I read your forums once in a while when I'm stuck and can usually find an answer. Well, I have a unique situation and need to consult as many gurus as possible for help.
I work for a non-profit publishing company (that I'll call NPP for this post) who is vaguely affiliated with a major private university (that I'll call MU for this post).
In computing and networking terms, we are basically a separate entity. We have our own in-house IT department which consists of my manager and myself (as his part-time assistant). The only networking affiliation we have w/ MU is that we get one IP address from them (they're physically across the street from us), which we split into about 45+ internal static IPs (I think they're called NAT'd IPs, but I'm far from a networking expert). We have no wired DHCP server (or DHCP is disabled completely). The wireless network we have is on a Linux server and will only connect PCs which have had their MAC addresses registered on the server by myself or my boss. Also, the wireless network is protected by a key which has not been given out to anyone besides my boss and myself. In other words, the odds of a computer or other device that wasn't issued by NPP connecting to any part of our network is nearly impossible.
The other tie we have to MU is that we use their MS Exchange email servers for our email.
Recently (for the past month or so) we've seen unpredictable disconnections between Outlook 2003 and Eudora clients (yes, we're non-profit and so necessarily we're cheap dinosaurs). At the exact same time, and irrespective of which computer happens to disconnect from the MS Exchange server, we are immediately unable to connect to MU's Outlook Web Access (OWA) service from ANY computer in our NPP building, regardless of whether or not it's the computer that has lost connection to the Exchange server in its email client.
Eventually (sometimes within a couple minutes, sometimes within a couple hours, or sometimes after a full day/night) the email client (Outlook or Eudora) reconnects automatically to the MS Exchange server (without having to re-enter MU server login credentials) and all is well, at least in the email clients. Eventually the OWA web site starts working again too. Like I said, the connection issues are hit and miss.
The only coincidences I've been able to pin down are that the disconnections don't start happening until about 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. each day (but once they've started, there doesn't seem to be any predictability whatsoever to the dropped connections), and as soon as one or several email client(s) disconnect(s), OWA stops loading properly for everyone in the building, at least temporarily.
My manager and I have been in contact with MU's networking and email staff trying to pin down what the problem might be, but we haven't had any luck at all yet.
Can anyone give me any guidance (and please bear in mind that I am NOT a networking guy, at least not yet, so many of the terms are foreign to me). If you have any specific questions that might help you figure it out, please don't hesitate to ask.
In advance, thank you!
Edited by aujus3, 09 February 2011 - 05:10 PM.