Friday, April 30, 2010

Virtualization and SAN Basics for the DBA

Brent Ozar (twitter | blog) did a really nice presentation on the basics of server virtualization and SAN for DBAs. You should be able to find a recorded copy on the Pragmatic Works web site along with some of their past presentations. I really like the ones I have seen so far.

Friday, April 9, 2010

SQL PowerShell Extensions - SQLPSX

I have been working with PowerShell for a while now and have been writing my own custom tools. I have used it to implement log shipping on a SQL 2000 Server, I use it to dump things to a WSS site, and I use it for a number of management tasks. Sometimes it can be a PITA as you find yourself writing your own functions and "modules" to do simple, repetitive tasks.

Well the guys in the SQLPSX team on CodePlex have just made my life so much easier and I wanted to make sure my readers (my wife and apparently a couple guys in India according to Google Analytics) were aware of the tools that SQLPSX provide. These are simple, easy to use PoSh modules that can take objects via the pip-line like almost any other command let in PoSh. Make sure you add it to your tool box! Chris Barth did a nice presentation on it at the local PASS chapter meeting at MAXTrain in Mason, OH and it was also written up in last month's SQL Server Mag.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

SQL Server 2008 DBA Exam Resources

I'm breaking this post up into three parts. The first is books that I have used to study for the DBA Upgrade exam and that I believe are perfect for preparing for any of the DBA exams for SQL Server 2008. The second section is for training material I have found on the web. The third section is for books that I believe are good to read for a career as a DBA. If you already work with SQL Server these books will help you get to the next level.

Section One – MCITP: DBA 2008 Books
SQL Server 2008 Administration in Action
SQL Server 2005 DBA Street Smarts: A Real World Guide to SQL Server 2005 Certification Skills - While this book is for SQL Server 2005, all of it is applicable to SQL Server 2008. Learn how to do all of the exercises in this book and know them cold and you will be at a very strong junior level.

If you study these two books and know how to do all of the labs in them in the GUI and via T-SQL you will be a very competent SQL Server professional.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Fundamentals – This will set you up to have a strong fundamental understanding of T-SQL and how it works.

These three books lay the foundation for becoming a very strong SQL Server IT Pro. But I cannot stress that you cannot just read them for this to be true. You need to make these as hands on and practical as possible. Do every single exercise you can. Retype every single line of code and run it.

Section Two – Online Resources

BoL 2008
SQL Server 2008 Virtual Labs
SQL Server 2008 How To Videos and other Resources

Section Three – Beyond the Certification

DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA – Advice and information to help you get and keep your first job a s a full-time DBA.
SQL Server 2008 Troubleshooting and Internals
SQL and Relational Theory – Learn the fundamental concepts of Relational Database theory and how to apply it to your T-SQL.
Beginning Database Design: from Novice to Professional
SQL Server MVP Deep Dives – Advice and knowledge from the best professionals in the field.

Monday, April 5, 2010

DMVs Related to Disk I/O

Objective: Designing a Monitoring Strategy

Sub-objective: Design a monitoring solution at the operating system level

This is a list of DMVs I have encountered in my studies of I/O as it pertains to SQL Server. I have included a brief description from the MSDN article as well as link to the article itself. These will be highly important, not only from a certification level, but also from a practical level. This list is in DBA Survivor by Thomas LaRock and many of them are also found in sources like SQL Server 2008 Administration in Action by Rod Colledge and the chapter entitled My Favorite DMVs and Why by Aaron Bertrand in MVP Deep Dives.