I have a basic knowledge of T-SQL and SQL Server components. My goal is to master my skills and learn everything about SQL Server to eventually become DBA in the future. I would like to understand deep SQL Server internals, how exactly everything works, when and why. Could you please suggest me a good place to start? IMHO it's just not possible by doing the programming work.

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    Books: "SQL Server 2008 Internals" (Microsoft Press) and "Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting" (Wrox) would be a good start but there are still large parts of the product not covered by either of these. Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 12:20

3 Answers 3


Just to add to the suggestions on this thread, you might find these interesting


  • I found Thomas Larock's DBA Survior very useful. It doesn't go deep into SQL Server internals, but it has right pointers to guide a newbie towards becoming a successful DBA. If you are past that newbie stage, you can skip this.

  • Rod Colledge's SQL Server 2008 Administration in action was useful for me as a next step from DBA Survior

  • Troubleshooting SQL Server by Jonathan Kehayias is a great book. It is available as a free download. Also take a look at other books available on SSC. I am currently reading a book on execution plans by Grant Fritchey.

There are some awesome blogs out there:

  • Read everything under the category "involuntary DBA" on Paul Randal's blog. While I understand that you obviously are not an involuntary DBA, they tend to be simpler while explaining things to newbies.

  • Buckwoody has a great blog here and also a useful SQL Server reference guide here. He is blogging about Windows Azure stuff thesedays but you can check the archives

Other Blogs in random order


Other great sites - SSC, MSSQL Tips, SQLCAT, LessThanDot.

This list is in no way complete and if I have missed some important books/sites/blogs, thats because I too am still learning and my knowledge is limited. Lets hope the others on this thread add more resources.

Good luck!

UPDATE: I forgot to include SQL Server Performance Survival Guide technet article which has loads of links and pointers.


There are a lot of very good resources out there. Microsoft certifications are a good place to start, especially if you have no formal training or experience.

To add to the above links,

Topics covered in these blogs may be a bit advanced if you are just starting out. There is a lot of information to know for SQL Server, try not to get ahead of yourself. These days, there are a lot of SQL deployments involving SANs, so you will want to eventually look at storage sites as well. IMO, try to follow the Microsoft certification because it is a structured process that will provide a very good foundation to build from(no i don't work for microsoft). It may also help you get your foot in the door somewhere to start using what you learn.

It's an interesting journey..Good luck!

edit: corrected the spelling of Adam's last name


Definately SQL Server 2008 Internals (MSPress) by Kalen Delaney is a good book on the internal workings of the product itself. For a reference book, I'd also check out Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Bible (Wiley) by Paul Nielsen. This is a great desk reference book for the professional DBA. Unfortunately there is no "one-stop-shop" when it comes to a particular book on SQL Server, but these are good to start your journey.

Good luck!

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