Alright, I bought the book and started reading it.
Now, this is just my very first impression with the book, so don’t take it too seriously.
First of all, on a 1 to 5 scale, I would give it somewhere between 3.5 and 4. In other words, above average. OK, hold on, justice is NOT being done here…
Being a DBA on some large scale systems, I had different expectations. For me (also and MCT), the book is a bit shallow to make it a must read. But truth be told, let me quote the authors: “This book is a humble attempt to make these concepts more accessible to SQL developers. We consider this book a first version of the ongoing research in this area”.
And now let me give you an example where I tend to disagree with the authors: CXPACKET. We all know that there are no hard rules attached to it, and we also know that we first must “experiment” and see what works best for us. I wish that was true – how many of the real-world DBAs are allowed to “experiment” on production systems? Yes, I know, we have stand-by servers that should replicate the prod servers, sandboxes to play with… Guess what, it’s not always the case.
Also, consider this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/329204/ – we just had this issue with Microsoft. They said (based on what, really beats my knowledge) that we should set the MAXDOP to 8, while the article clearly states that for our particular scenario (2 physical processors, 8-core each, HT enabled), we should set MAXDOP to 2 (yes, that Hyper-Threading thing, I thought it was dead already, but know, it’s like a zombie coming from the dead). Of course, this is going far beyond common knowledge, and until you hit that particular brick wall, you have no idea that it’s there.
For all these reasons, the book gets a 3.5 – very easy to find the most common wait types, along with decent explanations, but that’s about it.
Being and MCT, I simply love to see a book that it is this accessible to a large population of SQL developers and DBAs alike. I simply envy the two authors on how they managed to assemble such a fine writing, that is easily digestible to so many. Also, from my personal point of view, it’s a must read, because it completes the Microsoft Official Curriculum beautifully.
Almost forgot to mention, most of my students are in the Level 300 area, so pretty tough questions appear during the trainings.
For all these reasons, the book gets a 6 out of 5. Not only that, but Chapter 11 contains a set of “references”, which are actually links to various blog posts. I would pay all the money again, just for that single page.
Just to summarize: doing the math, 6 + 3.5 = 9.5, which, divided by 2, gives you 4.25 – this would be the final grade.
And yes, not only that I would buy the book again if I had to choose that, but I really think of buying it as a present.
Great job, Mr. Dave and Mr. Morelan.
I hope this helps.