SQL Server 2008 Internals & Troubleshooting


You need more than just SQL Server engine knowledge – you need to know how CPU, memory, and storage affect your database server.  This book goes beyond typical internals books and gives you useful information that will help you troubleshoot SQL Server problems every day.  We give you invaluable advice that brings together—and simplifies—practical internal information concerning SQL Server along with troubleshooting techniques and methodologies.

Our book, Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals & Troubleshooting, is packed with real-world examples of ways to effectively use troubleshooting tools and tips like:

Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting Book

Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting Book

  • The lifecycle of a query to establish an understanding of the fundamental concepts and architectures
  • Memory including physical components, Windows memory management, and SQL Server’s own memory architecture
  • SQL Server wait types and how to monitor them with Extended Events
  • Knowledge to confidently specify and monitor your storage performance requirements
  • SQL Server’s locking model, the internal use of latches, and row versioning

When you’re convinced that it’s the right resource for you, you can order the book today.

New review by @PinalDave!

MVP and noted blogger Pinal Dave posted a review of Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting, and we’re absolutely honored by what he had to say.  He starts by saying:

“Having a book on internal and associating that with real life is “almost” an impossible task. The reason for using the word “almost” is because this book has accomplished this very well. This internals book is written by keeping real life scenarios as top focus. The highlight of the book is that it teaches how to use internals to troubleshoot the real life issues of performance, storage, query processing and all the other important aspects of SQL Server – A must-have book for everybody who is a hands-on DBA/Developer.”

Thanks for such a thumbs-up review, Pinal!  We’d also like to thank him for posting it on Amazon.com as well – we’re up to eight 5-star reviews!

You can buy Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting from Amazon, or pick up the PDF version at Wiley.

Great Book Reviews of Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting

Over at Amazon UK, the European readers are starting to chime in with great reviews:

Jorge Segarra with Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting

Jorge Segarra with Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting

Mark Anderson writes:

“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!”

Chirag Roy writes:

“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!”

And R. Douglas writes:

“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!”

You can read the book reviews at Amazon UK.

And the happy user pictured above is Jorge Segarra (BlogTwitter), founder of SQL University, who received his copy for winning our bad job description contest.

What are you waiting for?  Pick up your own copy of Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting today!

Book Now Available as a DRM-Free PDF!

Want to buy a DRM-free version of Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting in PDF format?

The good news is that you can buy the PDF version now from Wiley!

The bad news is that it costs $59.99, although if you use the discount code NODRM during checkout, you’ll get 20% off, bringing it down to $48.  That’s still $10 more than the paperback version at Amazon.

In the comments on the publisher’s announcement about DRM-free PDF downloads, readers are voicing their opinion about the format and the pricing.  If you’d like to thank Wiley for making a DRM-free version available, or if you’ve got questions about the pricing, feel free to voice your opinion there.

Up to #2 in Amazon Bestsellers!

In the Relational Databases category at Amazon, we’ve moved up to #2 – just behind Ben Forta’s “Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes.”  While we can’t claim to teach you that quickly, we’re glad that people are still buying the book anyway. ;-)

On the Amazon Bestsellers List!

On the Amazon Bestsellers List!

Amazon’s sales rankings change hourly, but you can check our status right now.  Thanks so much for your support!

Featured in the PASS Connector Newsletter

Would you look at that!

Featured Book in the PASS Connector

Featured Book in the PASS Connector

The nice folks at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) featured our book in the monthly PASS Connector email newsletter sent out to all their members.  If you’d like to stay up to date on SQL Server news, you can join PASS for free.

We also picked up another 5-star review on Amazon from Michael Thomas, who wrote:

“I recommend this book to everyone. I tell people it just came out, and they look curious because mine’s getting worn. The info is clear and concise, and doesn’t ramble, so I like it.

A funny example happened running a small VM with SQL Server. It was hanging infrequently and crashing because of RAM memory issues and disk swaps. I had imported the OS into VMware workstation on my laptop, but it had PAE enabled. Disabling PAE, going from 8 to 4KB pages, saved the VM 200MB total RAM utilization. After checking/setting other SQL Server memory settings, and monitoring counters, the system is stable. The memory chapter helped me do all the right things.”

Thanks, Michael, and thanks PASS.  We appreciate your support.

Ugliest Job Description Contest

We got an email this morning from a company that wanted a DBA with experience managing >200TB databases.  The salary started at $60,000.  That provoked a series of laughs on Twitter, and it got us thinking – what would be the worst SQL Server job description out there?

Dig back into your past, and your friends’ pasts, and think back to the jobs you’ve had.  What was the worst job environment you had?  Post it here in the comments before Monday, February 1st, and we’ll draw a random entry to win a copy of Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting signed by Brent Ozar, one of the authors.

Open to residents of the US, Canada, and the EU only (sorry, international shipping’s a mess.)  One entry per person only.  We reserve the right to delete any entries, especially yours.

DBAs and developers – let’s hear how bad you’ve had it!

Update February 1st: we picked a winner!  Well, two of them actually: we’re giving away copies to both Jorge Segarra and Kelly Martinez.  Congratulations, and thanks for playing!

Interview with Author James Rowland-Jones

We sat down with James Rowland-Jones to learn a little more about him and why he took on the project.

Tell me a little bit about yourself – what’s a typical day like for you?

JRJ. I like to start the day with a hot shower. I do like baths too (I am British after all) but showers are definitely the way to go first thing in the morning.

That’s not exactly what I meant. What’s a typical working day like for you?

JRJ. Ohhhh. Right. Well at the moment it normally means flying out to Amsterdam at the beginning of the week to work on a BI/DW/DM project we have running out there. I work for EMC Consulting – part of EMC – and advise on SQL Server deployments, troubleshooting and also project work (both selling and delivery).

How’d you originally find out about the book?

JRJ. Christian Bolton rang me up and asked me if I wanted to be involved. He’s a great guy and he gave me this opportunity.  Originally I was just down to Tech Edit some chapters but then an opportunity arose for me to be more heavily involved. I leapt at the chance and went for it. However, I didn’t really, really understand what I was signing up for…

What do you mean?

JRJ. Writing chapters is hard work! I had no idea it would be this tough. In some respects it was one of the toughest things I have had to do.  All the research is one thing but then you need to think about how you are going to saying something interesting or different compared to those that have gone before you. It was an utter time toilet.

Time Toilet?

JRJ. Yup. You flush away a lot of time writing original content.

What chapters did you work on, and why did you decide to write them?

JRJ. I’ll answer this one in reverse order.  I wrote the chapters that were offered to me :) .  There was a slight chance that I could have written the extended events chapter. However, Jonathan Kehayias came onboard for that one and if there is one person in the world you want writing that chapter it is him. So I wrote the locking and latches chapter and also the SQL trace and profiler chapter.

Writing a book is one heck of a lot of work.  What made you want to do it?

JRJ. It’s just one of those things I’ve always wanted to do.  Is it vain to say that I love the fact that my name comes up if you search for me on Amazon?

Yeah it is.

JRJ. Then the answer is vanity. Oh and something that my kids can keep. Books last forever.

They must be delighted.

JRJ. Oh yes. I hope one day they like the fact that their Dad was a published author and they have that to remember me by. Although I expect they’d have preferred it was more along the lines of Harry Potter.

How come?

JRJ. If you are 8 years old and not offended by wizards then Harry Potter is the coolest thing in the world.  My son Oliver loves the boy Potter.  He’s probably quite keen on Hermione but that’ll be for entirely different reasons… Whilst I hope the book is popular I doubt very much we’ll be troubling the likes of JK Rowling on the best seller lists.

While researching and reviewing your chapters, was there anything about SQL Server that surprised you?

JRJ. Yes actually there was quite a bit.  The functional richness of Profiler continues to surprise me. There is always someone out there that can show you a trick with profiler that you’ve never seen before.  On the disappointing side of surprise I’d have to say that the product group could do more to document latches.  Information on latches is pretty thin on the ground. That part of the book was a real challenge and am indebted to Bob Ward and Thomas Kejser in particular for their help with this part of the book.

You want me to play WHO?

You want me to play WHO?

When we make the book into an epic action movie, who will play you?

JRJ. There’s only one person who could play me and that is the majestic Simon Pegg (he of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and latterly Scottie from Star Trek Fame).  Not only is he a great comic actor but also a great writer so I think I’d want him.

When you picture somebody reading the book, what kind of person do you think of?

JRJ. Someone who is asleep. Kidding. However, if they haven’t had a snooze at some point during my locking chapter I would advise some form of holiday.

How’d you first get started with SQL Server?

JRJ. I was working on a mainframe at Ford Motor Company and an opportunity arose to work on this new multi million $ project building a new CRM system. I cross trained and joined the team as a Junior DBA.  First job was to consolidate the previous architectures client server database model to a centralised web based architecture and upgrade from 6.5 to 7. Two years later we implemented a stretch-cluster with EMC Geospan on SQL2000! Doing Geo clustering in 2002 was pretty cool.

Do you think you’ll do another book, and if so, what would you like to write about next?

JRJ. Yes I expect I’ll try again. I’d love to re-do bits of this one for SQL 11.  Even now there are things I’d like to add…  I fancy trying to do something around Data Based Solutions Architecture – especially in the BI/DM space.  Patterns and Practices that sort of thing.  Consolidate my learning from experience in the field so to speak.  What do you reckon?

YAWN… Is that the time already – just as well there’s only one question left :) .  Seriously though, that sounds interesting but also probably tough to do – have you not learned your lesson?

JRJ. Probably not. The rose-tinted spectacles are firmly in place.

If there’s one thing you hope DBAs take away from this book, what is it?

JRJ. Who the vigili urbani are…

Book Shipments Arriving Now!

Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting

Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting

Great news – the book is shipping out to database administrators everywhere! We’ve heard from DBAs in America and Europe that they’ve received their copies, and bloggers have been sent copies for review as well.

Borders Books has started stocking the book in local bookstores. You can check availability on the Borders web site using the “Check Store Inventory” box on the right, and reserve your copy without leaving your chair. Barnes & Noble has not started stocking the book yet, but you can check availability on their site too.

We’ve gotten four 5-star reviews on Amazon including one from James Cornell, who wrote:

“I received the book last week and have been reading it daily. Lots of great information provided in a clear and concise format. This is definitely a book for all levels of SQL DBA’s to keep on the desk.”

That’s great, James!

Bought the book on Amazon? Leave us a review! Other DBAs need help figuring out what books to buy, and your opinion carries a lot of weight. Take a few minutes to write a quick review to tell readers what you liked and didn’t like. Thanks for your help in getting the word out there!

SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting Now Available on Amazon!

The book is now in-stock at Amazon, and the initial reviews are in!  So far, we’ve got two five-star reviews!

Granted, the reviews are from Brent’s sister and a friend, and both of them are more funny than accurate.  If you like funny Amazon reviews, check out the reviews for Tuscan Milk.  Clearly, some folks have a little too much time on their hands.

Download Chapter 1 Free!

You can download Chapter 1 of Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting now for free!  Go to Wiley’s web page for the book, and click on Read Excerpt 1.

Chapter 1 covers SQL Server Architecture, and addresses:

  • Understanding database transactions and the ACID properties
  • Architectural components used to fulfill a read request
  • Architectural components used to fulfill an update request
  • Database recovery and the transaction log
  • Dirty pages, checkpoints, and the lazywriter
  • Where the SQLOS fits in and why it’s needed

Go get your free education, and if you like that chapter, you can preorder the book now from Amazon.  We’re hearing it might be officially available next Monday!