Wednesday, February 9

Microsoft Certified Master - Database Structures

The MCM program is aimed at the uber-uber-uber SQL gurus, and from what I'm reading on various blogs it's no walk in the park for them.

The awesome thing that's popped up out of the newly revised program is that there are a bunch of free training material videos available.

While I'm not personally anywhere near thinking about attempting the MCM certification, I'm interested in hearing about what lies under the covers of SQL server from people who know it inside out. The absolute nitty gritty: like learning about DNA and mitochondria as opposed to the more systemic/anatomical view that the MCITP type courses cover.

The first video in the series covers database structures: the ways that data is stored and managed on the disk. It's presented by Paul Randal, who spent 9 years working on the storage engine for SQL server, so the info is really from the horse's mouth.

To paraphrase the summary of the video:

Records - the rows, or "slots" which make up our tables,
Pages - the 8kB chunks where the records live,
Extents - collections of 8 contiguous pages,
Allocation bitmaps - keep an eye on the extents, and;
IAM chains and allocation units - keep track of what's living where.

If you've a spare 42 minutes, check it out here.

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