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ODBC across the internet: firewall, security, encryption?

Posted on 2004-09-16
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Last Modified: 2008-03-10
Hi. I'm looking to build an application where a number of remote win2k systems on the internet connect to a central office server running XP and some recent version of SQL Server to transfer daily data.

Here's my concerns:
1) I don't have access to the firewalls on the remote systems -- they run NAT and allow outgoing connections, but there's no way to open ports. I'd think this would not be a problem because they will initiate the connection to the office computer where I do have access. On the central (office) server I just need port 1433 open?

2) It looks to me like the standard MS ODBC driver supports TCP/IP connections and can accept ip addresses as well as fqdn for server names. I don't want to try to get remote computers to have to join the office domain. I believe I can use "mixed" SQL authentication so SQL server authenticates remote users.

3) I guess my main question has to do with security -- does the standard ODBC driver encrypt the transmission? If not I'll need to set up STUNNEL or Zebedee to protect the stream.

So in summary:
1) ODBC -> SQL server can be happy with only port 1433?
2) SQL Server authentication will be fine with remote internet ODBC clients?
3) ODBC -> SQL Server isn't an ecrypted stream?

Thanks,
John
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Question by:jhanna777
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Expert Comment

by:arbert
ID: 12078062
Do you have protocol encryption enabled on your SQL Server?  If not, you won't have protocol encryption from your clients.

I would recommend using a tunnel (like you suggested)--SSH or PPTP....
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Expert Comment

by:arbert
ID: 12078065
(you could always user terminal services too--if you have the license)
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Author Comment

by:jhanna777
ID: 12078139
Terminal Services isn't an option.

SQL Server has a "protocol encryption"? Where would I find the settigns for it?

SSH might work, but I've had trouble with openssh on NT/XP. I'm leaning toward Zebedee -- compression might also help data exchange -- I expect these data dumps to be somewhat lengthy (probably > 1mb) and highly repetitive.

j
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Accepted Solution

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arbert earned 100 total points
ID: 12078381
I've had really good luck with WAC server from http://www.foxitsoftware.com and putty as the client--performance (when compressed) is awesome....

Here are two microsoft whitepapers on configuring prot encryption:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;276553&Product=sql2k

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;318605&Product=sql2k

 


Brett
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