Sometimes you have everything working the way you want it to on your network, and then something happens that seems to defy logic. That is what has been happening to Larry, an administrator who works for a state health agency in the United States. His problem deals with how Microsoft’s SQL Server communicates with other servers on a network, particularly through a firewall.

Larry wrote to us and asked if we could unravel the knot. Since we are part of one of the largest groups of IT experts in the world, we thought we’d invite our members to submit solutions to Larry’s problem. The best solution posted to the discussion below will win a TechRepublic coffee mug.

Here’s the issue
Larry describes his problem this way:

“We have two Dell 2400 servers (SQL servers) tied to shared storage on a Dell PowerVault 210. We are running SQL7 Enterprise Edition as an Active/Passive Clustered system. We also have a separate Dell 2450 IIS Web server that serves as a front end to the SQL servers. Clients will use the Internet to access the Web server to get to the SQL data.”

All of this should work together seamlessly, but the IIS machine is located on the DMZ1 interface of a Cisco PIX 515 firewall, with the SQL server on the Inside interface.

“We initially installed the SQL7 with the default pipes connection but have run into problems between the Web server and the SQL servers, which cannot communicate with each other. We are able to ping in both directions between the Web server and the SQL servers and do not believe it is a firewall configuration problem,” Larry told us.

“We have read that we need to change from a pipes connection to a TCP/IP connection for the Web server to talk to the SQL servers, but we have been unable to find a way to change the default pipes option to a TCP/IP option.”

Larry wants to know if it’s possible to change his SQL Server settings from pipes to TCP/IP after it has been installed, without having to uncluster the SQL Cluster and uninstall and reinstall SQL7. Can you help?

Offer a solution and win a TechRepublic mug!

Here’s the deal. In the discussion below, post a suggestion that you believe will solve Larry’s problem. The TechRepublic member who comes up with the best answer will win an oversized ceramic coffee mug sporting the TechRepublic logo.