Monday, March 17, 2008

Dell, Broadcom & Scalable Networking Pack - Relief is in sight!

I've written before about features of the Scalable Networking Pack, specifically TCP Chimney Offloading / TOE, and the problems it has caused me with a number of Dell Servers and workstations equipped with Broadcom network adapters.  I thought I was the only one having this problem, surely Dell's claims to have never heard about the problem didn't help, but it seems enough users were bickering that Microsoft has released a hotfix for the issue.

The full article can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948496 and as for downloads:

x86: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=062E954C-FDEC-45AF-A09C-5A05B8F010A5

x64: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=38E66572-5D47-4219-82D7-DB0C57478950

Itanium: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=A4D3905C-DD7D-4B3B-96DF-38B7256C26D2

The quick and dirty summary: "This update turns off default SNP features."

There are also a number of other symptoms listed that can be caused by SNP:

  • When you try to connect to the server by using a VPN connection, you receive the following error message:

    Error 800: Unable to establish connection.

  • You cannot create a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connection to the server.
  • You cannot connect to shares on the server from a computer on the local area network.
  • You cannot join a client computer to the domain.
  • You cannot connect to the Exchange server from a computer that is running Microsoft Outlook.
  • Inactive Outlook connections to the Exchange server may not be cleaned up.
  • You experience slow network performance.
  • You may experience slow network performance when you communicate with a Windows Vista-based computer.
  • You cannot create an outgoing FTP connection from the server.
  • The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server service crashes.
  • You experience slow performance when you log on to the domain.
  • Network Address Translation (NAT) clients that are located behind Windows Small Business Server 2003 or Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server experience intermittent connection failures.
  • You experience intermittent RPC communications failures.
  • The server stops responding.
  • The server runs low on nonpaged pool memory

Whether or not this update will make it down to Windows Update remains unknown, but I can tell you for sure, I will be applying this fix liberally - and yes, I will "opt-in" when needed!
Correction - It is on Windows Update, as a high-priority update!

No comments: