Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure
Article Index
Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure
Chapters 5 - 6
Chapters 7 - 10
Chapters 11 - 15; Conclusion

Chapter 11. Perform Administration using T-SQL and PowerShell

The chapter opens with a discussion about the CREATE DATABASE command, and its default properties (e.g. CHECKSUM). Some useful SQL code is provided to create a database, create an elastic pool database, copy a database, and change the service tier.

Next, there’s a helpful discussion on using XEs. However, these have already been discussed in chapter 7. Here, a walkthrough creates an XE to identify long running queries. This is followed with a look at using DMVs to determine the compute usage and resource consumption – again, these are just links to scripts on github, it might have been useful to discuss at least one of these scripts. 

There’s a review on how to configure databases for automatic tuning using SQL code. And a useful look at how to recover deleted databases (again, just knowing this feature is available should be useful). This is followed, appropriately, with protecting resources (e.g. whole databases) from accidental deletion, using read-only and delete locks (the text incorrectly says update lock).

There’s a useful section on managing security using SQL code, including a helpful comparison table between on-premise and Azure SQL security management roles.

A reminder is given that while you can run commands like DBCC CHECKDB, Microsoft typically takes care of any issues reported in the background – one less thing for you to worry about.

Overall, a very useful chapter, but again replete with bad use of English, including: “Extended Events are a powerful, lightweight, powerful tool…”, “How to determine the databases with compute utilization over 75% last days”. 

Although the chapter title says it relates to SQL Code and PowerShell, there is very little PowerShell in the chapter, instead there are some areas using Azure Portal. It says several objects are DMVs but they are system catalog views instead (e.g. sys.databases). It also says “Dynamic Managed View” but this should be “Dynamic Management View”. 

While the XE walkthrough is useful, using the XE wizard within SSMS is typically much easier to use initially. Again, the subheadings levels do not seem to match the ToC, giving a degree of confusion.

Chapter 12. Unified Azure SQL Management

This relatively short chapter shows you how to integrate your IaaS SQL Server VM into the wider Azure environment, so that admin tasks are automated for you. Features offered include: automatic monitoring, patching, backup, and HA.

There are step-by-step instructions on how to enable this automatic registration. In essence you need to register your Azure subscription with the Microsoft.SqlVirtualMachine provider. Instructions are given for using both the Azure Portal and PowerShell. There are various degrees of integration, (i.e. full mode or lightweight mode), and a useful table outlines the capabilities of each.

This was a very useful chapter. Integrating your Azure IaaS SQL VM servers into the wider Azure environment frees you from many admin tasks, allowing you to focus on the business concerns.

Chapter 13. Workload Migration to Microsoft Azure

Perhaps your first encounter with Azure will be migrating your on-premise SQL Servers to Azure, so this should be an important chapter. There are many ways to migrate SQL Servers to Azure SQL, including:  

  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit

  • Data Migration Assistant (DMA)

  • Azure Migrate Service 

Each option is discussed, including its advantages and drawbacks. That said, the chapter misses perhaps the easiest option, from within SSMS you can right-mouse click on an on-premise database, select tasks, then select Deploy Database to Microsoft Azure SQL Database. This latter option assumes there are no roadblocks to migration (e.g. linked server references) – although these can be identified via DMA.

Overall, a very helpful chapter. Again, it is difficult to discern the subtopic-level from the ToC or subheadings.

Chapter 14. Practice Tests with Direct and Scenario Related Questions

The exam consists of short questions together with some longer scenario questions. This chapter has some useful tables, mapping the exam topic with links to Microsoft documents, for you to follow-up. In many ways this provides a useful background to extend your knowledge for the exam.   

Chapter 15. Q&A

This chapter contain 144 questions together with their answers. I found some of the questions are repeated, a few answers are incorrect, and some are badly formatted. 

That said, it provides a useful indication of what to expect in the exam. The chapter ends with a useful section on next steps after the DP-300 exam, and lists the various associated exams, together with links for more information. 

Conclusion 

This book aims to help you pass the Azure Relational Database exam DP-300. The book provides wide coverage of the exam syllabus topics, with useful diagrams, discussions, example code, and step-by-step walkthroughs. However, the book is  significantly let down in several areas with the incorrect use of English such as “This chapter will learn about Azure SQL deployment options to bring value to add the business”. While it is possible to understand the book, more so if you already have a background in SQL Server/Azure, it shouldn’t be this difficult. Several times, on my Kindle book, the subheading-level within the chapters didn’t match the Table of Contents and as I like to know where I am within a topic, for context, this was disturbing. 

Irrespective of the exam, the book’s content is very useful for on-premises SQL Server DBAs who want to move into Azure. I think the book assumes perhaps a few years of SQL Server DBA knowledge. 

This is one of only a few exam books available for DP-300, so in some ways has a captive audience. Depending on your tolerance of bad English, you could rate the book either 2 or 4 out of 5. I did find the book useful for the exam. 

This book needs an English editor! 

See also Ian's review of Exam Ref AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals


Banner

 

To keep up with our coverage of books for programmers, follow @bookwatchiprog on Twitter or subscribe to I Programmer's Books RSS feed for each day's new addition to Book Watch and for new reviews.


The Art of WebAssembly

Author: Rick Battagline
Publisher: No Starch
Date: May 2021
Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-1718501447
Print: 1718501447
Kindle: B08TSYXJTS
Audience: WebAssembly developers
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Ian Elliot
WebAssembly is the coming thing - or so we are told.



Introducing SQL Server 2019 (Packt)

Author: Kellyn Gorman et al
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Pages: 488
ISBN: 978-1838826215
Print: 1838826211
Kindle: B088BNMRQ4
Audience: SQL Server DBAs and Devs
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Ian Stirk

Each new version of SQL Server introduces new features and enhances others. This book aims to discuss some of these [ ... ]


More Reviews



Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 April 2022 )