SQL Server Tip of the Week – Domain Migration

I thought I would try a new feature, and hopefully get a schedule of tips I want to share with the world.

In the last week or so the subject of Domain Migration has come up for the millionth time in my career so far (slight exaggeration)

Switching domains is easy, log in on one domain, go to the system settings in Windows and change to the other domain, with a reboot committing the change fully. This is great, but what about the applications?

SQL is possibly the most popular DB platform out there, and up until the last couple of months has been restricted to the MS Windows platform. As a Microsoft product it ties in heavily to the operating system and Active Directory. Typically most DBAs will configure there SQL installation with dual authentication, Windows for binding Windows Accounts and SQL Authentication for local based security. The majority of applications these days will utilise Windows Authentication as this make the management of security policies such as password expiration and removal of users a little simpler, and generally management is from one place, i.e Active Directory. The only issue here is if you’re doing a manual Domain Migration (i.e no ADMT style tools) then as soon as you change the domain the SQL server sits on, the applications will no longer work and the users will not be able to connect. This is where the SA user is god, as it is local to the SQL installation not the domain/Windows element.

My advice for a manual SQL Server domain migration is simple:

  1. Ensure you have dual auth enabled
  2. Ensure you know your SA password (if not, create a new SA style user and note the password you use)
  3. Change SQL to use builtin service accounts (not a domain service account) before the move – can be changed afterwards to domain users under new domain.
  4. Change ownership of all DBs to SA
  5. Change ownership of all Task Agent jobs to SA

These should be done before switching domain!

For steps 4 and 5 I have the following scripts which I have used a few times now, and they do exactly as described, changing the ownership:

Change DBs ownership to sa:

EXEC sp_MSforeachdb 'EXEC [?]..sp_changedbowner ''sa'''

Change Job ownership to sa:

DECLARE @name_holder VARCHAR(1000)



SELECT [name]  FROM msdb..sysjobs

OPEN My_Cursor

FETCH NEXT FROM My_Cursor INTO @name_holder



exec msdb..sp_update_job

        @job_name = @name_holder,

        @owner_login_name = 'sa'

FETCH NEXT FROM My_Cursor INTO @name_holder


CLOSE My_Cursor



One additional step once the migration is done and the server is back up on the new domain, would be to login as sa, and add in the security groups/users from the new domain that need access to the server. I typically add the Domain Admins as SQL sysadmin users. To achieve this for the current domain you can run:

USE [master]
declare @DomainName nvarchar(32)
set @DomainName = (SELECT DEFAULT_DOMAIN()[DomainName])
declare @DomainAdmin nvarchar(64)
set @DomainAdmin = @DomainName + '\Domain Admins'
print @DomainAdmin
EXEC master..sp_addsrvrolemember @loginame = N'NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM', @rolename = N'sysadmin'
EXEC master..sp_addsrvrolemember @loginame = N'NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE', @rolename = N'sysadmin'
EXEC master..sp_addsrvrolemember @loginame = @DomainAdmin, @rolename = N'sysadmin'
print @DomainAdmin + ' Has been Added as sysadmin'

Incidentally this was one of my early attempts at writing SQL scripts without googling around! – not this also adds SYSTEM and NETWORK SERVICE (local builtin users) as sysadmins.

2016 Update

If you have seen my other (more personal) blog you will have come across the post I did recently regarding how 2016 has flown by and so many things have changed career wise. If you’ve not read that feel free to jump on over here: http://johnnyward.me.uk/newblog/a-year-of-two-halves/

As this is my technology blog I though I’d share a quick update on skills and technologies that have advanced through this year, the most noticeable are:

  • SQL Skills – yes I know more than just installing now, I can troubleshoot performance issues and tweak setups to ensure a nice smooth running system.. Maintenance of SQL is also one of my most common tasks across many customers.
  • ERP – a broad subject, but I will break down a little. Firstly I am more than capable of a “vanilla” install of Epicor ERP 10/10.1, I’m also capable of updating/upgrading those platforms. On top of that I can also talk tech with IT/ERP managers across all industries to help spec, and install/deploy the Epicor ERP platforms. This also includes a number of additional installs (such as web, Enterprise Search, education tools etc.) and enhancements, such as those for document management and CRM.
  • Hyper-V – not something I’d had the opportunity to play with much before, however I am now capable of installation, deployment, management and maintenance of Hyper-V 2012+ platforms, and I have to say, what a great platform it is.
  • VMware ESX – my knowledge in VMware has also jumped this year, having had the opportunity to manage 2x ESX 6 environments in recent months and upgrade a couple of 5s to 5.5 I am once again familiar with the VMWare suite and as always find it an exciting challenge.
  • Remote Desktop Services – sure we all know a little Terminal Services from back in the day, but having now deployed around 5 of these 2012R2 beauties this year, i am exceptionally impressed. Easy to install and configure, and just as easy to troubleshoot and fix, provided you have the time and mental space in order to do so!

Coming up in 2017…

So it seems there may be a few changes ahead, ones that will potentially make my career, and about time too!

The biggest 2017 challenges seem to be:

  • Cloud – funnily enough the UK hasn’t quite taken to it fully yet…
  • Solutions – how can a product be further enhanced to meet a customer’s longer term goals…
  • Tools – might need a course in C# and a few late nights

Watch this space…

Exchange 2010 SP2

Microsoft have just released Exchange 2010 SP2 – a little over a month since I built both the new email servers on SP1 – how annoying is that! – anyway, after reading the new features list provided here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/05/redmond_exchange_2010_sp2/ I am not too fussed, and will not be planning an upgrade anytime soon, maybe 6-12 months time I think…