High Jinks, Hi Jacks, Exceptional DBA Awards and PASS

The countdown to PASS has counted down. The day after tomorrow I will board a plane, like many others, on my way for the 4th year in a row to SQL PASS Summit. The anticipation has been excruciating but luckily I have this little thing called a day job as a DBA that has kept me busy and not thinking too much about the event. Well that is not exactly true since my beautiful wife works for PASS so we get to talk about SQL from the time we wake up until late in the evening. I would not have it any other way and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this great event and to have been chosen as the Exceptional DBA Award judge also for the 4th year in a row. This year, I will have been again tasked with presenting the award to the winner, Mr. Jeff Moden and it will be a true honor to meet him in person as I have read many of his articles on SSC and have attended his session at PASS previously. The speech is all ready but one item remains, which will be a surprise to all who attend the party on Tuesday night in Seattle (see links below).

Let’s face it, Exceptional DBAs everywhere work very hard protecting our data stores, tuning queries, mentoring, saving money, installing clusters, etc and once in a while there is time to be exceptionally non-professional and have a bit of fun.

Once incident that happened this year that falls under the High Jinks category was when my network admin asked if I could Telnet into a SQL instance and see if I could make the connection through the firewall that he had just configured. I was able to establish a connection on port 1433 and it occurred to me that it would be very interesting if I could actually run T-SQL queries via a Telnet session much like you might do with an SMTP server. With that thought, I proceeded to demonstrate this could be possible by convincing my senior DBA Shawn McGehee that I was able to do so. At first he did not believe me. It shook his world view. It was inconceivable. What I had done, behind the scenes, of course, was to copy and rename SQLCMD.exe to Telnet.exe and used it to connect and run a simple, “Select * from sys.databases” on the SQL instance. I think if it had been anyone other than Shawn I could have extended this ruse indefinitely but he caught on within 30 seconds. It was a fun thirty seconds though.

On the High Jacks side of the house, which is really merged to be SQL HACKS, I finally, after several years of struggling with how to connect to an untrusted domain like in a DMZ with a windows account in SSMS, I stumbled upon a solution that does away with the requirement to use SQL Authentication. While “Runas” is a great command to use to run an application with a higher privileged account, I had not previously been able to figure out how to connect to the remote domain with SSMS and “Runsas”. It never connected and caused a login failure every time for the remote windows domain account. Then I ran across an option for “Runas”, “/netonly”. This option postpones the login until a connection is made and only then passes the remote login you supply when you first launch SSMS with the “Runas” command. So a typical shortcut would look like:

“C:WindowsSystem32runas.exe /netonly /user:remotedomain.comrodlandrum “C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server100ToolsBinnVSShellCommon7IDESsms.exe”

You will want to make sure the passwords are synced between the two domains, your local domain and the remote domain, otherwise you may have account lockout issues, but I have found in weeks of testing this is a stable solution.

Now it is time to get ready to head for Seattle. Please, if you see me (@SQLBeat) or my wife (@Karlakay22) please run up and high five me (wait..High Jinks.High Jacks.High Fives.Need to change the title) or give me a big bear hug if you are strong enough to lift me off the ground. And if you do actually do that, I will think you are awesome and will not embarrass you by crying out for help or complaining of a broken back or sciatic nerve damage.

And now the links to others who have all of the details.

First, for the MVP Deep Dives 2, of which, like John, I was lucky enough to be able to participate in this year.

And the details of the SSC party where the Exceptional DBA of 2011, Jeff Moden, will be awarded.