Cannot access the internet at random times (PIX 501)

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    We have a very simple setup with a broadband service, PIX 501 and DELL switch:

    Internet (ISP Router) -> PIX -> DELL Switch

    There are two W2K3 servers and ~10 XP Pro SP2 desktops.

    The PIX is configured for site-to-site VPN to another office.

    We are having a problem that the desktops would often lose access to the internet at random times. The problem happens to pretty much all desktops at various times of the day, and the problem lasts from minutes to hours. The mysterious thing is that when certain desktops loses access to the internet, the other desktops and servers have no problem accessing the internet. In fact, we can still access the troubled desktops from within the LAN. From the troubled desktop with no internet access, we can still ping other machines on the local LAN and to remote machines via the site-to-site VPN. So the local LAN and internet connection are both working. However, pinging to outer IP addresses would fail.

    This seems to point to the PIX as the culprit, but we are struggling to understand why and find the work around.

    The problem seems to happen to only the desktops but never to the servers. We have 1-to-1 NAT for the server, and many-to-1 NAT for the desktops.

    Any clues or directions on how to resolve the problem will be highly appreciated.

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