lot of "stuff" in it and just deleted it. It is
    pointless. The technology just does not function the way you think it does,
    and it never did. If it appeared to be working with 2000 then it was
    working due to some *other* mechanism that may have slipped by unoticed,
    that is now either not functioning or no longer in place.

    Some of these articles may be informative, but you have probably already
    seen them.

    128978 - Dead Gateway Detection in TCP/IP for Windows NT
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;128978

    171564 - TCP/IP Dead Gateway Detection Algorithm Updated for Windows NT
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;171564

    The following articles describe some of the same thing as the Dead Gateway
    Detection, but goes into a little more detail.

    159168 - Multiple Default Gateways Can Cause Connectivity Problems
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/159168/EN-US/

    157025 - Default Gateway Configuration for Multihomed Computers
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;157025&Product=win2000


    --
    Phillip Windell [MCP, MVP, CCNA]
    www.wandtv.com
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Understanding the ISA 2004 Access Rule Processing
    http://www.isaserver.org/articles/ISA2004_AccessRules.html

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Guidance
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2004.asp
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2000.asp

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Partners
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/partners/default.asp
    -----------------------------------------------------
     
    Phillip Windell, Oct 28, 2005
    #9
  10. Grim Reaper

    Grim Reaper Guest

    I don't think you quite understand where I'm coming from...
    We have built hundreds of redundant systems - networks, servers,
    workstations, controllers, I/O can ALL withstand a single failure with their
    hot-standy other half kicking in.
    We've been doing this for 30 years (the company.. not me personally!), on
    QNX, HP Unix, Linux, Windows NT 3, NT 4, 2000 Server, 2000 Workstation, XP
    Pro and now 2003 Server.
    I'm not saying it's a flaw in Windows, I'm sure it's a flaw in the 3rd party
    software - they don't exactly come across as professionals when you talk to
    them.

    Can I just ask.. are you in America??
    _____________________________________________
    Grim
     
    Grim Reaper, Nov 3, 2005
    #10
  11. That happens often, just don't tell anyone :)
    Ok, well that could very well be.
    That depends on if it is bad or good. If it is bad, then it was all my
    parents fault, I didn't do it. If it is good, then yea,..I live in
    Taylorville, IL.,...work in Decatur, IL.

    I don't have the older posts in my reader anymore but I could Google them
    and look them over again if that might help,...things gets "fuzzy" after a
    couple days as I get older.

    --
    Phillip Windell [MCP, MVP, CCNA]
    www.wandtv.com
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Understanding the ISA 2004 Access Rule Processing
    http://www.isaserver.org/articles/ISA2004_AccessRules.html

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Guidance
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2004.asp
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/techinfo/Guidance/2000.asp

    Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server: Partners
    http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/partners/default.asp
    -----------------------------------------------------
     
    Phillip Windell, Nov 3, 2005
    #11
  12. Grim Reaper

    Grim Reaper Guest

    Don't waste your time googling! (we spend enough of the day doing that
    already....)

    Thanks for all your comments.
    _________________________________________________
    The Grim Reaper

     
    Grim Reaper, Nov 7, 2005
    #12
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