New whitepaper on SQL Server Audit in 2008

One set of features i haven't blogged about yet in SQL Server 2008 are the new security features: SQL Server Audit, Transparent Data Encryption, and Extensible Key Management. I've just finished writing a security article for the May 2009 TechNet Magazine (the annual security issue) and while trolling around TechNet I found that the security team has just published a comprehensive whitepaper on SQL Server Audit.

The whitepaper covers:

  • Functional overview of the feature
  • Technical overview of using the feature, including how to define the different levels of audit specification (database and server)
  • Audit files and the event log
  • Performance considerations (it's designed to be much faster than other auditing features are is uses the high-peformance extended events feature under the covers)
  • Examples of using it, both through T-SQL and SSMS

Check it out at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd392015.aspx.

TechNet Radio interview with Paul and Kimberly on SQL Server 2008 – Part 1

Wow – almost 10 days without a blog post – that must be a record for me! :-) Never fear – I'll be posting more over the next couple of weeks. Kimberly flew off to India yesterday to teach some Microsoft classes and unfortunately I couldn't join her this time as I'm teaching 3 classes myself:

  • an internal Microsoft class on Designing for High Availability
  • another internal Microsoft class on SQL Server 2008 for DBAs (similar to the JumpStart class I posted about here)
  • 3 days of content for the new Microsoft Certified Architect: Database qualification – see the Microsoft Learning site here for details

Anyway – the subject of this post is to let you know that last week, Kimberly and I did two interviews for TechNet Radio on SQL Server 2008 technologies. Part 1 has just been released where we discuss security and availability features. You can get to it by going to the March 4th 2008 show here. Tune in and find out how I lull myself to sleep when Kimberly's out of town…

Enjoy!

SQL Server 2008 JumpStart


Phew – last week Kimberly and I spent 3 days teaching the ins-and-outs of SQL Server 2008 for DBAs/IT-Pros to about 130 Microsoft SQL Server experts and MVPs (like Kalen Delaney, Adam Machanic and Ron Talmage). This was the (95% complete) Beta delivery of a course we’ve been developing for the last six months for Microsoft that they’ll use to train their SQL experts around the world on the new release. It’s been very interesting watching the features develop through the CTPs (especially since I left the fold last August) – and making demos work on pre-release builds of the CTPs.


Teaching the course was a *blast* – the thing I love about teaching a really geeky crowd is the plethora of great questions and opportunities for going deep with explanations. Our team actually wrote and delivered the concurrently presented Developer and BI tracks as well. As you can see from the list below (and this is just the features a DBA needs to use/know about), SQL Server 2008 isn’t a dot release of Yukon at all, as some people have suggested. Over the three days we covered:



  • Database Mirroring (D)
  • Backup Compression
  • Peer-to-Peer Replication (D)
  • Transparent Data Encryption (D)
  • Extensible (Off-Box) Key Management
  • All Actions Audited (D)
  • Policy-Based Management
  • Resource Governor (D)
  • Extended Events (D)
  • Spatial Indexes
  • Integrated Full-Text Search
  • Sparse Columns (D)
  • Filtered Indexes
  • Change Tracking
  • Change Data Capture (D)
  • FILESTREAM (D)
  • Performance Data Collection
  • Query Optimizer Enhancements
  • Data Compression (D)
  • Service Broker
  • Partition-Level Lock Escalation (D)

The features marked with a (D) are ones I demo’d during the course (Kimberly demo’d a bunch of the others – especially the tools features). Some of the demos were challenging to make work in time as we only got a pre-CTP6 build mid-January just before we headed off to China.


So why am I posting this? Well, a bunch of these features are in CTP-6, which should be just around the corner, and I have some easy-to-understand demos of them that I’ll be posting here over the next month or so. Also, if this course sounds interesting, Kimberly and I will be teaching it in various configurations over the next year – starting with SQL Connections in April, a soon-to-be-announced class in Iceland in March, and the ITPro portion of TechEd in June.


Watch this space starting next week (today’s the last day of six straight weeks of teaching for us so this weekend’s a break :-))