Backup those keys, citizen

Periodically I back up the keys within my servers and databases, and when I do, I blog a reminder here. This should be part of your standard backup rotation – the keys should be backed up often enough to have at hand and again when they change. The first key you need to back up…

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Have you backed up your keys lately?

Did you know that you already have a Server Master Key (SMK) generated for your system? That’s right – while a Database Master Key (DMK) is generated when you encrypt a certificate or Asymmetric Key with code, the Server Master Key is generated automatically when you start the Instance. So you should back all of…

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The SQL Server Health Check

My friend Brent Ozar, who is a top-notch SQL Server Professional, mentioned on his blog (http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2007/04/sql-server-health-check/comment-page-1/#comment-17520) that he brought in Microsoft Support to do a “Health Check”. There were some questions about what this actually entails – so I thought I would post that description here. A SQL Server Health Check from Microsoft is an…

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Security Patches and the Conficker Worm

Well, the media has done their usual stellar job on computer technology subjects, so after this weekend you may have gotten some questions about the Conficker worm. Here’s a few pointers to hand out to the relatives and associates: Microsoft released an out of band security bulletin last October that deals with this. The bulletin…

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Have You Backed Up Your Database Master Key?

If you have encrypted columns in a database or certificates used to create them, you need to make sure that you back up the Database Master Key as part of your maintenance, and then protect that backup file. Here’s the short version of the command: BACKUP MASTER KEY TO FILE = ‘<complete path and filename>’…

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