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)

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.

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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
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?
Poly11Author Commented:
All NICs are 10/100/1000 (server and workstation). The SBS is our only server and is the domain controller.

Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
You switch? Is it a full GB switch, all ports GB?
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Poly11Author Commented:
Yes, sorry. 10/100/1000 for the switch. Unmanaged.
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
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.
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
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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Poly11Author Commented:
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.
Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
If the NIC is active then expect SBS to have issues. it should be disabled and removed to the best of your ability.
Poly11Author Commented:
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?

Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
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.
Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:
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.
Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
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.
Poly11Author Commented:
Thank you!
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Windows Server 2008

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