Worth Teaming NICs?

We have a Windows 2003 R2 Server running SQL Server 2005 which is the back-end to our main application, which is used by around 100-150 people at a time throughout the day.  As I'm in IT I don't personally use the application but I'm told that it runs slowly, especially at peak times.

The server hosting the database has two identical Broadcom NICs, but only one is enabled.  I wondered whether I would notice any benefits in terms of speed and performance of the application using the database by enabling the second NIC and teaming them, so that they have the same IP address.

Some of the things I've read online suggest that there would be no discernible benefit other than resiliency.  I wondered what your expert opinions were.
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Phil StratfordAsked:
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mds-cosCommented:
Let's answer this two ways.

1)  Yes, teaming the NIC is worth doing.  Primarily because this will give you additional reduncance even if it does not help your speed problem.

2)  With 100-150 users on SQL Server, the slowness problem should *not* be a bandwidth issue.  I seriously doubt that teaming the NIC will produce any speed boost.

So, I suppose the above is really just confirming what you have already read.


The real solution to your problem is probably going to be more at the DBA level (assuming you have verified that the Windows side of the server is running fine).  Checking the setting and configuration of the server itself, checking indexes, checking query traffic between the app and the database, etc.  There are a whole lot of things that will adversely affect database speed, and yes some of them are on the network end of the equation.  But most of them are not.

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mds-cosCommented:
oops!  redundancy ;-)
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charlestasseCommented:
There is a multitude of apps you can get that will show you your network load, task manager is a good start.
I would use task manager in conjuction with process explorer to see what is really slowing down the process. As stated above, it could be SQL, Proc, Mem, Disk or Network.
Teaming the broadcoms should absolutly be done for failover protection at the least
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andyalderCommented:
If you set up teaming make sure you do it right, if not you can easily end up with intermittent network connections.

As to performance it's almost always the disk configuration that needs money spent on it at the hardware level. Performance monitor may show disks to be the bottlenkneck when lack of RAM is the real issue though or as already mentioned the SQL setup itself. Ask the users if it is slow for queries or updates or both.
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Phil StratfordAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the tips, I'll team the NICs for resiliency and look at the server itself to work out performance issues.
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