in reply to My ping should fail but does not

A quick test with pingecho:
$ perl -MNet::Ping -MData::Dumper -e 'my $retval=pingecho("");print Du +mper(\$retval);' $VAR1 = \undef;
shows that if you call pingecho() with an empty host, it returns undef, which should fail your if.
Are you sure that $dbSrvrUNC contains an empty string for the second ping?

CU
Robartes-