Available for download: Our High-Availability hands-on labs and SQL Server 2008 JumpStart materials

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the three tracks of the SQL Server 2008 JumpStart course that SQLskills.com taught internally for Microsoft and some MVPs – see here for details. Well, the content is now available to download! Note that this was based on CTP-5 (November 2007 CTP) and there have been *lots* of behavioral changes since then (with more planned for CTP-6 Refresh and RTM), but if you want a high-level overview of a bunch of the features (albeit in bullet-point summaries on slides) then this is a good place to start.

For me, what’s *REALLY* cool is that the site also has a downloadable VPC plus lab manuals for all of the AlwaysOn High-Availability hands-on labs that SQLskills.com wrote. We originally wrote these labs for SQL Server 2005 and I updated them all for CTP-5. The VPC has a long lab on each of the following:

  • Database Snapshots
  • Data Recovery and Preventative Techniques
  • Instant Initialization
  • Peer-to-Peer Replication (including the new Topology Wizard I blogged about here)
  • Table and Index Partitioning
  • Snapshot Isolation
  • Online Operations
  • Database Mirroring (including a demo I wrote of Automatic Page Repair, described here)
  • Service Oriented Database Architecture

There is some great depth in each of these – Kimberly blogged more info about the exercises in each lab here. There’s also another VPC image with some higher-level labs on a variety of 2008 features and written by a number of different people- including some labs on Policy-Based Management and Performance Data Collection that Kimberly wrote.

So – where can you get these from? Go to http://sqlserver2008jumpstart.microsofttraining.com/ and hit the Download link on the right-hand side. Register and then you can get to the materials. The AlwaysOn VPC image is Collection 2 at the bottom of the page, and you’ll see all the slide decks as you scroll down the page.


TechNet Radio interview with Paul and Kimberly on SQL Server 2008 – Part 2

The second part of our radio interview with TechNet has been released (see here for part 1). In this installment we discuss troubleshooting and manageability in SQL Server 2008. You can get to it by going to the March 11th 2008 show here.


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)
  • 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 :-))