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Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting [Paperback]

Christian Bolton , Justin Langford , Brent Ozar , James Rowland-Jones , Steven Wort
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Dec 2009
A hands–on resource for SQL Server 2008 troubleshooting methods and tools SQL Server administrators need to ensure that SQL Server remains running 24/7. Authored by leading SQL Server experts and MVPs, this book provides in–depth coverage of best practices based on a deep understanding of the internals of both SQL Server and the Windows operating system. You′ll get a thorough look at the SQL Server database architecture and internals as well as Windows OS internals so that you can approach troubleshooting with a solid grasp of the total processing environment. Armed with this comprehensive understanding, readers will then learn how to use a suite of tools for troubleshooting performance problems whether they originate on the database server or operating system side. Topics Covered: SQL Server Architecture Understanding Memory SQL Server Waits and Extended Events Working with Storage CPU and Query Processing Locking and Latches Knowing Tempdb Defining Your Approach To Troubleshooting Viewing Server Performance with PerfMon and the PAL Tool Tracing SQL Server with SQL Trace and Profiler Consolidating Data Collection with SQLDiag and the PerfStats Script Introducing RML Utilities for Stress Testing and Trace File Analysis Bringing It All Together with SQL Nexus Using Management Studio Reports and the Performance Dashboard Using SQL Server Management Data Warehouse Shortcuts to Efficient Data Collection and Quick Analysis Note: CD–ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

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Frequently Bought Together

Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting + Inside Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008: T-SQL Querying (Developer) + SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled (Expert's Voice in SQL Server)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (29 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470484284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470484289
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 3.1 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

An in–depth look at SQL Server and best practices for troubleshooting When faced with a variety of SQL Server issues, you need to be able to troubleshoot SQL Server as well as its underlying operating system. To that end, this author group of SQL Server experts presents you with invaluable advice that brings together—and simplifies—practical internal information concerning SQL Server along with troubleshooting techniques and methodologies. Packed with real–world examples of ways to effectively use troubleshooting tools, this book shows you how to efficiently and accurately determine the root of your SQL Server problem so you can successfully resolve it. Escorts you through the lifecycle of a query to establish an understanding of the fundamental concepts and architectures Examines the use of memory including the physical components, Windows memory management, and SQL Server′s own memory architecture Reviews SQL Server wait types and how to monitor them with Extended Events Equips you with the knowledge to confidently specify and monitor your storage performance requirements Details SQL Server′s locking model, the internal use of latches, and row versioning Shows you how to use SQLDiag, RML Utilities, SQL Nexus, the Management Data Warehouse, and how to build your own SQL Server Management Studio reports Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think. Written by programmers for programmers, they provide a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved. Programmer Forums Join our Programmer to Programmer forums to ask and answer programming questions about this book, join discussions on the hottest topics in the industry, and connect with fellow programmers from around the world. Code Downloads Take advantage of free code samples from this book, as well as code samples from hundreds of other books, all ready to use. Read More Find articles, ebooks, sample chapters and tables of contents for hundreds of books, and more reference resources on programming topics that matter to you.

About the Author

CHRISTIAN BOLTON is the Technical Director for Coeo Ltd., a leading provider of SQL Server consulting and managed support services in the UK and Europe. Prior to this Christian worked for 5 years at Microsoft, leading the SQL Server Premier Field Engineering team in the UK. He is a Microsoft Certifi ed Architect, Master and MVP for SQL Server, and co–author of Professional SQL Server 2005 Performance Tuning. He works out of London and lives in the south of England with his wife and children. He can be contacted at Christian authored chapters 1, 2, 7, 13 and the online chapter 16 in addition to lending his authoring expertise where needed on other chapters and functioned as the lead author for the entire project. JUSTIN LANGFORD leads the Managed Support team for Coeo Ltd, delivering outsourced 24x7 operations for mission–critical SQL Server platforms. Before joining Coeo, Justin worked for Microsoft in the Premier Field Engineering team and has worked with some of Microsoft’s largest fi nance and government customers in Europe. Justin co–authored Wrox Professional SQL Server 2005 Performance Tuning and lives in London with his girlfriend, Claire. Outside work he enjoys sailing and has a keen interest in classic British sports cars. Justin can be contacted at Justin authored chapters 9, 11, 12, and 15. BRENT OZAR is a SQL Server Expert for Quest Software. He has over a decade of broad IT experience, performing SQL Server database administration, systems administration, SAN administration, virtualization administration, and project management. In his current role, Brent trains DBAs on performance tuning, disaster recovery, and virtualization. He has spoken around the globe at events for PASS, SQLBits, SSWUG, and other organizations. Brent founded the Virtualization Virtual Chapter for the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS), and serves as the Editor–in–Chief at Brent blogs at and discusses diverse topics at When he’s not talking SQL Server, he enjoys traveling, working with social media, snorkeling, and sampling new restaurants. He is the author of chapters 4 and 14. JAMES ROWLAND–JONES works for EMC Consulting EMEA as an Advisory Consultant. His principle focus is the delivery of large, scalable, data warehousing, and business intelligence projects. Within this fi eld James specializes in data integration, database architecture, and performance tuning. He is very active in the technical community and is one of the organizers for SQLBits, Europe’s largest SQL Server community conference. James has received the Microsoft MVP award for 2009 and 2010. You can fi nd him online at, twitter (@jrowlandjones), linkedin, or even using an old fashioned email, james.rowland– James authored chapters 6 and 10. JONATHAN KEHAYIAS is a SQL Server MVP, MCITP Database Administrator and Developer, who got started in SQL Server in 2004 as a database developer and report writer in the natural gas industry. After spending two and a half years working in T–SQL, in late 2006, he transitioned to the role of Database Administrator. He has experience in upgrading and consolidating SQL environments, and has experience in running SQL Server in Virtual Environments on VMWare ESX 3.5+. He is a member of the Tampa SQL Server User Group and a regular speaker about SQL Server at events. Jonathan authored chapter 3. CINDY GROSS started her SQL Server life as a DBA with a hospital and health plan company in 1993, and moved to Microsoft in 2000 where she has worked ever since. Her roles at Microsoft have included PSS Product Support Engineer, SQL Content Lead, Yukon Readiness Lead, and most recently Dedicated Support Engineer (DSE), all for SQL Server. Cindy enjoys delivering training throughout the United States as well as in Europe and India, including presentations at SQL PASS. In 2008 she started the Boise SQL Server User Group, an affi liate of the site (where she is a worldwide SQL Server Community Leader) to share SQL Server wisdom in the Idaho SQL Server community. Most recently she obtained the Microsoft Certifi ed Master: SQL Server Qualifi cation, which was a hard–fought prize. Over the years Cindy has learned from many wonderful friends and colleagues and they all deserve a word of thanks for contributing to her success. Cindy authored chapter 8. STEVEN WORT has been working with SQL Server since the early days of SQL Server way back in 1992–93. He is currently a developer in the Windows Division at Microsoft, where he works on performance and scalability issues on large database systems for the Windows Telemetry team. Steven has been at Microsoft since 2000. Prior to working in the Windows Division, Steven spent 2 years working in the SQL Server group, working on performance and scalability. Steven’s fi rst 3 years at Microsoft were spent working in support as an escalation engineer on the SIE team. During this time, Steven was able to travel the world working with some of Microsoft’s customers on their performance and scalability issues. Before coming to Microsoft, Steven spent 20 years working in the United Kingdom as a freelance consultant, specializing in database application development. When Steven isn’t busy working, he can be found spending time with his family and enjoying many fi tness activities in the outdoors of the Pacifi c Northwest. Steven authored chapter 5.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're mad if you don't get this book! 1 Mar 2010
I'm not a SQL Server expert by any stretch of the imagination but I had a customer who was experiencing real performance issues with our application. I'd tried collecting the necessary data from Perfmon and Profiler myself and got into all sorts of problems. I had way too much data and had no idea how to present it or even if it was the right data to tell me what I needed to know. I'd bought the book and had it for a couple of weeks but hadn't had the time to read it.

I got so exasperated I stopped everything I was doing and sat for an evening and read through a couple of sections about the tools available to collect performance related data - SQLDiags, Perfstats etc. The next day, within 30 minutes I had a database with reports showing me all the information I needed.

The following day we ran a whole bunch of tests using the new tools introduced in this book and we found the major problem that was causing performance issues in the app.

These guys have written a fantastic book obviously from real life practical experience, not theory. Well done guys and thanks for your help!

Now I've got to find the time to sit down and read the book front to back!

TIP! One thing that wasn't in the book is what to do if you've collected some performance data, run ReadTrace to load it into the PerfAnalysis db and then you want to run another set of tests but keep the original set of results for later analysis. Luckily I went to a SQL PASS user group where Christian Bolton did a presentation and reminded us that when you use this tool you need to rename the PerfAnalysis database first before running your next collection of data otherwise you'll overwrite your previous data collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the "De Facto" books on SQL Server 22 April 2010
I met Christian Bolton a number of years ago when I done a course with him at Microsoft under a Premier Contract and knew from that how much he knew about the depths of SQL Server, and this book shows that this is still the case, along with his co-authors.

It is clearly laid out and the authors have written in a style that makes it easy reading - unlike other technical books which can be (very) dry and can only really used as a reference. It dives in deep into the internals of SQL Server without overwhelming you and gives real world examples on how the knowledge did (or could have) resolved an issue. It also covers all areas related to SQL Server, from the network and storage through to the actual processor architecture and operating system you will be using.

There are areas that will be of use to developers (indexes/tuning etc) that would help them to understand the challenges of operational systems but I would say that this is aimed directly at the Production DBA whose neck is on the line. If this is you - make this your top book - get it, read it, re-read it, and keep it to hand because it will help you out one day

My only gripe with the book is that it is so good I could loose work....

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Whether you're using this book to study those awkward concepts for exams or are having issues on your production boxes this book is an absolute must have as it doesn't just deal with SQL Server but arms you with the information you need to know around SQL Server to allow you administer your environment successfully.

I was enticed to buy this book after attending sessions by several of the authors at SQLBits and various SQL user groups around the UK, these guys really know their stuff and present with real confidence. This contributes to a flowing writing style which is missing from many technical books. The only complaint I would have is that it should come with a warning on the front cover for your partner as you won't be able to put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Performance Book 14 April 2010
By underthethumb VINE VOICE
First of all a disclosure as some of the other reviewers have omitted to mention this: I have met with both Christian and Justin and know them from a business perspective. They are both SQL Server experts and very qualified to write this book.

The book covers two main areas: internal architecture and performance tuning. The former concentrated on the parts of the internals that are most relevant to the latter (so if you need to see all the specifics on the internals I would still recommend Kalen Delany's book: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Internals (Pro - Developer) as this is still the best overall book in this area. The section on hardware is particularly good though and I haven't seen it covered as well elsewhere.

The second half of the book covers troubleshooting and performance tuning. It gives very good coverage of this looking at it from all angles. It is certainly a very good place to start from and by doing this you will be given the information you need to resolve problems. Where I felt that it was slightly weaker was in the next step of actually resolving those issues; though it is stll overall a very good reference.

Overall, a highly recommended book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Read For SQL Developers and DBAs 21 Feb 2010
This is an excellent book for anyone who works with SQL Server on a daily basis. As the name implies it is for people who want to go deeper to understand what is happening under the hood rather than a beginners guide. That said it is a tribute to the authors that they have managed to present such a technical subject in such a clear and easily digestible form.

The information contained in this book would be difficult to find by searching on the internet and clearly comes from a extensive knowledge of the subject.

Cant recommend it enough.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stop scratching your head and read this.
A really good investment, this book paid for its self in the first week. Just think how much hardware costs, then factor in making the most of what you have. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Simon_K
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have SQL book.
This is one of those must have SQL Server books. It is packed with useful information at the lower levels and helpful advice on how to troubleshoot. Read more
Published 18 months ago by J. Gurgul
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Must Have
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So well written it's as easy to follow and just as enjoyable as reading a childrens bedtime story. Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars An overdue review
I purchased this book a while ago, heavily recommend it if you want to increase your level of support for SQL Server 2008 and get to grips with some of Microsofts own practices for... Read more
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If you're looking after SQL Server 2008 and have reached the point where you realise "you know what you don't know" then this is the book that will fill in the gaps in your SQL... Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential knowledge from community experts
This book is an excellent insight for anyone who wants to know more about how SQL Server works and gets frustrated by the lack of depth official Microsoft documentation gives. Read more
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book in a SQL DBA's arsenal!
Having attended various sessions on performance analysis and troubleshooting of SQL Server by the writers from this book at various SQL Server Community events my expectations from... Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2010 by Chirag Roy
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