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SSL certificate for SQL AlwaysOn configured servers

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The steps listed below can be used to generate an SSL certificate for SQL AlwaysOn enabled servers:

  • Obtain a server certificate: The first step is to either construct a self-signed certificate or obtain a server certificate from a reputable certificate authority (CA), such as DigiCert or Comodo. To create a self-signed certificate, you can use an application like OpenSSL. Self-signed certificates are not validated by a third party and are only accepted if the client adds them as an exception.
  • Install the certificate: After obtaining the certificate, you must instal it on the AlwaysOn availability group’s primary and secondary replicas. Installing the certificate on a local machine is possible by using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Snap-in.
  • After installing the certificate, you must setup the primary replica in order to use it for SSL encryption. You can accomplish this by configuring the “ForceEncryption” option for the SQL Server network protocol to “Yes” using the SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  • Add the certificate to the listener for the availability group: The certificate must now be added to the availability group listener. The SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) can be used for this.
  • Check the configuration: Next, make sure the certificate is set up correctly and that SSL encryption is being used. The “ exec connections” DMV can be used to determine whether SSL is enabled.
  • Setup SQL Server: Launch SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the server, and access the server properties to set up SQL Server to use the SSL certificate. Right-click the “TCP/IP” protocol under “Protocols for SQLEXPRESS” on the “Security” tab and choose “Properties.”
  • Choose the certification: Choose the certificate you want to use for SSL encryption from the “Certificate” page.
  • Restart SQL Server: In order for the modifications to take effect, SQL Server must finally be restarted.

It’s also crucial to remember that before deploying the certificate to your production environment, you should test it to ensure that it is functioning properly. This will guarantee that the certificate is installed properly and that the configuration is done correctly.

How to add the certificate to the availability group listener?

  • Open the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and establish a connection to the availability group’s primary replica.
  • Expand the “Availability Groups” folder after navigating to the “Always On High Availability” folder.
  • Select “Properties” by performing a right-click on the availability group listener.
  • Go to the “Certificate” tab in the properties window.
  • From the drop-down list, choose the certificate you wish to use for the listener.
  • To save the changes, click “OK.”
  • Use the T-SQL command below to check the listener’s status:

SELECT * FROM sys.availability_group_listeners

  • For the modifications to take effect, restart the availability group listener.

Note: It’s crucial to remember that this phase needs to be completed on the primary replica, and the listener needs to be available and online. All of the replicas in the availability group should also have the certificate installed.

The certificate for the availability group listener can be be created and configured using the New-AzSqlAvailabilityGroupListenerCert PowerShell command.

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