This blog is about the fallout from a really bad incident that happened with an SRS server. And it has a very valuable lesson in there as well. I was recently talking to a customer about a problem they had getting their SSRS site to load. As it turns out the problem was that someone had changed the account the service was running under and that broke the encryption for the site. Here’s how it played out. They’ve got a need to be able to access shares on remote servers and the account that SSRS was running under was a local account. So it couldn’t be given permission to any of the shares. That’s why they changed the service account. Now here’s what happened.
Initially they were sunk but SSRS was on a VM and they were lucky enough to have backups. So they restored the backup to another VM and renamed the server so they could get it on the network. Then they were able to backup the SSRS encryption key and restore it to the original server. After that, everything worked right away. So the first takeaway you have here is to always backup your SSRS encryption keys. Always. I’ve had this happen a few times and we didn’t have backups of Windows we could restore so we had to re-enter all the passwords for our data sources. On one box it wasn’t that big of a deal and on another one it was quite a big pain. So always backup your encryption keys.
That’s not really the bad part though. When I had them backup their current encryption key, I told them that I really like to keep a naming format for my encryption key backups. That format is SSRSEncryptionKey-ServiceAcct–Date.snk. And when they were typing their filename, the name they ended up with was this:
If you paid close attention, you’ll notice the ‘DomainAdmin’ portion of that name. Yep, you got it right… they were running SSRS under the domain admin account. The Windows guy thought that it would be too much trouble to manage the permissions and get everything right on all the shares and DBs that it needed to access.
So this is when I pretty much lost it. These guys were running SSRS under a domain admin account because they were too lazy to do the right thing. It’s unthinkable. There may be some reasonable excuses why you’re not able to change your current security model to something better. You may even be able to convince me that you’re not just being lazy. But to actively be lazy about your security isn’t something I’m going to take lying down. Hey, I know it’s your shop, and I know you can ultimately do whatever you like, but I’m going to make sure you know what you’re doing.
So to those of you out there who are even considering being lazy about security, don’t. Do what you need to do. You won’t get it right all the time. There’s a lot of misinformation out there and there are a lot of pitfalls. So not getting it completely right is ok. You do what you can when you can. but laziness will never be an excuse.
MinionWare will release Minion CheckDB on Febuary 1, 2017!
Minion CheckDB 1.0
Minion CheckDB is the third piece of our free backup and maintenance tools, rounding out the list with Minion Backup and Minion Reindex. CheckDB will have the same native interface, the same configurability, and the same rich scheduling introduced in Minion Backup. And of course, it will have a the same kind of visionary features that users have come to expect from MinionWare products, like:
Automated rotating schedules for objects
Automated remote CheckDB operations
Automated choice of whether databases get a DBCC CheckDB operation, or a series of DBCC CheckTable operations
And much more!
Minion Backup 1.3
What’s more, we will also release Minion Backup 1.3 on that date! New MB features include:
Our new dynamic naming functionality (called named parts)
Improved restore process
Additional advances both for their own sake and to support Minion CheckDB
It’s been a year since we officially launched MinionWare and launched our flagship product, Minion Enterprise. Since then we’ve hit many SQL Saturdays, and a few other events, to spread the word. And things are looking bright! We’ve been received openly by the community we’ve given so much time to, and we’re finding our foothold as a vendor.
You guys know our business model: Give away as much as you can. We started by giving away our world-class maintenance tools (Minion Backup and Minion Reindex), and we’ve committed ourselves and our company to only making them better. With the excitement we feel about the upcoming release of Minion CheckDB and the fact that we just passed our 1 year anniversary, we’ve decided to do something bigger…give away Minion Enterprise.
From now until 5:00pm (Central Time), on July 15, 2016, anyone who emails us a request will get 3 free Minion Enterprise licenses.
We really want to say thanks to the SQL community worldwide and we couldn’t think of a better way. Somehow merely saying thanks just didn’t seem big enough. So, thanks…and have some free enterprise management software for life.
Of course there are just a couple caveats so see the restrictions below:
Email us before 5:00pm Central Time on July 15. If you’re even 1 minute late, that’s too bad, because the offer is over.
This is available for the current version only. Free licenses are eligible for patches and service releases of the current version, but not upgrades.
Support will be offered for 3 months. Afterwards a support contract will need to be purchased.
Any additional licenses will need to be purchased.
Licenses are not transferable to any other companies.
We’re having a Minion Backup webinar on Wednesday, June 1 at 12:00 PM. Register here!
Enterprises have increasingly complicated backup needs. With different data centers, high availability nodes, development refreshes, and more thrown into the mix, a DBA can almost keep a full time job simply making a backup routine that does everything it needs to do. But we’ve done that for you.
Minion Backup is a free community tool that has more than enough features to handle even your toughest scenario.
In this webinar we’ll show you how this FREE tool by MinionWare can meet your scalability and HA/DR needs with almost effortless management. We’ll show you how Minion Backup can:
Be configured easily for all your servers.
Be highly customized without any extra jobs.
Be configured to be not only HA node, but also data center aware.
Be configured to copy backup files to dev or QA boxes for restore.
Backup all your certs with the most secure method available.
Dynamically tune your backups so you’re always using the proper number of resources for each DB.
Have multiple schedules and retention periods for each DB without having to create multiple jobs.
Be configured to redo backups that failed so you don’t have to get involved.
Come see why Minion Backup is almost literally taking the SQL community by storm, and why it’s the new diamond standard for backups in SQL Server.
We’ve had many of you asking to be part of the Minion CheckDB beta and now is the time. We’re putting the finishing touches on the 1st beta and it’s looking great with some fabulous features.
So this is the open call for beta users. If you’d like to meet Codex before anyone else then send me an email.
We have some requirements though. We don’t want dead beta users. This is your chance to shape the product and we want to hear from you. So if you’re serious about putting the product through its paces then we definitely want you. So you should be ready to provide real feedback, report bugs as you find them, and work with us to fix them.
That’s it. Just be ready to work with us. Many of you have been part of our betas before so you know we’re very responsive and we do our best to give you the product you want to use. We’re going to try to update the beta monthly, but possibly more often if we have an important feature we need to get into your hands.
We’ve got to finish up some details, make a video, and maybe some base-level docs so we’re going to get it into your hands probably late next week, but we want to know who’s going to be in the program. So don’t wait, get your email into me soon and we’ll let you know within a day or so whether you’ll be accepted into this cycle. It’s going to depend on whether you’re going to be active.