[Samba] Browsing with duplicate names in multiple workgroups/subnets and multihome machines

Jonathan Johnson jon at sutinen.com
Tue Mar 29 01:51:33 GMT 2005

You can see by the subject I've got an ugly problem. Even though I don't 
have a Samba server anywhere near the network in question, nobody 
understands browsing as well as the folks on the Samba team. :-)

Here's the situation: I've got two workgroups, FLINTSTONE and RUBBLE 
which are on physically separate networks. FLINTSTONE has a Windows 2003 
Active Directory domain controller; RUBBLE is a simple workgroup. All 
workstations are either Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional.  There 
is no routing between these networks. However, there are two 
workstations which are multihomed. More on that in a minute.

Here's the logic (illogic?) of the network:

Segment 1:
* PEBBLES (Windows 2003 Small Business Server Active Directory domain 
* FRED Windows XP Pro workstation (multi-homed to Segment 2, member of 
* WILMA Windows XP Pro workstation (also multi-homed to Segment 2, 
member of FLINTSTONE)

Segment 2:
* RUBBLE workgroup
* BETTY Windows 2000 Pro workstation (single-homed, member of RUBBLE)
* BARNEY Windows 2000 Pro workstation (single-homed, member of RUBBLE)
* FLINTSTONE Windows 2000 Pro workstation (single-homed, member of RUBBLE)

The reason that FRED and WILMA are multi-homed is that they both must be 
able to access the workstations in the RUBBLE workgroup on Segment 2. As 
you can see, we've got a name conflict: a workstation named the same as 
the domain. This is, apparently, causing browsing problems for the 
multi-homed workstations.

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as renaming the FLINTSTONE workstation 
to BAM-BAM. This network on Segment 2 was set up by another vendor (who, 
we might add, seems to be rather clueless about Windows networking), and 
they are afraid to change the name for fear of what it would break. That 
vendors requirements do not allow routing to other networks. This 
network is the automation system for a radio station, and "it cannot go 
down." The domain of Segment 1 cannot be changed, as Small Business 
Server doesn't allow that.

At this point, I'm not really seeking solutions, but perhaps a technical 
explanation of what might go on in this situation. Even if there were no 
naming conflicts, what are the implications of having two multi-homed 
non-routing Windows machines on common networks?

--Jonathan Johnson
Sutinen Consulting, Inc.

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