Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ramping Up The Reading

Catching up on some reading by Jason's Travel Photography.I haven’t gotten in nearly as much reading in this year as I would have liked. I have spent a lot of time this year writing a couple of books for Apress (Pro SQL Server 2008 Administration and Pro SQL Server 2008 Mirroring). However, I am completely finished with the Administration book and I’m in the final editing phases of the Mirroring book, so I should be able to buckle down and get some extra reading in the last few months of the year.

I did recently finish tech reviewing Beginning T-SQL 2008 by Kathi Kellenberger, so I’m going to count that one. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to get up to speed with T-SQL fast. She starts out by installing the Express Edition of SQL Server and going over the basics, and quickly builds on each topic with every chapter. I really like the way she has placed exercises throughout the chapters allowing the reader to test what they have learned. The way this book is laid out would be very useful as a training guide as well. She not only covers how write T-SQL, she explains why you would use certain techniques over others also taking performance into consideration throughout the book.

I also got Grant Fritchey’s book SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled a few months back and finally finished it today. I strongly believe every Production DBA needs to supplement their skills with a performance tuning book. You can’t do performance tuning justice with just one chapter in a general administration book. I even referenced this book in one of my chapters. I also didn’t focus on performance tuning; I focused on managing query performance (i.e. plan guides and resource governor) because I knew there was no way to cover everything in just one chapter. Grant’s book covers about everything you need to know to find performance problems and then make them go away. I especially liked the Index Analysis chapter and the chapter on Bookmark Lookups. My eyes generally glaze over when I start reading about indexes. For some reason, if I am having trouble sleeping, I just need to start reading about indexes. However, I found it very interesting the way he explained the differences between clustered and nonclusterd indexes and even gave good advice on when each one works best. Definitely a good read.

I am currently reading SQL Server 2008 Internals and The SQL Server Tacklebox. Hopefully I can get through those pretty fast so I can get around to the following books…

Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Step by Step

I also want to read something on System Administration/Engineering and Networking, but I’m not sure what yet. If anyone has any good recommendations from a DBA perspective let me know. Maybe I can get everything in by the end of the year.