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Why is it recommended to have 2 Network Cards for server running Active directory and exchange

Posted on 2008-10-11
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
I should know this.... But i do not... What is the benefit in a server setup with Windows Server 2008, and Exchange 2007 running mail client as well as Active Directory for local clients... what and how would you setup the 2 nic cards... Currently our server is behind a linksys with the DD-WRT firmware... Our email is forwarded to our server using portforwarding... What would be the benefit of using 2 nics?
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Question by:JBergenske
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Expert Comment

by:gupnit
ID: 22695657
Hi,
As such if you have a single Exchange Server with AD on it (this is not recommended but supported), then thre is no as such need of 2 NIC.
Well 2 NICs are majorly used for Redundancy or for High Availability (Clustering). On a Exchange Server 2 NIC would not increase security as such !!
Cheers
Nitin
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by:JBergenske
ID: 22695659
So should we setup both nics anyway one ip after another... or?
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by:gupnit
ID: 22695660
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Expert Comment

by:gupnit
ID: 22695661
Hi,
It would depend upon your scenario, can you explain what you want to achieve
Thanks
Nitn
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Author Comment

by:JBergenske
ID: 22695669
Well we have a Windows Server 2008 machine with Active directory and Exchange 2007 on it... This machine is also used for file storage domain users. The server that we have has 2 nics, and was just wondering if we would have an advantage of having 2.

Jason
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Expert Comment

by:gupnit
ID: 22695673
Hi,
As such there would be no advantage of having 2 NIC on this server.
If you were looking for:
  • High Availability (Clustering) for Mailbox Server - then you need one or more servers (LCR/CCR/SCR/SCC)
  • Network Load Balancing for HUB/CAS
In your case, I would suggest 2 things
  • Option 1: Keep the 2nd NIC ready in case 1st goes down for redundancy
  • Option 2: Use 2nd NIC for File Server load from clients. But I would not recommend File Server onsame server as it would affect load. If you have a resource crunch then we can't help :-)
Hope this helps
Thanks
Nitin
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Author Comment

by:JBergenske
ID: 22695678
if we were to use 2nd nic for file server load... how would we go about making each client connect to that one rather than the other nic...
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Expert Comment

by:gupnit
ID: 22695695
Hi,
Make sure that the second IP Address is in the same Subnet and has same gateway / dns !
Feel free to clarify
Thanks
Nitin
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Author Comment

by:JBergenske
ID: 22695701
so... Have same subnet and gateway as the other nic in the server?

Map drives as ip address... that seams easy enough...
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gupnit earned 500 total points
ID: 22695709
Well I mean IP Address details have to be same in both NIC, only the exact IP address needs to change, keep all other settings same!!
Yes mapping drive would be easy bit !
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Expert Comment

by:gupnit
ID: 22695737
Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:kieran_b
ID: 22695751
I would just team the cards - you gain nothing from separating them except more work
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Author Comment

by:JBergenske
ID: 22695752
Team?
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Expert Comment

by:kieran_b
ID: 22695775
Yes, most decent server manufactures have NIC software which will let the OS think that both cards are in reality one card - this means that if one dies, everything keeps going, and you get a theoretical doubling of network bandwidth
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Expert Comment

by:kieran_b
ID: 22695779
Oh, and for the record;

>>Why is it recommended to have 2 Network Cards for server running Active directory and exchange

It isn't except in very specific circumstances.  For normal environments like yours the only benefits are teaming or hot swapping (ie., leaving one unused)
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Author Comment

by:JBergenske
ID: 22695784
ok... the server board is a asus DSBF-DE
This board was just purchased... do you think it has that capability?
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Expert Comment

by:gupnit
ID: 22695788
Hi,
Agreed with what Kieran said, but my recommendation is based upon the fact that teaming would be helpful if you have a Single application being served by the server. Here you have a File Server and Exchange server on one, hence I suggested seperate NICs. Technically this would not increase workload on server, but would help.
But like I said Kieran's suggestion is good, and he is the boss !
Cheers
Nitin
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Expert Comment

by:kieran_b
ID: 22696590
Lol, I am hardly the boss.

And I doubt that motherboard has teaming - it is not something that the beige box brigade do well, you can try looking for a third party app to do it though.

The thing that I don't like about multiple nics that aren't teamed is the mess that DNS will turn to - if this machine is to be a DC, you don't want it to have more than one IP - splitting service between networks is a good idea, when those networks are separate.  I mean, if you had a backup server which was on it's own network with only one of the dc's nics connected - it would keep the traffic off the main network.
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