Whats the best IP config for 2 NIC cards on a server?

We have been using Server 2003 with 1 network card connected straight to the switch along with all the clients & the the router.
I've read that it's a good idea to use 2 cards, 1 card connected directly to the router & the other card connects to the switch
What is the best IP config for this set up?
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JjcampNRConnect With a Mentor Commented:
What are the specs on your server?  It seems like this is probably the bottleneck on your network.  If properly configured, your server should be able to easily serve DNS to your internal network and forward requests out when necessary for external internet requests.  DNS isn't going to add a lot of load to your server and even pretty low end hardware can serve most small networks without much stress.  

One suggestion is to make sure your DNS server (on your server) is set up correctly and NOT using any DNS forwarders.  DNS forwarders tend to cause more problems then they solve.  Do you know enough about DNS to check your server and ensure it's configured correctly?  I'd suggest taking a read through these documents if you need a refresher: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/814591 and http://www.simongibson.com/intranet/dns2003/.

I know they both suggest using forwarders, but for now leave that out and go directly to the root hint servers.  Once you verify that your DNS is working correctly and returning requests quickly,  you can try adding the forwarders in and seeing if that slows things down or not.  Also, in the DNS zone updates section, pick the top option to only allow secure updates - unless you have other DNS servers that aren't Active Directory integrated (if this is your only DNS server, pick the secure option).

Let me know how you're making out once you check your DNS server.  Also, are there any warnings or errors in your event logs?
it's a good idea to implement routing at the router, or filtering of some kind... or firewall software.

What's the role of your server?
sorry, routing at the server
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why do you want to change the config now?2 nics is common in cases where you are using the server as a firewall e.g is the isa firewall where you have 2 nics on different subnets like .1 and .2 and than you enable rras on the server so you can route between the subnets
alot of the time its used where like you have one interface connected to a router and than the other nic or interface connected to the internal lan
What kind of role does this server play? Do you need 2 nics for redundancy or load balancing?
You do NOT need to implement routing on the server, that's why you have a router.  Configuring routing on your server would only add additional load that's better left to the router to handle.

As for adding a second NIC, provided they're both the same brand (and usually model/typ) you can team the two NICs.  With a team, you can do thing like load balancing, fault tolerance, and load balancing WITH fault tolerance.

Again, there's no need to connect one NIC drectly to the router - leave routing to the hardware that was designed to do this.  The only reason people implement routing on a server is to provide some feature their router doesn't or because they don't have a hardware router.  If you do team your NICs, both should be connected to your switch.  However, if you have more than one switch in your network, connect each NIC to a different switch.  By doing this, should one switch fail, your clients will still be able to reach your server (assuming all clients can get to the still active switch).

Let me know if you have any other questions.
hpcworksAuthor Commented:
At the moment DHCP & needed static addresses have being configured on the router but because each client has the servers DNS for internal server purposes,
Finding any webpages on the client pc's is very slow as internet requests go through the servers DNS first.
When we put the ISP's DNS on the client it is much quicker but stops any use of the intranet.
So I was told 2 NIC's was the way to go but I'm sure it's something much more simplier that that
Any suggestions?
The fundamental in considering this is what is the role of your server and how does it look your network topology is? You don't have to have connect your server direct to your router.
You need to setup your DNS server properly then. What happens when you do a nslookup on www.yahoo.com from the internal network? can you paste the results here? If your local DNS server is setup properly to forward outside requests then it shouldn't be any slower than having the external dns servers hard coded.
hpcworksAuthor Commented:
The Servers DNS is running fine with 1 NIC so i will be leaving it that way
Thanks all for the help & guidance
Sure, post any question you have.
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