Why is it important to backup SSRS keys?

In the event you restore a SSRS database to a new server, the encryption keys will need to be loaded onto the new server in order to allow that server to read and utilize all of the items noted in the below list.

Otherwise an error will result when attempting to navigate to the Report Server.
Also, your embedded data sources would be unreadable if you add a new key.

Of course you could recreate a SSRS key on the new server and then redeploy all the data sets, data sources, and reports. In that situation though, you would still have to recreate all the folders and more importantly, the security for those folders (and related reports). An easier alternative is the backup and restore the SSRS key. Before digging deep into that, lets understand what gets encrypted within SSRS:

  • Credentials used to connect to the Report Server database itself.
  • The actual symmetric key used by SSRS to encrypt data.
  • Data source credentials which are stored in the database in order to connect to external databases and data sources.
  • The unattended user account information which is used to connect to a remote┬áserver in order get external images or data.

 

Happy Learning!

Cheers!
Aman Kharbanda