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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:

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

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   wfe1   wfe2


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

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