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The Martian
The Martian

5.0 out of 5 stars Extreme Entertainer, January 26, 2015
This review is from: The Martian (Kindle Edition)
This is an amazing story of the man who was very sure to be the first person to die on Mars. An extremely positive attitude, childlike humor and creativity takes the stories to absolutely next level. Even though the subject of Mars looks boring - this book is one of the most easy to read book for EVERYONE.

Gray Mountain: A Novel
Gray Mountain: A Novel
by John Grisham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.86
612 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed., January 17, 2015
This review is from: Gray Mountain: A Novel (Hardcover)
This is just a bad book by John.

3 Lives, in search of bliss
3 Lives, in search of bliss
Price: $4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read one book, do yourself a favor and make it "Three Lives.", May 1, 2012
To properly review this story, I have to tell the story of my reading. When I first started this book, I didn't think it would change my life. In fact, I would even say I was unimpressed. The first two paragraphs of the book are very negative and certainly aren't like anything I would normally read.

However, I don't like to leave things unfinished, especially books, so I kept going. And I am so happy that I did. I mentioned before that I didn't think this book would CHANGE MY LIFE - but it did. The story line woke me up and I hadn't even realized that my soul had been asleep!

I read this entire book in a single go. Once I sat down and started reading I could not put the book down and I stayed at my desk until I had finished the whole thing. It is helpful that this book is rather short, but it was still several hours where the only movements I made were to turn pages.

But let me explain. This book attempt to answer the question "Why me?" If you have had a hard life, or even an easy life, odds are that you have sat down and asked yourself why your life has turned out the way it has. Why have you had good luck or bad luck in your life? Why have certain things happened? The author attempts to answer this question by exploring three lives (as the title suggests) that the main character, Ray Cordoza, experiences after he dies in a car accident. Yes, the main character dies in the first few pages, but that is what makes this story so special.

Ray Cordoza experiences three very different lives after his death: Anwer Al Safi, son of a devout Muslim, Dr. Jill Clayton, a scientist and teacher in America, and then Tenzin Lhamo, a young Tibetan monk. Each of these lives is obviously very different and helps Ray Cordoza see the world in a very different way and how small things can change our lives so drastically. Believe it or not, looking at things from such different angles has made me feel braver in my own life. I have more courage to go out and experience life, in all its beauty and terror.

Do not misunderstand me, this book has not made me dissatisfied with my own life and wish for something else. It has had quite the opposite effect. It has awakened me to the beauty of my own life, how special every moment is, and how much I have to appreciate. I love my family even more after reading this book, and I didn't think that was possible! I recognize how lucky I am and how many small favors appear to me every day.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I feel that I finally understand the meaning of my life. If you read one book, do yourself a favor and make it "Three Lives."

SQL Server Hardware
SQL Server Hardware
by Denny Cherry
Edition: Paperback
Price: $23.78
42 used & new from $10.87

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where was this book all there years - A Must have book for all!, August 11, 2011
This review is from: SQL Server Hardware (Paperback)
For most people working with relational databases, a lot of time, effort and money is spent on the software. SQL Server Hardware by Glenn Berry focuses on one of the most important, and most overlooked, aspects of setting up SQL server - the hardware (as you may have guessed from the title). If you've ever had a question about the type of hardware you might need and what to do with it once you have it, this book will answer all your questions.

Not only is this book basically an exhaustive look at all aspects of database hardware, the author clearly has a passion for the subject - and that is what makes it a truly great book. The author's enthusiasm and expertise is obvious throughout the book, which makes it interesting as well as informative. The author has a long string of very impressive acronyms after his name - all leading up to the fact that he is a SQL Server MVP, and it shows here in this book.

This book goes into in-depth detail about the best way to install and configure SQL Server on your hardware to get the best performance possible out of your machines. Topics in this book include current and upcoming hardware you should know about, like processors, memory, and storage; how to determine what hardware you need for specific SQL Server uses; the pros and cons for the various versions of Windows server available and why some work better with SQL Server; how to install and configure SQL Server, as well as the patches, fixes, and updates you need to know about. Calling this manual the "bible" of SQL Server hardware would not be an exaggeration.

Honestly the best part of the book is - it answers following questions.
1. What kind of CPU I should use to get best out of my Database?
2. What kind of Memory will improve the caching performance for database?
3. What are the optimal IO settings to avoid performance bottleneck?

Well, the answers are all there in the book, one just have to read it.

If you work with SQL Server, would like to learn how, or just want to be able to communicate with your sysadmin, I recommend that you buy this book. It covers everything from CPU architecture to installing and configuring SQL Server. This is a must-have reference book.

Five Stars!

Beginning SQL Joes 2 Pros: The SQL Hands-On Guide for Beginners
Beginning SQL Joes 2 Pros: The SQL Hands-On Guide for Beginners
by Rick A Morelan
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Better Beginning at Fundamentals - A Solid Beginning - Review from Founder of SQLAuthority, October 20, 2010
Short Review:

This is one book that provides a solid fundamental to the reader along with hands-on experience and in-depth learning. Right now, an error-free book that is closer to real world scenarios is very much in need. This one fundamental book can take the reader for a wonderful ride, where he/she can learn the advanced aspects of the subject very quickly. Instead of pure theory, this book focuses on real diagrams, examples or just a pure old-school-style exercise, which appeals the readers the most.

Detail Review:
Almost all of us agree on the fact that there are very few SQL Server Experts in the industry. There are really not many SQL Server Experts out there when compared to the work load available. There is always demand of good employees everywhere and every time. There has not been a single scenario where a truly talented person has no job, but there have been many instances where a great potential project has been started due to lack of experts. Now the real question is how do these excellent people excel every time? How did they start and how did they ever reach where they are today. The answer is simple - Solid Fundamentals. Solid Fundamentals come from hands-on experience.

The book written by Rick is one of those books I am delighted to read myself. I have referred this book to many professionals and beginners and have received very positive comments. The reason why I personally liked the book is that it is loyal to the title till the last page. I know Rick; he is a master and expert in Database. When you meet him, you won't fail to notice the spark and enthusiasm in his eyes for this technology. He has understood the fundamentals very thoroughly and has expressed deep understanding of the subject. Besides all these, he takes care not to show off his status or knowledge in the book. This book reflects his deep understanding, without arrogance or overuse of the word "I." In fact, his book is one of those books, which does not lose its focus - i.e., the readers - which is all of us.

This book starts with some very basic concepts; if you are an expert or have experience of more than 5 years in database, you can skim through the first 3 chapters. I personally read through them as I had figured out that no matter how much I know, I always learn something new. Chapter 4 on Query Strategies is the point you need to stop and start paying attention to the details. Rick has masterfully laid all the chapters after that and I have personally learned some new tricks as well.

Chapter 9 is again one of those chapters which I recommend for every expert. It talks about transaction control language. This stands important to all of those who do not use transactional control language command on a daily basis. After completing this chapter, I really wanted to read more of it.

The most attractive point of this book is the sections which show up in each chapter - Points to Ponder, Review Quiz, Glossary and Bug Catcher Game. The unique addition here is the Bug Catcher Game. I have no doubt that this section will soon become main stream and you will start finding it in many different books - such a novel idea to learn a subject!

Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5 Star

Note: If my daughter ever decides to learn SQL Server, I will surely ask her to read this book.

DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA
DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA
by Thomas LaRock
Edition: Paperback
Price: $29.97
50 used & new from $22.65

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Rockstar, You and Me! A book for every soul., May 18, 2010
Quick Review: This is indeed a one easy-to-read and fun book. We all work day and night with technology yet we should not forget to show our love and care for our family at home. For our souls that starve for peace and guidance, this one book is the "it" book for all the technology enthusiasts. Though this book was specifically written for DBAs, the reach is not limited to DBAs only because the lessons incorporated in it actually applies to all. This is one of the most motivating technical books I have read.

Detailed Review:
Let us go over a few questions first:
Who wants to be as famous as rockstars in the field of Database Administration?
How can one learn what it takes to become a top notch software developer?
If you are a beginner in your field, how will you go to next level?
Your boss may be very kind or like Dilbert's Boss, what will you do?
How do you keep growing when Eco-system around you does not support you?
You are almost at top but there is someone else at the TOP, what do you do and how do you avoid office politics?
As a database developer what should be your basic responsibility?
and many more...

I was able to completely read book in one sitting and I loved it. Before I continue with my opinion, I want to echo the opinion of Kevin Kline who has written the Forward of the book. He has truly suggested that "You hold in your hands a collection of insights and wisdom on the topic of database administration gained through many years of hard-won experience, long nights of study, and direct mentorship under some of the industry's most talented database professionals and information technology (IT) experts."

Today, IT field is getting bigger and better, while talking about terabytes of the database becomes "more" normal every single day. The gods and demigods of database professionals are taking care of these large scale databases and are carefully maintaining them. In this world, there are only a few beginnings on the first step. There are many experts in different technology fields who are asked to address the issues with databases. There is YOU and ME, who is just new to this work. So we ask ourselves WHERE to begin and HOW to begin. We adore and follow the religion of our rockstars, but oftentimes we really have no idea about their background and their struggles. Every rockstar has his success story which needs to be digested before learning his tricks and tips. This book starts with the same note and teaches the two most important lessons for anybody who wants to be a DBA Rockstar - to focus on their single goal of learning and to excel the technology.

The story starts with three simple guidelines - Get Prepared, Get Trained, Get Certified. Once a person learns the skills, and then, it would be about time that he needs to enrich or to improve those skills you have learned. I am sure that the right opportunity will come finding themselves and they will not have to go run behind it. However, the real challenge for any person is the first day or first week. A new employee, no matter how much experienced he is, sometimes has no clue about what should one do at new job. Chapter 2 and chapter 3 precisely talk about what one should do as soon as the new job begins. It is also written with keeping the fact in focus that each job can be very much different but there are few infrastructure setups and programming concepts are the same. Learning basics of database was really interesting. I like to focus on the roots of any technology. It is important to understand the structure of the database before suggesting what indexes needs to be created, the same way this book covers the most essential knowledge one must learn by most database developers.

I think the title of the fourth chapter is my favorite sentence in this book. I can see that I will be saying this again and again in the future - "A Development Server Is a Production Server to a Developer". I have worked in the software industry for almost 8 years now and I have seen so many developers sitting on their chairs and waiting for instructions from their lead about how to improve the code or what to do the next. When I talk to them, I suggest that the experiment with their server and try various techniques. I think they all should understand that for them, a development server is their production server and needs to pay proper attention to the code from the beginning. There should be NO any inappropriate code from the beginning. One has to fully focus and give their best, if they are not sure they should ask but should do something and stay active.

Chapter 5 and 6 talks about two essential skills for any developer and database administration - what are the ethics of developers when they are working with production server and how to support software which is running on the production server. I have met many people who know the theory by heart but when put in front of keyboard they do not know where to start. The first thing they do opening the browser and searching online, instead of opening SQL Server Management Studio. This can very well happen to anybody who is experienced as well. Chapter 5 and 6 addresses that situation as well includes the handy scripts which can solve almost all the basic trouble shooting issues.

"Where's the Buffet?" By far, this is the best chapter in this book. If you have ever met me, you would know that I love food. I think after reading this chapter, I felt Thomas has written this just keeping me in mind. I think there will be many other people who feel the same way, too. Even my wife who read this chapter thought this was specifically written for me. I will not talk any more about this chapter as this is one must read chapter. And of course this is about real `FOOD`.

I am an SQL Server Trainer and Consultant and I totally agree with the point made in the chapter 8 of this book. Yes, it says here that what is necessary to train employees and people. Millions of dollars worth the labor is continuously done in the world which has faults and incorrect. Once something goes wrong, very expensive consultant comes in and fixes the problem. This whole cycle which can be stopped and improved if proper training is done. There is plenty of free trainings available as well, if one cannot afford paid training.

"Connect. Learn. Share" - I think this is a great summary and bird's eye view of this book. Networking is the key. Everything which is discussed in this book can be taken to next level if one properly uses this tips and continuously grow with it. Connecting with others, helping learn each other and building the good knowledge sharing environment should be the goal of everyone.

Before I end the review I want to share a real experience. I have personally met one DBA who has worked in a single department in a company for so long that when he was put in a different department in his company due to closing that department, he could not adjust and quit the job despite the same people and company around him. Adjusting in the new environment gets much tougher as one person gets more and more experienced. This book precisely addresses the same issue along with their solutions.

I just cannot stop comparing the book with my personal journey. I found so many things which are coincidentally in the book is written as how we developer and DBA think. I must express special thanks to Thomas for taking time in his personal life and write this book for us. This book is indeed a book for everybody who wants to grow healthy in the tough and competitive environment.

Ratting: 5 Stars

Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting
Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting
by Steven Wort
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.73
44 used & new from $3.72

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will make you flip its page instead of going to search engine online., March 9, 2010
Brief Review: 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.

Detail Review: I planned to finish reading this book within a week. Very soon, I realized that I was going over very interesting subjects of SQL Server very quickly and understanding them very well. In fact, I finished reading this book in less than a week, and I have to accept that it offers an interesting journey for its readers. This book is also quite easy to read. This book has addressed some of the complex subjects in such a simple manner that any SQL user can understand it very easily.

The three very important components for any server are CPU, Memory and IO. This book effectively elucidates these three components. The topics usually begin by covering internals which shift to practical implementations after proper amount of internals. In other way, I can say that this book is NOT a usual boring book, which can put you to sleep. Each chapter keeps you interested till the end of it. CPU and IO, which are very important deciding factors for Query cost, are very well explained in the book. This book explains how any query can be understood in terms of internals. After explaining the query internals in terms of CPU and IO, it also explains how the physical memory affects query execution and what are the techniques to improve performance?

This book gives an in-depth explanation of Wait Types and Extended Events. I must admit that I was quite scared of Wait Types and Extended Events thus far and learned how "friendly" they can be after reading this book. In fact, I can really see that how I can use these concepts in my real life scenarios and help my servers to run better and efficiently. This book also covers some topics which do not have much available help online, i.e. SQLDiag, RML Utilities, etc. One who is new to these subjects can easily learn from the basics and soon can move to an advanced level. Again, as mentioned earlier, this book is written by taking the real world into consideration and all these subjects follow the same goal.

In fact, I liked the entire book. However, the chapters which I really enjoyed the most are Chapter 3: SQL Server Waits and Extended Events by Jonathan Kehayias; Chapter 4: Working with Storage by Brent Ozar; and Chapter 5: CPU and Query Processing by Steven Wort. Each chapter is independent of the other chapters; this way, the reader can practically start reading any chapter from anywhere and explore the book according to his/her convenience.

Databases are required because there is a large amount of data available, and keeping the data safe, secure and available is the MOST important task of any database system. The fourth chapter on Storage by Brent covers this important basic concept very thoroughly. The most impressive part of Chapter 4 is that it explains how storage works in real time. While taking about storage, Brent manages to effectively explain the concepts of High Availability and Disaster Recovery as well. Maintenance of storage has always been a challenge, and also there has been a lack of understanding on storage devices and techniques available. This chapter answers few very basic but important questions like when should SAN be used for data storage, and what is its effect on performance? This chapter also explains RAID setup; however, please note that it focuses on "practical internals." After setting up good storage, it is equally important to test it; this chapter continues discussing different tools and methodologies for testing storage. This chapter also covers Windows Server Configuration as well as tuning of software by means of storage devices. Corruption can be significant problem in case of a large database; this chapter also covers the proper usage of DBCC CHECKDB and its best practices.

There is no doubt that this book is written by experts who have extensive experience in the subject, which is covered in different chapters. Solid and thorough content, plenty of code, easy-to-understand diagrams, lots of tips along with each topic and simple language are the key highlights of this book.

Rating: 5 Stars

Summary: There is no doubt that this book is by far one of the best books available for anybody who is interested in SQL Server Internals and applying its knowledge to real world troubleshooting scenarios. I think this is one of the must-have books for understanding SQL Server, and believe me, you will find yourself flipping the pages of the book when you are facing a trouble with the SQL Server instead of using search engine!

Expert SQL Server 2008 Encryption (Expert's Voice in SQL Server)
Expert SQL Server 2008 Encryption (Expert's Voice in SQL Server)
by Michael Coles
Edition: Paperback
Price: $38.42
54 used & new from $4.91

6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Book on Encryption - A must have on every book shelf - Review by Founder of SQLAuthority, November 10, 2009
"What is your opinion on encryption? What I mean is: In a world filled with data, how do you see encryption?" This is the precise question Michael Coles posed to me on March 3rd of this year, while we were heading to Starbucks in Seattle. We were both attending the Microsoft MVP Summit there.

In the information era, security has become one of the most vital aspects of life. Although the topic may seem a little mundane, its importance cannot be overemphasized. It is the pillar of the information age and I shudder to think where we would be without it. We don't leave our houses unlocked and risk thieves or opportunists taking off with our valuables. We also often take precautions, not only to preserve the precious, but also to avoid the sheer hassle of replacement and misuse. So too it should be with our information.

Encryption's roots are extremely old and it has resolved numerous security problems over the years. In days gone by, couriers were entrusted with letters sealed with a royal wax stamp. If on delivery, the seal was broken, it was obvious that there had been a security breach. This very concept evolved as CRC checksum and developed into a complex algorithm. While CRC checksum alerted the end user to the fact that content had been modified, its limitation was that it allowed manipulation of the content to occur in the first place. With encryption, only the authenticated owner can access and modify content.

In response to Michael's question, I began to tell him what I knew about public and private keys. He looked at me doubtfully and asked me directly if I had ever used encryption in my career. My reluctant answer to this was "No". He strongly suggested that I not underestimate its capabilities and explore its possibilities. I took his advice and have since implemented encryption for many of my clients, who are now far safer from unauthorized access to data.

To be very honest, in my experience, not many people know much about the subject beyond a little about public and private keys. You do not often find experts discussing symmetric and asymmetric keys, which are just the tip of the iceberg. SQL Server has come a long way with regard to security. Encryption has taken on a whole new meaning in SQL Server 2008. There are many new features such as Extensible Key Management, Transparent Data Encryption, not to mention the pre-2008 ones such as cryptographic hashing, SQL CLR and many more. In performance terms, these are great enhancements.

The one exception is Transparent Data Encryption, where the whole database is encrypted. This can considerably reduce performance if the SQL Server box is not sufficiently powerful. It this is the case, it is a good time to offload all the encryption and decryption to third-party hardware. SQL Server allows third-party management of encryption and decryption through Extensible Key Management.

Extending the earlier courier analogy, consider the fact that even if our letter is secure and safe in our hands, as soon as we hand it to the courier it is exposed to risk and can be compromised. SQL Server 2008 has many new features, which secure data while it is being communicated between applications. A number of features were introduced that check whether data is manipulated during transmission.

Data is everywhere and taking in terms of Terra Bytes (TB) is the current reality. When a large amount of data needs to be handled, there are two major challenges. The first challenge is the actual encryption process and the resources needed to perform it. The second challenge is how to use the data once it has been encrypted. In a regular database searching through TBs of data can take a very long time. Imagine how long this could take in and encrypted database?

In Seattle, Michael and I discussed these challenges and a few more subjects. The discussion lasted more than four hours. I have always known Michael to be an excellent author. He is renowned in the industry for his expertise of XML and Full Text Search. To my mind, he is an expert who has the extraordinary ability of relating complex concepts in simple terms. No matter how long, boring or complicated the topic, his delivery is always sweet, like chocolate that melts in the mouth.

Michael always addresses uncommon subjects. Perhaps his experience as a Sergeant in the army has given him the spirit to explore the unexplored. I have never before encountered a single book on the subject of encryption for SQL Server and Michael's will a "first".

I recently had the pleasure of reading it and especially like the manner in which he and his co-author, Rodney, explain the significance of encryption. While many of the concepts covered are domain-specific, quite a few topics are common to all and the appendix is a "must read" for anyone planning a security strategy. One thing that really makes this book special is the fact that each module is written independently and you can find solutions by simply reading the relevant one.

I am a hands-on developer and only like books that have a lot of workable examples. With the exception of the first chapter, the book is filled with examples and hands-on experiments. The first chapter in itself is quite unique, as it not only provides a introduction to encryption, but also the very interesting history of encryption. Even non-technical readers will enjoy this.

It is my great pleasure to welcome this one-of-a- kind book to the SQL Server world. There is no doubt that this book is exceptional and will inspire anyone one who is ready to take their current security mechanism to the next level using encryption.

Pinal Dave

The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities (Rational Guides)
The Rational Guide to Building Technical User Communities (Rational Guides)
by Greg Low
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great, one-of-its-kind book for everybody who is interested in building technical user community - Founder, July 4, 2009
Short Review : A Great, one-of-its-kind book for everybody who is interested in building technical user community. There is no other book written on this subject but after this comprehensive book no further reading will be required.

Detailed Review :
This is for the first time in my book review, instead of talking about the book or author, I will introduce myself in a couple of lines to explain why and how this book is helpful to those interested in building community. [...]. I am actively involved with Technical User Group Community all over the world and have been helping many user groups to start, grow and continuously expand successfully. I am helping user groups in capacity of their mentor to overcome any obstacles they face while running the user group.

Author Greg Low is the most experienced person when it comes to community and people. He is a Microsoft Regional Director as well as mentor for Solid Quality Australia. For over a decade, he organized several Queensland User Groups. Greg is looked upon for guidance when User Groups are in need of the most appropriate advice. He is a very renowned person in technical community and does not need any further introduction.

This book focuses on the most important lessons learned by Greg over decades of involvement in technical communities. It provides practical advice on establishing, sustaining and growing these communities. This books is focused on helping user group leaders to deal with any potential pitfalls and contains workaround as well. The book is not limited to only user group leaders. In fact, this book is for everybody who is interested in community. If you are already a member of a community, this book is a perfect guide to help you get the most out of your membership.

The first chapter, which is appropriately named as - "People, Not Technology," sets the pace and keeps up the concept live till the end of the book. In community, staying in focus is very important for people as everything revolves around it. No matter how knowledgeable or renowned a person is in the domain of technology, if he is not a people's person, he cannot become an integral part of community and can never grow. For any technology to survive, support from people is required. Community provides combined power of people to lend strong support to community.Throughout the book, this key concept is cherished and explored.

Greg talks about two very important challenges for any technical community. 1) Finding Speaker and 2) Finding Operational Funds. If these two things are done appropriately the heart of any community, which is "Finding People," comes to shape on its own. I run few User Groups and they are growing tremendously. Recently, we have been discussing about lots of legal issues. That was the prime reason why I chose to read this book. After reading this book through and through, I presented the valuable ideas from this book to my fellow leaders , and we all agreed on them right away. The rich experience that Greg shares with his readers can effectively solve their problems. Because of this book, we were no longer required to spend money on lawyer and instead we will now divert that fund toward our scholarship program.

Each chapter of this book is build to stand alone and it covers the subject with sufficient breadth. I really liked the real-life examples from Greg, where he talks about his friends, fellow MVPs, SQL Server Groups Leaders and other important people of community. As each chapter is written to have independent read, same topics have been covered twice. But what I liked about it is that same subject conveys different meaning when it is presented in a different consent. This particular aspect of the book, makes it a genuine must-read book.

One negative aspect of this book is that a very important checklist of the book is only given to those who will register online. If you have a friend who owns this book and has already registered online, you can ask that friend to pass this important stuff to you. One more thing, I would like to request Greg to include his latest learning from his experience as a Global Community Development of PASS, in the next version of his book. I am sure that more information about international technical user groups can be now included.

Rating : 5 Stars

Summary : A must-have book for everybody who is involved with technical community in any capacity. This is a unique book on this subject.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management and Administration
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management and Administration
by Ross Mistry
Edition: Paperback
Price: $31.72
81 used & new from $0.73

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Book of My Shelf - A Great Concise Book for All DBAs - Review by Founder of, May 5, 2009
Short Summary:
SQL SERVER 2008 is a trusted database platform that provides organizations a competitive edge by allowing them to obtain faster results and thus make improved business decisions. This book covers all the topics that can make Database Administrators efficient and successful.

Detail summary:

This information-rich book aims to enhance the experience of professionals working with SQL Server. It covers a wide array of topics and modules of the SQL Server 2008, for instance, database engine, Analysis Services, Integration Services, replication, Reporting Services, Notification Services, services broker, and full text search. The book provides elaborated guidance on management, administration, and monitoring. Besides, new features such as Policy-Based Management, Compressed Backup, and Fail-over Clustered are covered in depth. The book even has a few chapters dedicated to some of the newly introduced concepts including Powershell, Resource Governor, and Virtualization.

The latest version of SQL Server 2008 is a significant improvement on the previous version. People who have purchased the previous version know that it contains only 300 pages and does not provide comprehensive information. I had criticized the author Ross Mistry for the same. The author took my criticism positively and promised me that the next version of the book will be complete. I am extremely glad that the latest version lives up to my expectations! It is a complete book with over 850 pages and covers every topic related to SQL Server under the sun. So, there is no need to refer anything online. Not to forget that there is an online version this book available for free.

The latest edition of SQL Server 2008 includes some of the great features from the previous edition apart from the various new features to improve a DBA's life. The later chapters of the book focus on some interesting and practical information on improving your efficiency, the scale of your server, and performance. It contains some key new features that will help you manage multiple servers at one time using Policy-Based Management, scale your I/O load using compression, and collect valuable information about your environment using data collectors. This information will certainly make a huge positive difference in your experience of working with SQL Server.

This book assumes that the reader has no experience with installing SQL Server 2008, so it starts with explanation of the basic installation and setup methods and then provides further information. One thing I really appreciate about this book is that it focuses on day-to-day administration, best practices, and industry case scenarios, which is relevant for all SQL Server users. Another attractive fact about this book is that all the topics and examples are based on the new features and functionalities.

One of the most interesting chapters I found in this book is chapter 21 - Consolidating and Vitalizing SQL Server 2008 with Hyper-V. I have not seen any other author presenting this concept in such a simple way. I think the author has done great job in organizing the ideas in a coherent manner. I recommend this useful book to everyone; in particular those interested in learning SQL Server 2008 should start with this book.

Every chapter of the book ends with Best Practices related to that chapter. Let us go over few of them.

"All database users belong to the public database role by default. Avoid using the public database role when assigning permissions unless absolutely necessary."

"Make your key index as narrow as possible - preferably an integer column with nonclustered index on it. "

Rating: 5 Stars

In summary, this is a great concise book for all DBAs. They should definitely adorn their desk with this book for frequent reference, as I have done mine.

Pinal Dave
Founder -

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