Pinging/connecting to server.domain.local never works, but server does when the search domain is specified

view story

http://askubuntu.com – This is a bit of a weird one. I'm running ubuntu on a Windows domain. If I type "ping server" I can ping correctly and I can connect without any problems. It looks up my search domain (domain.local) and everything is hunky dory. Problem is when I try to ping server.domain.local. It just can't look up the server and comes back with "ping: unknown host server.domain.local" Part of me thinks that the name servers aren't set correctly, but I wonder if there is something I can do to get around it. (HowTos)