Sql Server Consolidation and Configuration Part 2 Network

An often neglected part of Consolidation is the network configuration of a server. If you have mirroring set up this is particuarly important because the network throughput can be in the same magnitude of the transaction log throughput. Generally if I am limited to four NIC's available I will team two and make them available for general application access, allocate one to an external backup device (iSCSI or a CIFS UNC path) and one for a dedicated connection to the mirrored server. This kind of configuration is for a very basic setup. If there are replication topolgies in place or a scaled out BI Infastructure on a bigger server I would also look at dedicated NIC's for this kind of trafiic. I always set my network cards to Full Duplex.

To get round the issue of legacy applications that dont support the failover partner syntax with mirroring, I often use DNS aliases that I talk about in my previous blog post. When I'm utilising mirroring over a WAN and I want to reduce the network sent over the very precious WAN link, I will disable encryption and utilise riverbed hardware as mentioned here. To force the routing of traffic via a dedicated DR connection I make an entry in windows hosts file for the mirrored server.

While this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but it does illustrate a few best practices i've discovered. If anyone has any more tricks they would like to share, please let me know.




Published Thursday, August 26, 2010 11:41 PM by blakmk
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