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Troubleshooting steps for SQL Connectivity Issues

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You might have observed DBAs attempting to resolve SQL connectivity problems. So, I decided to post some tips here on how to fix SQL Server connectivity issues. Based on my experience, I’ve provided the essential actions to do below. The following are the things I look for while trying to connect to SQL Server but failing:

  1. SQL Server configuration Issue
  2. Firewall Issue
  3. Network Issue
  4. Logon Issue
  5. Configuration Issue in Application

SQL Server configuration Issue:

  • Verify that the machine hosting SQL Server is up and listening on protocols.
  • In SQL Server Configuration Manager, protocols can be verified and enabled.
  • Named Pipes and TCP protocols must be enabled for SQL Server to connect remotely.
  • We may check whether the server is listening on protocols in the SQL Server Errorlog.
  • If the SQL instance is a named instance, make sure SQL Server Browser is operating on the machine.

Firewall Issue:

  • Firewalls can prevent client and server SQL connection requests.
  • This can be fixed by disabling the firewall, however this is only a temporary solution because it can be permanently turned off at any time.
  • Adding SQL Server and SQL Browser to the Firewall Exception list will permanently cure issue.
  • Provide the port number in which SQL is listening while adding the exception for the SQL Server DB Engine.
  • When adding a SQL Browser exception, make sure to include UDP port 1434.

Network Issue:

  • The Ping response from your source server to the target server is the first indicator of SQL connectivity.
  • From the client machine to the SQL Server box, you may also use Telnet to test the UDL.
  • Check nslookup; a misconfigured DNS entry may be the root of the SQL connectivity problem.

logon Issue to SQL Server:

  • This is distinct from the examples mentioned above. Based on the error message we receive from the application team, this has to be troubleshot.
  • Due to a problem with login connectivity to SQL, each individual case must be examined.
  • If a login attempt is made to a SQL server and is unsuccessful, errors can be seen in the server’s event viewer and SQL error logs.
  • We can examine the logs and resolve the problem.

Configuration Issue in Application:

  • An incorrect setting in the application can also cause a problem with SQL connectivity.
  • In the application configuration file, look for the connection string parameters.
  • Additionally, verify the login account application being used to connect to SQL.
  • If it is a SQL account, find out which authentication mode is enabled in the SQL instance properties.
  • Check the account’s permissions level as well.

Incorrect connection string:

An improper connection string is one of the most frequent reasons of problems with SQL connectivity. An improper server name, database name, or authentication technique could be at blame for this.

Incorrect SQL Server instance name:

In the connection string, the client must include the right SQL Server instance name. Make sure you are using the right instance name.

These are a few typical reasons why SQL connectivity problems occur, but the precise reason can change based on the circumstance. You can pinpoint the issue’s root cause and choose the best course of action by using the troubleshooting procedures I discussed previously.

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