|Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Administration|
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Author: Adam Jorgensen et al
Chapter 18 SQL Server 2014 LOG Shipping
Log shipping is a long established method of recovery/HA. It is simple, efficient, and low cost. The chapter starts with a discussion of the various scenarios that can use log shipping (warm standby server, DR solution, and reporting database). There is a step-by-step walkthrough of setting up log shipping, using SSMS, and a brief (and inadequate) example using T-SQL commands.
Monitoring and troubleshooting are only briefly discussed. A planned failover from the primary to the secondary server is discussed.
This chapter provides a good overview of what log shipping is, how to set it up, how to test it, and how to monitor it. Again the other HA options are discussed.
Chapter 19 Database Mirroring
Mirroring is yet another Microsoft HA option. The chapter starts with an overview of what database mirroring is, and its operating modes (high performance, high safety with and without automatic failover). There’s a step-by-step walkthrough of setting up mirroring, using a combination of SSMS and T-SQL.
There is a discussion on monitoring via the use of the Database Mirroring Monitor. Manual and forced failover are explained with example code.
This chapter provides a good overview of what mirroring is, how to set it up, how to test it, and how to monitor it. I do not understand why the different monitoring tools where not explained together in one place. Yet again other HA options are discussed.
Chapter 20 Integration Services Administration and Performance Tuning
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is a subsystem for getting data in various formats, from source to target, and performing any necessary data transformations along the way.
The chapter starts with an overview of what SSIS is, then expands into how to deploy and configure packages, and how to secure and administer SSIS. Finally it discusses common problems and their solutions.
There’s a useful link to the corresponding Wrox publishing’s advanced SSIS book. I had expected to see an example package (e.g. how to export a SQL table to an Excel spreadsheet), but no example was given. I know this book is about administration, but an example would have allowed easier follow-through of the later sections, and also put things into context.
Chapter 21 Analysis Services Administration and Performance Tuning
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) is a subsystem for discovering facts about data (e.g. what products sell most on Tuesdays). The chapter starts with an overview of what SSAS is, then expands into how to administer, deploy, monitor, performance tune, and secure SSAS.
This chapter provides a good introduction to SSAS. There’s a useful link to the corresponding Wrox publishing’s advanced SSAS book (but for SQL Server 2012). Again, no example was provided.
Chapter 22 SQL Server Reporting Services Administration
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is Microsoft’s reporting solution. The chapter opens with how to configure your SSRS server, then expands with setting properties for the server, then uses Report Builder to create useful DBA reports, and finally shows how to manage and execute reports using the Report Manager.
This chapter provides a good introduction to SSRS, how to configure, manage, deploy SSRS solutions. Here there is an example creation of a report. Oddly, there’s no link to the corresponding Wrox publishing’s advanced SSRS book.
Chapter 23 SQL Server 2014 SharePoint 2013 Integration
This chapter discusses the continued integration of BI between SQL Server and SharePoint. The installation and configuration of PowerPivot and Reporting Services are described. The integration, compared with previous version is both more intelligent and user-friendly.
Chapter 24 SQL Database Administration and Configuration
SQL Database is Microsoft’s cloud database, providing elastic resource usage for users, so you don’t need to worry about installation, hardware maintenance, DR/HA and resource exhaustion. The chapter starts with an overview of SQL Database architecture, continues with configuring and administration. It should be noted that several features are missing from SQL Database compared with standard databases.
SQL Database is still a fast changing area, so while the chapter does explain the basics, be sure to look for later updates elsewhere.
Chapter 25 Alwayson Availability Groups
AlwaysOn Availability Groups is Microsoft’s latest HA solution. AlwaysOn allows grouping of multiple databases into groups, for HA purposes. It combines the best of clustering and mirroring. The chapter starts with a discussion of the architecture involved, and then continues to an example availability group. Primary and replica databases are discussed, together with manual and automatic failover. Read-only access of secondary replicas provides useful additional functionality (e.g. DR, reporting, backup from the secondary).
Monitoring is provided via a dashboard, additionally, DMVs and system views can be used. There’s a very detailed worked example. I’ve no idea why this HA related chapter is separate from the other HA chapters.
This book has a very wide scope. It is generally easy to read, with a good balance between theory and step-by-step example walkthroughs, together with good use of screenshots. Most chapters have sufficient detail to take you from level 3 expertise to level 7 or 8 expertise (based on a 1 to 10 scale).
Although many topics are covered, it some ways the book felt lightweight - this is not really a fault of the book, rather that SQL Server 2014 is a big product (each chapter could probably be expanded to a whole book itself). I was a bit surprised any link between SQL Server and Big Data wasn’t explored/advertised.
The physical grouping of chapters could have been better, with all related chapters being placed together (e.g. why is AlwaysOn not adjacent to the other High Availability chapters?). The various monitoring tools could have been explained in one chapter and referenced repeatedly. Additionally, an overview of the content of each group of chapters would have put the content into context, and prevented some repetition.
The links between the chapters could have been better, there are several areas where cross referencing of information would have been useful. This might have occurred because different authors were used to write the different chapters, but better editing should have compensated for this.
This book is very similar to the 2012 edition of the book, while the screenshots have been updated for 2014, the text is perhaps 85% the same or similar. It could be argued there’s no need to change a winning approach.
Although written for 2014, much is applicable to 2012 and 2008. If you want a good, wide ranging, general SQL Server 2014 administration book, I can certainly recommend this book.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 19 October 2014 )|