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.
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....
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!
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.
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.
This SQL Server 2008 Troubleshooting book, is the definitive guide for reviewing and optimizing your SQL Server 2008 environment. There is something inside for any type of DBA - whether they are reasonably new to their SQL 2008 environment or a seasoned and experienced Senior SQL DBA. The authors of this book have drawn on their vast experience with SQL Server and have written in some great content for us all to read through, in an nice 'n' easy and understandable format. This book leads on brilliantly from their other SQL Server 2005 Performance Tuning Guide - great stuff and thanks !!
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. Instead, the book written by community recognised experts who live and breath SQL Server share what they consider to be key and essential knowledge about how the platform which powers many critical business environments actually works.
I'd recommend this book for anyone who works with SQL Server and has a desire to learn more about what happens under the hood.
The guys on this book really do know their stuff and they have managed to make the book interesting, engaging and above all... really useful! The detail in here is obviously from real-world experience and not a mash up of SQL Books Online and TechNet articles.
If you are a SQL Server administrator I would highly recommend that you buy this book, I can guarantee that you will learn something new!
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 Server 2008 knowledge. The advice and best practices found in this book justify it's price ten times over. And it's a good read as well!
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 the book were extremely high and I must tell you this book has far exceeded them.
This book is full of real world examples and actually helps you manage your SQL Server environment better by providing you the tools and methods to not only attack and troubleshoot various issues encountered but even prevent them from happening. The language is subtle with fodder for a wide audience whether you are a novice or master SQL DBA.
This book is a must have in your arsenal as a SQL DBA and I cannot recommend it enough!