SQL Server Essentials For Non-DBAs

In my session today on SQL Server Essentials for Non-DBAs I tried to provide a very high-level overview of key concepts and concerns that ‘reluctant’ or ‘accidental’ DBAs should know about in a very short amount of time. Needless to say, there were gobs of things that I simply couldn’t cover. Which I why I promised this follow-up post with a collection of links to other resources and things that attendees could look into.

More DBA Insights and Training

My presentation today was, in many ways, just a highly abbreviated  version of a 3-part eLearning Series that I gave back in December of 2012 – entitled Essential Skills for SQL Server DBAs, where I went into core concerns about how the SQL Server Engine works, considerations about what you should do with your time as a DBA, and reviews of ways to handle core aspects of being a DBA in more detail. So, if you’re interested in learning more, I’d recommend taking a peek at this series – as it’s one that I get consistently good feedback and reviews on in terms of the pace of the presentation and in terms of the details, insights, and topics covered.

And while it’s NOT a free seminar, you can watch it ‘on-demand’ whenever you get time – which makes it a great resource as well.

In conjunction with that eLearning Series of presentations, I’ve also provided a list of three sets of ‘follow-up’ posts where you can find a lot of valuable links to additional resources and help:
- Session 1
- Session 2
- Session 3

SQL Server Backups

During my presentation I also mentioned the free SQL Server Videos I have available on my SQL Server Videos website – where I have over 2 hours of videos covering backups from a wide variety of angles – including core concepts as well as hands-on videos showing exactly the set of steps needed to backup and restore databases.

Backup and Other Videos

I’ve also got some additional videos dealing with how to copy and move databases, and so on.

But, as I mentioned in my presentation: learning about, reading about, watching videos about, and so on when it comes to backups is absolutely NO substitute for actually ‘getting your hands’ dirty and working on these things yourself. So don’t cheat yourself by skipping hands-on testing and interaction with your backups. Or, as I like to tell my clients who I’m working through backup training with: “The worst time to learn about how to restore a SQL Server backup is when you’re trying to google for a step-by-step tutorial or something AFTER you’ve had a crash and when your boss’ boss’  boss is breathing down your neck wondering when things are going to be back up and running.”

Performance

Another thing I blurred through today was performance. In fact, I barely mentioned it at all. I did, however, mention that I’ve written some white papers for Idera on this very subject – and it’s important to call out that they’ve got a great number of resources available to help you learn more about SQL Server on their Resources Site.

And to help you find the two particular white papers I mentioned today, I’ve provided links for them below:

Essential Performance Tools for SQL Server DBAs
http://www.idera.com/Downloads/WhitePapers/Essential-Performance-Tools-SQL-Server-DBA.pdf

Top 10 SQL Performance Boosters – Increase SQL Server Performance with the Hardware you Already Own:
http://www.idera.com/Downloads/WhitePapers/Top10SQLPerf.pdf

Additional Resources

Finally, another set of resources that I’ve been impressed with over time has been SQLServerCentral.com’s ongoing set of ‘stairways’ learning resources found here.

But, while I’ve really only just glanced at these in the past, some obvious candidates that you might want to look into include their Stairways series on indexes, as well as transaction log management.

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What's Practical SQL Server?

Practical advice, insight, and help for core SQL Server considerations.

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Michael K. Campbell

Michael K. Campbell is a contributing editor for SQL Server Pro and Dev Pro and is an ASPInsider. Michael is the president of OverAchiever Productions, a consultancy dedicated to technical evangelism...
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