Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm having some server issues, hopefully someone might have some insight.

There is one server in my workplace which is set up strangely and I don't understand it. Every machine can ping/access/share with every other machine on the network except this one server. It is inaccessible except for an online website it hosts which can be found at (say):

However pinging gets no response although the IP is resolved to (say)

To access this server you have to Remote Desktop onto a different server (say: helpdepartment) and from that machine you can Remote Desktop to (or just "help" which seems to be sufficient). So basically you have to go through 2 layers of Remote Desktop. From this machine other machines on the network are unreachable and it appears that it is the only computer on the network. I don't have much experience with networks so this confuses me (are they bridged or something?).

EDIT: Just realised that the weird server hosts a public website. Must be why it's segregated from the rest of the network. Security?

Anyway my problem is that I need to write an application which can connect to a MS SQL Server which is running on the weird "help" machine (the same database the internal website accesses - it's a bug tracking application). However any attempts at connecting are "refused". But it's refused not "host unknown" so there is definitely some interaction. Clearly this problem is linked with the strange setup described above (for all I know it's standard practice - I'm ignorant).

The firewall on the "help" machine is disabled. The ports are all configured to 1433 (default) on the MS SQL Server. I've been through about a million articles with various different fixes but nothing helped. The servers run Windows Server 2003 by the way.

So, anyone have any insight?

Thanks in advance; this has been driving me crazy. Carl

share|improve this question
Ask the person that set it up this way, this is not really a standardish setup. – Lucas Kauffman May 1 '12 at 16:02
So it's not normal then. Yeah I should probably contact somebody internal if that's the case. – user1315802 May 1 '12 at 16:06
Sounds like your network has been carved up into vlans (or possibly just subnets) with extremely limited connectivity between them -- You'll need to find the person responsible for your network architecture/firewalls and ask them to give you a diagram... – voretaq7 May 1 '12 at 16:15
It sounds to me like the SCW has been run on that server. – joeqwerty May 1 '12 at 16:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The server is a "DMZ" because it faces out onto the Internet. That's why I couldn't connect to it easily.

The solution was to use a different machine with a copy of the database I needed.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.