DNS and Small Business Server and Caches, oh my: We switched web hosts at work (and waited a few days for things to propagate), but from the office network I still see the site on the old host. Can anyone help me understand DNS caching, Active Directory, and all the other bits and bobs that go along with the mysterious world of Windows networks?
I work for a nonprofit. We don't have an IT guy; just me, a talentedish amateur who's now trying to troubleshoot DNS caching. I am the quote-unquote administrator of the network, which means I know how to add users to Active Directory, restart the server when it's acting flakey, and Google the right search terms when things go awry.
We switched web hosts on Monday night and a rudimentary check tells me that the DNS changes propagated all over creation within a day or three. But when I'm at work, I still see the old site no matter how many times I flush browser caches or DNS caches on our workstations. I've tried multiple browsers and even brought in a laptop that has never been on the network before, just to make sure it wasn't a problem with the workstations caching something.
Having ruled that out, I checked our router, a Sonicwall TZ 170. I'm normally pretty confident with routers (I always seem to be the friend who gets the phone calls in the middle of the night when somebody's net connection has crapped out) although I don't know much about the setup of our VPN, etc. I noticed that the first DNS server was set to point internally to our server (192.168.1.2), which seemed odd to me. The other two DNS servers were 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124, which seemed normal enough.
Some Googling turned up this tangentially-related question
, where a commenter noted that "All DC's should have the primary DNS entry pointing to themselves. A lot of the functionality of Active Directory is based on DNS..." so I figured, OK, it's not an error, let me take a look at the server.
At this point my knowledge peters out. We use Small Business Server 2003, and I got as far as looking at the properties of the server in dnsmgmt. "Interfaces" is set to "Only the following IP addresses: 192.168.1.2"; Forwarders is set to "All other DNS domains" and 126.96.36.199 & 192.168.1.1. I don't really understand why it would be set to try an outside nameserver and then try the router second; wouldn't the router just tell it to circle back around to the server? Does this even have anything to do with anything??
Sorry if this is very wordy. I wanted to try and cover all the bases and show y'all what I've tried (as well as expose how rudimentary my actually skills are on the topic!). One last thing; I've got a text file of some tracert results from my laptop that's connected to the office network via the VPN:
1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms c-24-62-154-34.hsd1.nh.comcast.net [188.8.131.52]
2 26 ms 21 ms 7 ms c-3-0-ubr01.concord.nh.boston.comcast.net [184.108.40.206]
3 10 ms 9 ms 13 ms ge-2-37-ur01.concord.nh.boston.comcast.net [220.127.116.11]
4 10 ms 10 ms 10 ms 10g-8-1-ur01.deering.nh.boston.comcast.net [18.104.22.168]
5 10 ms 23 ms 10 ms 10g-9-4-ur01.manchester.nh.boston.comcast.net [22.214.171.124]
6 11 ms 11 ms 13 ms 10g-9-1-ur01.nashua.nh.boston.comcast.net [126.96.36.199]
7 10 ms 14 ms 11 ms te-9-2-ur01.lowell.ma.boston.comcast.net [188.8.131.52]
8 10 ms 12 ms 11 ms 10g-9-4-ar01.needham.ma.boston.comcast.net [184.108.40.206]
9 12 ms 12 ms 14 ms 220.127.116.11
10 20 ms 25 ms 22 ms br2-a350s3.cb1ma.ip.att.net [18.104.22.168]
11 23 ms 19 ms 19 ms tbr2-cl16.n54ny.ip.att.net [22.214.171.124]
12 19 ms 17 ms 19 ms ggr1-p320.n54ny.ip.att.net [126.96.36.199]
13 20 ms 18 ms 20 ms p14-0.ir1.nyc-ny.us.xo.net [188.8.131.52]
14 19 ms 20 ms 19 ms p5-0-0.RAR2.NYC-NY.us.xo.net [184.108.40.206]
15 25 ms 23 ms 26 ms p6-0-0.RAR1.Washington-DC.us.xo.net [220.127.116.11]
16 92 ms 93 ms 106 ms p1-0-0.RAR1.SanJose-CA.us.xo.net [18.104.22.168]
17 91 ms 91 ms 93 ms p0-0-0d0.RAR2.SanJose-CA.us.xo.net [22.214.171.124]
18 96 ms 94 ms 94 ms p15-0.DCR1.DC-Fremont-CA.us.xo.net [126.96.36.199]
19 123 ms 99 ms 94 ms 188.8.131.52.ptr.us.xo.net [184.108.40.206]
20 91 ms 91 ms 95 ms dsr1.dc-fremont-ca.us.xo.net [220.127.116.11]
21 leander.cnchost.com [18.104.22.168] reports: Destination net unreachable.
Anyway, that's all I've got. Any advice appreciated. I understand that DNS changes take a while to propagate, but five days seems a bit excessive--plus I'll probably be in trouble at work on Monday if the bosses are still seeing our old website!
As a final add-on to my question: anybody got any advice on good books/resources to learn about the workings of Small Business Server, Active Directory and the merry world of Windows networking that are good for laypeople who need to do more than have their hands held while using a Wizard?