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I'm running SQL Server 2005 on two different servers running Win XP. The two servers are in different physical locations and are connected via a dedecated point to point data link in a virtual private network(VPN). Im only able to connect to the remote instance of SQL Server by specifying the IP address on the server name property. If I provide the actual server name say 'ServerA', then I get an error message. Everything works fine except configuring replication at the subscriber level, which requires the actual name of the instance, not an IP address or alias. I have already configured both instances to allow remote connections and im running the SQL Server Browser.

How do I connect to the remote instance by providing the instance name?

Alternatively how I configure subscription to a remote publisher without supplying the remote instance name?

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Seems like a question for ServerFault. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 9 '10 at 14:31
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 9 '10 at 18:42

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1 Answer

I used to have a similar problem at my last place of work. In my situation, it was because even though I was connected to the VPN, it was still using my DNS servers.

Because the servers hostnames were only registered on my work place's internal DNS, not the external DNS, it couldn't find the name.

The quickest and dirtiest option is to add the required hostnames and IP addresses to the hosts file (C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.) Remember if they change you have to update your hosts file, though!

You could also add them to your external DNS, but that's not always desired.

Lastly you could probably find some way to tell XP to use your organisation's internal DNS servers when connected to the VPN - I'm sure this option is buried somewhere in the VPN connection on the XP side.

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