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 on 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?


This sounds like a DNS issue, can you ping the servers by name from each site?

If you cannot, you need to get your DNS infrastructure sorted, at the very least setup host files on each server to resolve these server names to IP address's.

To fix this using host files, on your first server (lets call it ServerA) you need to open %SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\etc\ and add an entry for the other server, that looks like this:


Then go to ServerB and add a record for ServerA.

  • @Sam Cogan. No I cant be able to ping the servers by name. Im only able to ping the remote servers by IP addresses. – Jack Njiri Feb 9 '10 at 13:39
  • The there is your problem, you need to sort out name resolution, either by fixing your DNS setup, are adding entrys to your host file – Sam Cogan Feb 9 '10 at 14:07

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