I instantly liked the book. The first part of the book takes the reader into the internals of SQL Server. Chapter 1 explains, briefly, the architecture of SQL Server and uses a SELECT query to show how all the internal components come together to execute & return the results back to the user. Next few chapters talk about h/w components, memory, & storage systems. The chapter on tempdb is particularly interesting as it shows the way to optimizing tempdb performance and warns us about the pitfalls of leaving the tempdb unattended. Locking & Latches have always been subjects left alone by most DBAs. This book present them in such a way that it becomes easy to understand and be friends with them again. The chapter also covers the basics of isolations levels, locks etc.
Part two of the book dives into the diagnostics and troubleshooting arena. First off, the book deals with the correct approach/best practices of troubleshooting and analysis. There are a plethora of diagnostics tools available today and sometimes the DBA is clueless about the quality of these tools. The book meticulously covers some of such solid tools like Performance Monitor, PAL, SQLDIAG, SQL Nexus, Powershell etc. There is one chapter dedicated to each of these tools. Extended events have come to the forefront with SQL Server 2012. There is now an inbuilt graphical interface that can be used. The best part is that they have a very low impact on the overall performance. Extended events are covered thoroughly in the book. The last chapter deals with SQL Server virtualization and how to use it within the enterprise.
Overall, I will give two thumbs up to the book. This can easily become a reference guide for any DBA during his day-to-day job responsibility. I will definitely recommend the book to my fellow DBAs.