Securing SQL Server network traffic

A while back I had a request to encrypt communications between an instance of SQL Server and the clients connecting to it. I knew that SQL Server had the ability to use SSL to encrypt communications, so this all seemed simple enough to do. The easy way, however, didn’t work for me because of some of the older protocols used did not support SSL encryption. So I was encouraged to look at some other options.

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PerfMon tips, tricks and a single annoying quirk

Figuring out possible causes for performance issues is one of the core skills for any DBA. There’s a whole bunch of tools for it, but this time I’ll be writing about one of my favorites. The Performance Monitor (PerfMon), which is included in every version and edition of Windows Servers and workstations. PerfMon and I go back a long way and we have had a most satisfying relationship so far. Naturally there have been some rocky spots over the years, but we have never drifted apart.

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Part 3: Setting up your SQL Server!

At the final part of my three-part series on how to set up your own test environment into Azure, we’re joining our SQL Server into Active Directory and downloading a database to use for testing.

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Part 2: Create Virtual Machines and Active Directory

In previous post, Part 1: Creating Azure Network and Storage, we set up your Azure account ready for two virtual machines that’ll be the backbone of your own testing environment. One of these servers will run the Active Directory and the other one will host your SQL Server 2012 instance. The Active Directory server is really optional, you can do a test environment without it but I prefer test environments that mimic the production.

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Part 1: Create Azure Network and Storage Account

Now that you’ve setup your Azure account we can get started on building the test environment. First thing you should do is to create a Virtual Azure Network, this will be used for connectivity between your servers. Creating a Network is quite straightforward business. Choose Networks and then Create A Virtual Network.

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Building SQL Server test environment on Azure

Going back a few years (and then some), creating your own test environments used to be difficult requiring both time and hardware resources. Then came the different virtualization solutions, which made it bit more easier but still requiring decent amount of hardware resources and a little bit of time. With the arrival of Azure and other cloud-based solutions, things finally got considerably easier. Now we finally had the ability to set up a test environments quickly and easily.

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