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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Occasional failures in connection in a SharePoint Farm

Having seen this a few times, I figured I'd post this - the problem? Occasionally a SharePoint farm front-end server (or services server) logs failures on database connections such as "Cannot connect to the server xxx".

Most recently, a client had this occur for the oddest reason - it seems that one of the Front-end servers had run out of space and after a short time, completely locked out one of the sites. Cleanup and reboot did not fix the problem - the solution ended up doing a DNS Flush - after that, it appeared to clear the problem.

That said, I've seen other cases where this has happened due to flaky DNS, load balancers, etc.

So a quick fix is to 1) Follow the same rules as we use for Kerberos authentication using the SetSPN command (Service Principal Name). For an overview on this, see here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773257(v=ws.10).aspx

For specific detail on the command and syntax, see here:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/717.service-principal-names-spns-setspn-syntax-setspn-exe.aspx

Another quick fix is to use the Hosts file found on each of the servers (c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc folder). Edit this file with Notepad and simply add all of the servers and IP addresses to the end of the file. For example, for domain xxx.com:

10.0.0.20   wfe1
10.0.0.20   wfe1.xxx.com

10.0.0.21   wfe2
10.0.0.21   wfe2.xxx.com


etc.

The downside to this of course, is that any changes mean manual changes on all servers.


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