I'm a developer, not an admin, so apologies in advance.

In a small office I have two Windows Server 2008 boxes connected to a 100mbps router, which is fine for day to day running. I'm looking to migrate SQL server off one of the boxes onto the other, and, given their close proximity, I have joined them via a second 1gbps NIC on each using a crossed ethernet cable with fixed IP addresses on a different subnet. Now they are visible to each other over 2 distinct networks.

When I resolve the machine running SQL Server (using NetBIOS) from the other and vice-versa, I would like this faster connection to be used. How can I tell if this is happening, and if it isn't, how do I make it so?


You can use a thing called a Static Route to indicate which connection you wish to be used (if they are both on the same subnet), or you can manually modify your HOSTS file (if they're on a different subnet).

For starters, it's generally a good idea to have the crossover connection (FYI Gigabit does not require a crossover cable, it will automatically crossover itself) on its own subnet. E.g. if your normal network is 192.168.1.x then use 192.168.2.x - this way there can be no confusion for the gateway.

If you have the two connections on different subnets, then the best way to guarantee the gigabit connection to be used is to add an entry to your HOSTS file.

Browse to the following location on your computer:


In there there is a file called 'hosts'. Change this file so that it's not read-only and open her up in notepad. Then add a line that looks like the following:

x.x.x.x  SQLServer

Except replace the x.x.x.x IP address and the SQLServerto be the IP/hostname of your server. Because that subnet exists exclusively on your crossover network, Windows will be smart enough to know to sent it over that nic.

If for whatever reason you can't seperate the subnets (i.e. they are both 192.168.1.x) then you can use a Static Route to achieve this (You can do this as well if you want, but it's fairly redundant). To add this default route, open up your command prompt (as administrator if this is Vista with UAC) and run the following:

route add x.x.x.x mask y.y.y.y -p

Where x = IP address of the SQL server's gigabit connection and where y = IP address of your computer's gigabit connection

This will tell Windows that when you request the IP address of the SQL server, to run it over the gigabit network.

  • On different subnets, so will go the HOSTS route. Thanks for comprehensive answer. Good to know that crossed is no longer required. – spender Aug 10 '09 at 23:26
  • Excellent. Glad you found an answer here! – Mark Henderson Aug 10 '09 at 23:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.