Category: Internet Networking

Eliminate Hesitations in Microsoft Services with Better DNS
article #1067, updated 25 days ago

Microsoft is heavily using something called GeoIP, to optimize Internet data routing for its services, including Skype, Office 365, and all of the others.

All of the code below is within ‘nslookup’, running in CMD on Windows.

The way this works, basically, is different IP sets are reported by DNS lookups, depending on the upstream DNS server being polled. So if, like many right now, you were using Google’s DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) on your LAN, and did nslookup on the recommended test hostname, outlook.office365.com, you would see this:

> outlook.office365.com
Server:  google-public-dns-a.google.com
Address:  8.8.8.8

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    outlook-namsouth2.office365.com
Addresses:  2603:1036:0:26::2
          2603:1036:102:90::2
          2603:1036:404:a4::2
          2603:1036:102:107::2
          2603:1036:102:b8::2
          2603:1036:404:11b::2
          2603:1036:404:3f::2
          2603:1036:3:12e::2
          2603:1036:102:3e::2
          2603:1036:404:11c::2
          40.97.170.162
          40.97.30.130
          40.97.170.178
          40.97.142.18
          40.97.41.98
          40.97.162.130
          40.97.154.66
          40.97.166.178
          40.97.117.242
          40.97.119.178
Aliases:  outlook.office365.com
          outlook.ha.office365.com
          outlook.office365.com.g.office365.com

>

But on the other hand, if you were using OpenDNS (208.67.220.220/222.222), you would see this:

> outlook.office365.com
Server:  resolver1.opendns.com
Address:  208.67.222.222

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    outlook-namsouth4.office365.com
Addresses:  2603:1036:d01:2::2
          2603:1036:101:2::2
          2a01:111:f400:31ab::2
          2603:1036:902:a3::2
          2603:1036:906:4d::2
          2603:1036:405:2::2
          2603:1036:405:15::2
          2603:1036:404:67::2
          2603:1036:100::2
          40.97.142.18
          40.97.41.98
          40.97.162.130
          40.97.154.66
          40.97.166.178
          40.97.117.242
          40.97.119.178
          40.97.170.162
          40.97.30.130
          40.97.170.178
Aliases:  outlook.office365.com
          outlook.ha.office365.com
          outlook.office365.com.g.office365.com

>

The most important thing to observe in the above, is that the IP set is different. And if you try pings from your test PC to each of the above IPs, you will notice major differences. In recent testing, most of Google’s results ping much slower (higher, in milliseconds) than OpenDNS’s. But we found OpenDNS’s pings noticeably slower than our current known best of breed, Level3 (209.244.0.3/4):

> outlook.office365.com
Server:  resolver1.level3.net
Address:  209.244.0.3

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    outlook-namsouth.office365.com
Addresses:  2603:1036:404:16::2
          2603:1036:404:b6::2
          2603:1036:102:16::2
          2603:1036:405:29::2
          2603:1036:906:4f::2
          2603:1036:d00::2
          2603:1036:102:8f::2
          2603:1036:405:4a::2
          2603:1036:4:4c::2
          40.97.133.130
          40.97.132.194
          40.97.125.114
          40.97.132.226
          40.97.126.50
          40.97.31.50
          40.97.164.146
          40.97.136.194
          40.97.166.34
Aliases:  outlook.office365.com
          outlook.ha.office365.com
          outlook.office365.com.g.office365.com

>

We have also noticed that the lists of IPs do not correspond to names, i.e., outlook-namsouth3 does not return the same IP list each time. So there is a lot of highly complex geographically-centered IP routing by DNS, going on, by Microsoft, and Level3 seems to cooperate best.

The upshot is, if you see any Microsoft cloud-based services being slow, hesitating, freezing up, or losing connection regularly, switch your LAN’s DNS forwarders to Level 3, and you may well knock the problem out most easily.

Categories:   DNS   Internet Networking

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Great HTML5 Internet Speed Test
article #1068, updated 25 days ago

https://sourceforge.net/speedtest/

Categories:   Internet Networking   

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DNS Root Servers
article #1017, updated 208 days ago

As of this writing, the current authoritative list, from here:

https://www.iana.org/domains/root/servers

is:

a.root-servers.net 198.41.0.4 2001:503:ba3e::2:30 VeriSign, Inc.
b.root-servers.net 192.228.79.201 2001:500:84::b University of Southern California (ISI)
c.root-servers.net 192.33.4.12 2001:500:2::c Cogent Communications
d.root-servers.net 199.7.91.13 2001:500:2d::d University of Maryland
e.root-servers.net 192.203.230.10 2001:500:a8::e NASA (Ames Research Center)
f.root-servers.net 192.5.5.241 2001:500:2f::f Internet Systems Consortium, Inc.
g.root-servers.net 192.112.36.4 2001:500:12::d0d US Department of Defense (NIC)
h.root-servers.net 198.97.190.53 2001:500:1::53 US Army (Research Lab)
i.root-servers.net 192.36.148.17 2001:7fe::53 Netnod
j.root-servers.net 192.58.128.30 2001:503:c27::2:30 VeriSign, Inc.
k.root-servers.net 193.0.14.129 2001:7fd::1 RIPE NCC
l.root-servers.net 199.7.83.42 2001:500:9f::42 ICANN
m.root-servers.net 202.12.27.33 2001:dc3::35 WIDE Project

Categories:   DNS   Internet Networking

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Time synchronization (NTP, SNTP) setup
article #37, updated 241 days ago

In Windows Server 2012 R1/2, 2008 R1/2, 7, Vista, and 2003 SP2 and later, it’s good to run the following two commands in an administrative command prompt (an ordinary command prompt for 2003):

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:pool.ntp.org,0.pool.ntp.org,1.pool.ntp.org,2.pool.ntp.org /syncfromflags:MANUAL /reliable:YES /update
w32tm /resync

In Server 2003 SP1 and before, and XP, we use this, because /reliable doesn’t exist:

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:pool.ntp.org,0.pool.ntp.org,1.pool.ntp.org,2.pool.ntp.org /syncfromflags:MANUAL /update
w32tm /resync

Sometimes w32tm doesn’t exist as a service, and has to be registered:

w32tm /register

Under Windows 2000, we need to go a bit more archaic:

net time /setsntp:pool.ntp.org
net time /querysntp

If you are using Windows DHCP services, the above is best for the server, but for all of the workstations under its control, place the server’s IP in the Time Server option. This is probably best for a domain. When you have standalone or mobile-capable machines, best to just use the w32tm configuration above.

Categories:   Internet Networking   LAN Networking

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DNS, Whois, et cetera
article #12, updated 431 days ago

A great place for general DNS lookup info:

http://www.dnsstuff.com/

One for WHOIS (use the little submit box in the far upper-right corner):

http://www.whois.com

And one for info about IP addresses:

http://www.arin.net/index.shtml

Categories:   DNS   Internet Networking

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Fairer distribution of site Internet bandwidth, via Watchguard
article #945, updated 489 days ago

What will help is a “Per IP Address” type traffic management policy, in Setup / Actions / Traffic Management in WSM, using zero for maximum, 256 for “Maximum instance” (this is the number of IP addresses according to the documentation), and most significantly a low “guaranteed bandwidth” calculated by a formula at or close to this:

(TotalInternetBandwidth ÷ TotalDHCPLeases) X 0.8

The static multiplier from 0.8 to 0.5 or even less depending on situation, but done properly it will keep everyone working.

Categories:   Internet Networking   

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Internet connection speed tests
article #182, updated 551 days ago

Here’s a great new one, HTML5 only, no Flash or Java:

http://www.bandwidthplace.com

Here’s a commonly used one which requires Flash:

http://www.speedtest.net

And another which uses java:

http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

Categories:   Internet Networking   LAN Networking

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IP4 subnet calculators
article #79, updated 688 days ago

For CIDR to IP range (IP range extraction):

http://bonomo.info/coyote/cidr-calculator.php

For IP range to CIDR:

http://ip2cidr.com/

For lots and lots more:

http://www.subnetmask.info/

Categories:   Internet Networking   LAN Networking

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wget for Windows
article #63, updated 994 days ago

Wget is an excellent command-line tool for retrieval of data from http or ftp servers. Its current most-up-to-date Windows version seems to be here:

https://eternallybored.org/misc/wget/

Categories:   Internet Networking   Tools

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Override domain transfer lock on GoDaddy / Wild West Domains
article #647, updated 1291 days ago

After changes are made to domain contacts at GoDaddy, Wild West Domains, and subsidiaries, it will say something like:

Transfer locked until 4/8/2014: Contact information change

This is a 60-day automatic lock, and it can be overridden by an email from the registrant contact to review60@godaddy.com.

Categories:   Web Methods   Internet Networking