How to set up SQL Server to listen on multiple static TCP ports

Applies to: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer EditionMicrosoft SQL Server 2005 Standard EditionMicrosoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition


This article describes how to enable a SQL Server default instance to listen on multiple TCP ports.

More Information

For each server-side network library, SQL Server sets up a separate "listen on" thread. If the server becomes overwhelmed with connection requests, the client connections are reset and are forced to reestablish a new session. To increase the performance of the SQL Server server to simultaneously process more connection requests, additional TCP ports to listen on can be added.
To add additional TCP ports, follow these steps:
  1. Start the SQL Server Network Utility in SQL Server 2000. Select TCP, click Properties, and then enter the additional port separated by a comma; for example: 1433,5000.
  2. Stop and then restart the SQL Server server, and review the errorlog. Your errorlog should resemble the following:

    SQL server listening on TCP, Shared Memory, Named Pipes.<BR/>
    SQL server listening on,,,
  3. Use the SQL Server Client Network Utility to modify your clients to spread the load accross the TCP ports. For example, two Web servers, both connecting to the same SQL Server on port 1433, can now split the load across 1433 and 5000. This allows the administrator to separate the traffic across multiple ports and increases the connection throughput.
Note To perform the same operation in SQL Server 2005, use the SQL Server Configuration Manager tool.