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sa vs sysadmin

Posted on 2010-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
are both these the same or 2 different things in SQL Server?

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Question by:anushahanna
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19 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 33661637
same thing.
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Expert Comment

by:Racim BOUDJAKDJI
ID: 33661644
sa is a login, meaning that it can establish a connection to the server AND that login has sysadmin level of priviledge.  sysadmin is a server level priviledge that allows any login which has it do pretty much anything no the server.  You may create a login with sysadmin priviledge that is different from sa.  sa is the just the default sysadmin of the server.
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33661748
OK. so sa does not have anything to do with 'service account', right?
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Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 33661765
functionally, they do the same thing.  Racimo is correct in terms of login vs group

No, neither have anything to do with service accounts.
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33662085
OK- the reason I ask is this:

I use the following SP to change the owner of the job to sa - this is the default sysadmin login that Racimo mentioned, right?
EXEC MSDB.dbo.sp_update_job @job_name = 'JobName', @owner_login_name = 'sa'

but in auditing i see that the account that ran the job was 'NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE'. this is actually the service account on which SQL Server was started and is running on.

that is why i asked about the connection between sa (sysadmin) and sa (service/start account)..

can you see why it may shift like the above?
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Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 33662095
I am assuming that the network service account is a member of the sysadmin group, right?
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33662288
sysjobs also shows the job having sa as the owner of the job.
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33662290
these are the sysadmins in the server

sa
BUILTIN\Administrators
NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM
2 Local Users
1 Domain User
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33662296
>>I am assuming that the network service account is a member of the sysadmin group

you want to check who is listed under BUILTIN\Administrators?
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Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 33662314
So, NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM is a sysadmin.  What user runs the SQLAgent service?

Can find this by running services.msc
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33662419
NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService
runs both SQL and Agent Service.
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Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 33662444
I suspected.  That is why you're seeing that account as running the job.  
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33662556
so service account of Agent will override the owner of a job at any time?
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Accepted Solution

by:
chapmandew earned 250 total points
ID: 33662626
In this case, they are the same thing.
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33662665
>>In this case, they are the same thing.

in every case, right?

->even if we gave a diff user here:
EXEC MSDB.dbo.sp_update_job @job_name = 'JobName', @owner_login_name = 'Tim'

it still would override and default to the service account of the agent?
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Expert Comment

by:chapmandew
ID: 33662711
Good question.  My guess is that the service account would still show...but there is only one way to find out. :)
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33662996
OK. I tried-I added a test login called Tim, added the same as user in the DB with read/write/exec (what is needed within the job), and the job has finished executing as Tim.
how do you understand that, in relation to our discussion?
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Assisted Solution

by:Racim BOUDJAKDJI
Racim BOUDJAKDJI earned 250 total points
ID: 33663379
<<OK. so sa does not have anything to do with 'service account', right?>>
As the name says, a service account is an account related to the OS rather than a sa which is exclusively related to SQL.
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Author Comment

by:anushahanna
ID: 33663426
>>As the name says, a service account is an account related to the OS rather than a sa which is exclusively related to SQL.

thanks for the clarification, Racimo.
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