Microsoft SQL Server (Kerberos)
Last modified on July 12, 2023
A datasource consists of a database resource and the credentials used to access it. This guide describes how to add a Microsoft SQL Server (Kerberos) database as a datasource in the StrongDM Admin UI. This resource type only supports Windows authentication with Active Directory via Kerberos. For other options, see the Microsoft SQL Server (Azure AD) and Microsoft SQL Server resource types.
To add a datasource, make sure you have met the following prerequisites:
- Properly configure an account for your database resource. If you choose to store credentials for the resource with StrongDM, have those credentials ready. When not using StrongDM, set up a Secret Store integration and be able to enter the location of the secrets required to access the resource.
- The hostname or endpoint you enter for your resource must be accessible by at least one gateway or relay. To verify this, log in to the gateway or relay and use the
nc -zv <YOUR_HOSTNAME> <YOUR_PORT>Netcat command. For example, use
nc -zv testdb-01.fancy.org 5432. If your gateway server can connect to this hostname, you can proceed.
- Generate a krb conf file if you do not already have one
- Generate a keytab file if you do not already have one, and ensure that it is Base64-encoded.
-zflag to check for listeners without sending data and the
-vflag to show verbose output. If you do not have Netcat, you can use a package manager such as APT (Advanced Package Tool) to install it. On Linux-based distributions, run
apt-get install netcat.
Add a Datasource
To add your new Microsoft SQL Server database as a StrongDM datasource, use the following steps.
Log in to the Admin UI.
Go to Infrastructure > Datasources.
Click Add datasource.
Select Microsoft SQL Server (Kerberos) as the Datasource Type and set other configuration properties for your new database resource.
Complete all required fields.
Click Create to save the resource.
Click the resource name to view status, diagnostic information, and setting details.
Configuration properties are visible when you add a datasource or when you click to view its settings. The following table describes the settings available for your Microsoft SQL Server database.
|Display Name||Required||Meaningful name to display the resource throughout StrongDM; exclude special characters like quotes (") or angle brackets (< or >)|
|Datasource Type||Required||Select Microsoft SQL Server (Kerberos)|
|Hostname||Required||Hostname for your Microsoft SQL Server database resource; must be accessible to a gateway or relay|
|Port||Required||Port to use when connecting to your Microsoft SQL Server database; default port value is 1433|
|Port Override||Read only||Automatically generated with a value between 1024-59999 as long as that port is not used by another resource; preferred port can be modified later under Settings > Port Overrides|
|Database||Required||Database name you want to connect to using this datasource|
|Secret Store||Optional||Credential store location with the default set to Strong Vault; learn more about Secret Store options|
|Username||Required||Username to utilize when connecting to this datasource; displays when Secret Store integration is not configured for your organization or when Strong Vault serves as the Secret Store type|
|Kerberos Keytab||Required||File that you generate that stores long-term keys and is used to obtain keys for the client (Base64-encoded). Should contain an entry with the principal name in the format|
|Kerberos Configuration||Required||File that you generate (|
|Server SPN||Required||Service Principal Name (SPN) for the Microsoft SQL Server instance in Active Directory in the format |
|Realm||Required||Realm (domain) from the Kerberos Configuration file to which the configured username belongs, in the format |
|Schema||Optional||Name of the schema that should be used if the user belongs to a particular schema|
|Override Default Database||Optional||By default, StrongDM limits all connections to the configured database. Uncheck the box to disable this option. If this option is deselected, the value entered in the Database field is only used for healthchecks, not for user connections. When accessing the database via StrongDM, users need to explicitly pass the database name they wish to connect to in the connection string. If they do not, the value of the Username field is passed in as the database name. This is the default behavior of the database type.|
|Resource Tags||Optional||Datasource tags consisting of key-value pairs |
Secret Store options
By default, datasource credentials are stored in Strong Vault. However, these credentials can also be saved in a third-party secrets management tool.
Options other than Strong Vault appear in the Secret Store dropdown if they are created under Network > Secret Stores. When you select another Secret Store type, its unique properties display. Instead of the normal Username, Kerberos Keytab, Kerberos Configuration, Realm, and Server SPN fields, you will see versions of them that indicate that you should enter a path. This is the path to where the secret is stored in your Secret Store location (for example,
path/to/credential?key=optionalKeyName where key argument is optional).
For more details, see Configure Secret Store Integrations.
After a resource is created, the Admin UI displays that resource as unhealthy until the health checks run successfully. When the resource is ready, the Health icon indicates a positive, green status.
When the resource does not display a positive status, click the resource name to go to the Diagnostics tab and check for errors.
If any errors occur, please copy them into an email and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for Server Setup
- Ensure that TCP connections are enabled on the server.
- Ensure that the correct AD user has been added to the logins for the database.