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We have an Exchange server 2010 and all users are using Outlook 2010. Everyday in the morning when users switch on their PCs their Outlook remains in the not connected state. We can ping to the IP address of the exchange server but cannot ping using the server name, seems like something wrong with DNS in resolving the name.

One of our technical guys now edit the host file in every affected machine by adding a mapping of IP address and name of the exchange server and the problem is solved. But I am still curious to know what exactly is wrong.

The network topology is like the LAN is connected to an Access switch which is connected to the core switch and from the core switch there goes a connection to exchange server.

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If it's a name resolution problem then start troubleshooting that and ignore the physical structure of the network for now (the switches). How is your internal name resolution configured? Are all of the clients using the internal AD/DNS server for DNS name resolution? If you run nslookup on a client and query for the Exchange server what are the results? –  joeqwerty Jan 15 '12 at 14:36
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If you cannot ping the Exchange server by name then you have a DNS resolution problem. You need to look at how your clients are configured to do name resolution, they should be configured to use your active directory DNS Server (which may very well be your Domain Controller).

If the clients are configured correctly then you need to move on to looking at why your DNS server isn't resolving names correctly.

Setting up entries in your host file will make things work, but it is just masking the issue.

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