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Experiencing slow network speeds with our server. It has 2 NICs, but only one is used. Is there a way to balance our network load? (SBS2008 64-Bit)

Posted on 2014-09-30
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Our network has more users and at times traffic is a little slow. The Resource Monitor shows active sessions with data be transferred because most of the users are transferring image files, etc...

The server is a Dell that has 2 network interface cards, but only one has an Ethernet connection. Is there a way we can balance the load on our server using the second network interface card? The server (Windows SBS 2008 64-Bit) has an internal static IP address and the 20 domain attached workstations are receiving DHCP addresses from the server.

Any advice will be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:Poly11
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 40353073
Firstly what speed is your NIC that is in use?
What speed is your swicth?
What speed are your desktop NICs?
is the SBS ths only server you have?
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 40353082
All NICs are 10/100/1000 (server and workstation). The SBS is our only server and is the domain controller.

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by:Neil Russell
ID: 40353084
You switch? Is it a full GB switch, all ports GB?
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 40353088
Yes, sorry. 10/100/1000 for the switch. Unmanaged.
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 40353098
ok well SBS doe not support NIC Teaming I am sorry to say. Many have tried, a few tell of how they have "Succeeded" but many many tell how it fails big style.
Migrosoft SBS server is controlled, as will know, by a whole host of wizards. They are all designed to work with a single NIC.

You only real way would be to virtualize the SBS Server and team the NIC's on the HOST then you have the internal 10GB NIC on the VM server.
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Neil Russell earned 500 total points
ID: 40353103
See the SBS 2008 Release Documentation under the section “The Windows Small Business Server 2008 networking wizards do not support network teaming”.

Oh just the mere presence of the second NIC can degrade performance of SBS, even though it is not configured.  You should remove it and delete all reference to it.
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 40353125
So the system as it was installed (by Dell) has 2 NICs that are active. Would disabling the second NIC be better than actually removing the software instance? Both NICs are on the server's main board.
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by:Neil Russell
ID: 40353135
If the NIC is active then expect SBS to have issues. it should be disabled and removed to the best of your ability.
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 40353161
Ok, one last question with this revelation. We use LogMeIn Hamachi for our VPN connection. Hamachi has a virtual NIC instance. Would this possibly cause an issue as well?

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by:Neil Russell
ID: 40353172
Personally I wouldn't recommend having any form of remote access to an SBS server directly like that and I can't say as to what effect that may have on performance.

SBS is a fine tuned, altered subset of Microsoft products rolled onto one server. A lot of work went into getting them all to work on a single box and behave together.  It is not recommended to add anything onto an SBS box that is not SBS.
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by:Larry Struckmeyer MVP
ID: 40353319
In addition, check that the primary/only active nic is at the top of the binding order:

Network - Properties (or ncpa.clp) advanced...

If the switch has a 10 Gb uplink port you could add a 10 Gb PCI Express card to the server and avoid some diminished "bandwidth" switch to server.
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by:Cris Hanna
ID: 40354078
Absolutely disable the unused NIC.  Then download and run the SBS 2008 BPA.  Do EVERYTHING it recommends.  Finally run the Fix My Network wizard in the SBS console.  I suspect you will see marked improvement in network performance.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 40356310
Thank you!
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