I connect to work network via Cisco VPN from my work laptop, which is on AD.


I am using SQL authentication to connect from Server A to B; in scenario #1 I can connect. I can even connect from localhost to Server B. So, I'm wondering why I can't establish linked server connection when I use connect to Server A via SSMS and then try to setup the linked server connection.

I do have a sneaking suspicion the issue with trying to create connection via SSMS might be the VPN/firewall since I can establish the linked server connection when I RDP into server A.

Scenario #1

  1. RDP into Server A (on same AD as my work laptop)
  2. use SQL Server 2005 Management Studio and estable Linked Server connection to Server B (on same AD)
  3. I am able to successfully test the Linked Server connection to Server B from Server A

Scenario #2

  1. Connect to Server A's SQL Server using SQL Server 2005

  2. Try to establish linked server connection from Server A to Server B inside SSMS

  3. The connection fails and throws the following error message:

Named Pipes Provider: Could not open a connection to SQL Server [5]. OLE DB provider

"SQLNCLI" for linked server "" returned message "Login timeout expired".

OLE DB provider "SQLNCLI" for linked server "" returned message "An error has occurred while establishing a connection to the server. When connecting to SQL Server 2005, this failure may be caused by the fact that under the default settings SQL Server does not allow remote connections.". (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 5)

Questions Any ideas why? Is there something on my laptop that is blocking the linked server connection? The reason why I need a linked server connection is so that I can run internal desktop applications; my workaround is to RDP into another server so that I can establish linked server connection

1 Answer 1


How have you defined the linked server? Have a look at the below question on SO to see if it helps:


  • I used SQL Authenticaton to establish linked connection from Server A to Server B. When I RDP into Server A the connection works, but when I try to establish link by connecting to Server A via SSMS, the link fails. It's weird because I can establish link from localhost to Server B as well.
    – AbeP
    Feb 27, 2014 at 9:29
  • I am also referencing the server by name and not IP address
    – AbeP
    Feb 27, 2014 at 9:36
  • Try using the IP address instead. Feb 28, 2014 at 0:36

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