6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2013 4:00 AM by PeterBlack

    Is a Static IP address required to remotely access a network hosted FM database?

    PeterBlack

      Is it correct, that all remotely connecting computers should have fixed or static IP addresses rather than DHCP?

       

      I have seven FM Pro 12 Mac users, accessing one DB on a standalone workstation. Six of them connect via 'Remote' using TCP/IP. They all work very well. Apart from the host, all my users laptops and desktop stations are set with DHCP.  I see that FM instruct that a router's port setting for FM, should be 5003.

       

      My query arose because one user has experienced severe drop outs and FM crashes. I finally discovered it was due to her Mac workstation being simultaneously used to provide  'internet sharing' services to an aging ethernet connected local MacBk Pro laptop, which cannot be easily equipped to run with 802n WiFi. (I must now solve that one another way!)

       

      I need to better understand the whole DNS and Static Adresses issue because I am about to install FM Server on a MiniMac server.

       

      Thank you in advance for considering this issue.

        • 1. Re: Is a Static IP address required to remotely access a network hosted FM database?
          mikefrey

          My network is small, so I'm not yet using FM Server. However, I am hosting my databases on a Mac Mini server using dnsdynamic. The address looks like this: xxxxxx.us.dnsdynamic.com.

           

          I have PC's, Macs, iphones and ipads accessing my database files in this manner and it has never failed in the couple of months that I've had it up and running. The Mac Mini server is dedicated for this purpose, so there are no other programs competing for resources.

           

          Hope this helps...

           

          Mike

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Is a Static IP address required to remotely access a network hosted FM database?
            ch0c0halic

            Only the FileMaker Server "should have" an assigned (or static DHCP) IP address. This makes the Port forwarding of port 5003 for external access thru a Router reliable. The IP address of each Client is not relevant to the connection as it is the initiator of the connection. It tells FMS what IP it is using so it makes no difference if it changes on computer power-up.

             

            BTW, good troubleshooting on the shared network issue. It is an unusual configuration.

             

             

            FMS on a MacMini should be fine with a few caveats:

            1. Have a robust backup schedule in place. The frequency depends in amount of new data being entered and the critical nature of the data. Use progressive backup.

            2. Turn off Indexing (Spotlight) for at least the FMS Data Folder (includes all subfolders). Any other application touching the files while FMS has them open could potentially cause FMS to unexpectedly close the file without saving cache. Basically the file is corrupted and has lost data integrity.

            3. Do not add any virus checking software. As long as the only service running on the computer is FMS then there are no approach vectors into the computer to protect against. If your IT department requires it then make sure it does NOT scan the FMS data folder.

            3. Do NOT turn on other services such as email, VPN, TimeMachine, etc. will slow down the computer to make it almost unusable for your Clients. I repeat FMS should be the only service.

            4. Hardware issues

            A. Install as much RAM as you can. Makes the OS and FMS run faster.

            B. Use Gigabit Ethernet or FiberOptic. The faster the I/O the better.

             

             

            Reply to your second post.

            1. I believe that dnsdynamic basically is your router for external access. It already knows the IP of the MacMini so it shouldn't matter if it changes. The service should always be able to find it.

            2. Good that you only have FMP running on it. But, please update to FMS ASAP. FMP does not have built-in backup processing so you are running dangerously close to losing everything. Yo still need to make sure items 2 and 3 above are in place.

            • 3. Re: Is a Static IP address required to remotely access a network hosted FM database?
              wimdecorte

              the clients / users do not need a static IP address.  DHCP is fine for them.  The server / host needs a static (internal) IP address because the router needs to know where to forward the traffic to.

              Dynamic DNS like Mike is suggesting is a good solution to have a "static" internet address for the users to target.  That way you do not need to get a static external IP address for your router from your ISP.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Is a Static IP address required to remotely access a network hosted FM database?
                PeterBlack

                Hi Mike

                 

                Thank you very much for your advice and taking the trouble to write. I'll certainly look into 'dnsdynamic' - looks like a good solutiuon.

                 

                Kind regards and thanks again

                 

                Peter

                • 5. Re: Is a Static IP address required to remotely access a network hosted FM database?
                  PeterBlack

                  Hi Ch0c0halic (Great alias!)

                   

                  Thank you for a very informative reply and the pointers you provide, I shall certainly implement. The warnings about Spotlight and back-up procedures are especially interesting. I've been regularly backing up of course and was thinking about installing Time Machine which I wont now do.

                   

                  Virus checking is another issue which clearly needs flagging more widely. So far, I've ostritch-like ignored the threat, as I've hidden behind the 'Mac' immunity illusion!

                   

                  Thankl you again for an excellent summary of very useful answers and guidelins.

                   

                  Best wishes

                   

                  Peter

                  • 6. Re: Is a Static IP address required to remotely access a network hosted FM database?
                    PeterBlack

                    Hi Wimdercorte

                     

                    Thank you as  well for taking the trouble to reply. I really am very grateful as the problem did plague me for a while. I need to extend my understanding and this is a great place to learn.

                     

                    Good luck and thanks again

                     

                    Peter