Consider, for example, an application server and a storage server.

  • Both servers run services which needs to be accessed by everyone, so they are connected to the "public" network
  • The application server has high IO on the storage server, therefore a dedicated, second network connected just the two of them.

Given that

  • Both machines are Windows
  • the same machine can be reached via two network interfaces
  • the connection is made by machine name rather than IP address

Which connection will Windows use?

Bonus question: what if a machine is connected to two separate networks, and two servers with the same name exists on both of them respectively?

  • In which name service are the two hosts with the same name configured? – Iain Sep 5 '15 at 9:13
  • @Iain Windows machine name. When Network Sharing is turned on, Windows can automatically resolve other Windows machine names to IP on its network even without DNS. – kevin Sep 5 '15 at 9:21
  • The machines are in a domain? I had a "similar" setup and the domain subnet was always preferred. – eldblz Sep 5 '15 at 22:23

If it's my network, I'm not going to let Windows decide. I'm gonna give the interfaces on the dedicated server-server network different DNS names (maybe application-dedicated and storage-dedicated) and explicitly configure services that need to talk between the servers to use the -dedicated names (or IP addresses if for some reason I can't use DNS names -- like \\dedicated.storage.ip.address\sharename)

  • Yes, I know it can be solved by using different DNS name or IP - but my question is, what if they're the same name? – kevin Sep 6 '15 at 7:39
  • 1
    Routing metrics. support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/894564 But again, for an "important" connection, I'm not going to let Windows (or any other OS) decide that for me. – Brandon Xavier Sep 6 '15 at 11:15
  • Yes, the routing metrics is the answer I'm looking for. Would you put that in the answer body? – kevin Sep 7 '15 at 6:32

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