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Book Review – Getting Started with SQL Server 2014 Administration

I started working on SQL Server with version 2000 (back in yr2005), then upgraded to 2005 (in yr2008), skipped 2008 version, jumped to 2008 R2 (in yr2011), then 2012 (in yr2012) and now finally 2014 very recently.

Now “SQL Server 2014” looks very competitive if you compare it with other vendors in terms of DB Engine, BI Suite, Administration, Cloud Computing, and the latest In-Memory processing, all bundled in a single suit.

–> SQL Server 2014 is packed with new and robust features like:
1. In-Memory OLTP
2. Updatable ColumnStore Indexes for Data Warehouse
3. Enhanced AlwaysOn, Azure VMs for Availability replicas
4. Managed Backup to Azure
5. SQL Server Data Files in Azure
6. Encrypted Backups
7. Delayed durability
8. Buffer Pool Extension (with SSD)
9. Incremental Stats

“Getting Started with SQL Server 2014 Administration” book is authorized by Gethyn Ellis {B|L|T} and covers most of these features in Detail and in simple steps. I’ve also talked about some of these features on my previous blog post [link], and will be writing in future also.

Getting started with SQL server 2014 Adm_Front cover_2413EN

–> The book contains following chapters:

Chapter 1: SQL Server 2014 and Cloud
Chapter 2: Backup and Restore Improvements
Chapter 3: In-Memory Optimized Tables
Chapter 4: Delayed Durability
Chapter 5: AlwaysOn Availability Groups
Chapter 6: Performance Improvements

The book starts (Chapter-1) by giving an introduction to the Cloud and how Microsoft Azure SQL Database enables your SQL Server database on Cloud in easy & graphical steps, which includes:
1.1. Creating Azure SQL DB
1.2. Integrating Azure Stirage
1.3. Creating Azure VMs

On Chapter-2 its talks about Backup & Restore improvements in 2014, which includes:
2.1. Database backups/restore to a URL and Azure Storage
2.2. SQL Server Managed Backup to Microsoft Azure
2.3. Encrypted Backups

Chapter-3 tells you about new In-Memory functionality by creating:
3.1. In-Memory Tables & Indexes
3.2. Native compiled Stored Procedures

Chapter-4 discuss about Delayed Durability and how it can help improve performance by using in-memory transaction log feature, which delays writing transaction log entries to disk.

Chapter-5 talks about enhancements to AlwaysOn Availability Groups and following:
5.1. Using Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines as replicas
5.2. Building AlwaysOn Availability Groups
5.3. Creating/Troubleshooting Availability Group

Last Chapter-6 talks about lot of improvements in Performance, which includes:
6.1. Partition switching and indexing, now it is possible for individual partitions of partitioned tables to be rebuilt.
6.2. Updatable and new Clustered ColumnStore Indexes.
6.3. Buffer pool extensions, will allow you to make use of SSD (Solid-State Drives) as extra RAM on your DB server, thus by providing an extension to the Database Engine buffer pool, which can significantly improve the I/O throughput.
6.4. New Cardinality estimator and better query plans.
6.5. Update Statistics incrementally instead of a full Scan.

PROS: The book covers most of the new features in SQL Server 2014, so it is good for DBAs and Developers who already have prior experience in SQL Server 2012 Admin and Dev. Overall a good book which gives good insights into SQL Server 2014, Azure and new features.

CONS: Not on negative side, but for newbies and junior DBAs I would suggest to get hold of some basic DBA book and stuff first then graduate to this book.

Download/Buy book Here [Packt Publishing].

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