Can I increase a server's bandwidth with multiple NICs?

We are looking into a new Remote Desktop Services / RemoteApp server.  We are considering running our most frequently used programs on it.  I think we'll be able to spec the server out nice enough to handle the  processing load.  What I'm wondering then, is if there might be a bottleneck at all the information traveling through one network cable to the server.  All of our NICs and switches in the office are gigabit.  We are running Cat5e cable everywhere, which, from my understanding, should be giving us gigabit benefits.  So, again, I'm not so much worried about speed as I am bandwidth when it all has to go through one cable.  Our office only has 20 users, but as I understand it, RDP essentially sends a refreshing picture through the wire; and I figure that with 20 people all requesting refreshing pictures from the same NIC, that might get a little bogged down.  Should I even be concerned about that?

If so, what is the best way to take multiple NICs and make sure both are taking in and sending out information from that server?  Ultimately, I feel like the cleanest way would be to keep just one IP address if that's possible.  Most of the articles that I'm seeing online are only dealing with 10/100 networks, and so they're mostly looking for increased speed.  And again, maybe gigabit can handle 20 simultaneous RDP connections more than fine.  Any thoughts?
silver1386Asked:
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Casey WeaverNetwork EngineerCommented:
In this case bandwidth and speed are being regarded as one in the same. You have you'll have 2 1Gb/s full duplex links in load balanced mode, giving you 2Gb/s down and 2Gb/s up. The links will be balanced so that no matter whether it's a communication to the SQL server or a communication to a client, the line with the least amount of load will be chosen, until both links are completely full. At the point both links are completely full (extremely unlikely with that much bandwidth and so few users), clients will then have their speeds dropped a bit. But neither SQL nor RDP sessions use a fraction of that multi-gigabit speed.
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Todd GerbertIT ConsultantCommented:
We used to have a single terminal server serving ~30 users over 7 locations in two states, no problem (RDP seems pretty efficient to me - only sending the bits of the screen that change, if even that much).
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Todd GerbertIT ConsultantCommented:
...I should point that I mean to say that RDP won't suffer any performance issues with so few connections, but if the application(s) those users intend to run are very network intensive that's another issue altogether!
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silver1386Author Commented:
The applications are database applications that make a lot of calls to our SQL server.  We are going to run some tests to check the network intensity of the processes.  But for now, let's assume that it will be heavy enough to the point that I WOULD need to find a way to increase bandwidth.  What would be the best way of going about that?  Is it even possible?
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Casey WeaverNetwork EngineerCommented:
If your SQL server is local to your terminal server, then get the benefits of network segregation and balancing by running two nics. Keep one nic local just for communication with the SQL server, and the other nic can offer access to the users for the terminal services.
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silver1386Author Commented:
@heymrdj - From what you said, it sounds like I can have two NICs, and set them up so that one's only job is to talk to the SQL server, and the other handles all other traffic.  Is that the case?  If that's the case, what do you mean by keeping one NIC local?  Are you saying that only one would be on our LAN, and the other would be placed elsewhere?  I'm not sure I understand?
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Casey WeaverNetwork EngineerCommented:
Where is your SQL server, on the same LAN? If the traffic sent to the SQL server is that heavy, than you can use one nic to communicate with the SQL server, and configure the other nic to be the connection that the terminal services program listens on for connections from your clients. This will keep the traffic separated. But if your client workstations sit on the same network as your SQL server, than it won't really be worth anything to separate the links. In this case using one or two NIC's that support teaming, such as the Intel Pro 1000/MT and setting the connections/nics up as a team will give you load balancing to increase the available bandwidth to both clients and the SQL server.
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silver1386Author Commented:
I was under the impression that teaming simply increased the speed, not the bandwidth.  Is that not the case?  Or does it do both somehow?
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silver1386Author Commented:
Answers were short and to the point, not so easy to follow for someone with little experience in the area (like me).  No resources were provided to aid in further research.  But the answers came quick, and they were satisfactory.
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