Directly Connect Terminal Server to Database Server on separate NICs

mcit0331 used Ask the Experts™
Hello everyone,

I had a thought and wanted to know if it is worth doing.

I have an application, only one installed to be precise, on a 2003 64-bit Terminal Server that accesses a SQL 2008 database for my end users. "Start the following program on Connection" is already checked with the path and file name is pre-defined in their RDP session.

The App & DB server are currently connected through a Cisco Switch which only has 100Megabit ports and I need to keep them for Domain connectivity.

First, I wanted to know, as I have a spare Gigabit NIC, on both App & DB server, if I used a Cross-Over cable to directly connect the two of them would I see better performance for the Terminal Server end-users?

Secondly, If it is worthwhile and I can get better perfomance how would I prioritize the Application Traffic to the DB Server over the Gigabit connection?

- Tom
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You could dual home both servers and use a different subnet between them to create another link. You would need to add entries to the hosts file c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts on each server with the name of the other server and the address on the gigabit interface.

The better solution would be to put in a gigabit switch and keep the servers single homed.

If you have both servers with a dedicated (crossover) link between them and all other connectivity is over the 100mb connection, then the only traffic going between over the link would be the traffic between the servers.

For a place to start, you could look at this, but as the traffic id from a Windows 2003 server and it would not be going over a QoS enabled/capable network, its value will be limited.

QoS is designed to either prioritise (or de-prioritise) traffic on an over subscribed network/link to assist desired traffic to pass. If you just have a full duplex point to point link between two servers such as a crossover cable, the parts of the network that would apply QoS to the packets that you have marked does not exist...
mcit0331Network Administrator


Good morning ArneLovius and everyone,

My preference is to link the App Server to the Sql 2008 server with a crossover cable to the extra NICs which are already present in each server.

With that said, "How would I prioritize the SQL traffic between the App & SQL Server over the Gigabit/Crossover link and not over the switch reducing the load on the switch to just the App/Terminal Server end users?"
put an entry in the hosts file with the IP address on the crossover cable
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mcit0331Network Administrator



How will putting an entry into the hosts file make the App Server choose the Gigabit crossover link over the 100mb switch link?
the hosts file would have the address on the gigabit connection instead of the address on the 100mb connection, then when you connect to the name, the address on the gigabit connection will be chosen.

you need to put it in the hosts file as your internal DNS needs to have the address on the 100mb port for all other access.
Network Administrator
Well, after looking further into prioritizing SQL Traffic over a faster NIC and exluding it from a switch with a crossover cable I found a Microsoft article that did exactly what I wanted.

The following article is what I found:

It directly addressed a different IP address to listen to thus directing it over the designated NIC.
your question was how to force the traffic over a specific NIC, the article you posted to does not cover that from the client perspective...
mcit0331Network Administrator


I found the solution for prioritizing SQL traffic over a designated NIC on as I referenced in my last post.

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