Network Protocols for SQL Server

Shared Memory

Connects to SQL Server instances running on the same computer as the client. Shared memory protocol is used primarily for troubleshooting. This protocol cannot be used on clients that use MDAC 2.8 or earlier—these clients are automatically switched to the named pipes protocol.


Uses the TCP/IP protocol for communication.

Named Pipes

Interprocess communication (IPC) mechanism provided by SQL Server for communication between clients and servers.


Virtual Interface Adapter (VIA) protocol is used with VIA hardware.

As of SQL Server 2005, the following network protocols are no longer supported:

AppleTalk ADSP

Allows Apple Macintosh to communicate with SQL Server using native Apple-Talk protocol.

Banyan VINES

Supports Banyan VINES Sequenced Packet Protocol (SPP) across Banyan VINES IP network protocol.


Automatically chooses the first available network protocol to establish a connection generally with performance comparable to using a native network library. TCP/IP Sockets, NWLink IPX/SPX, and Named Pipes are supported.

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