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  1. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #1

    Default 70-432: The journey begins

    Time to face my fears. After years of putting this off I have finally decided to go for it and begin my journey for SQL 2008 Database Administrator certification. I work in a MS 2000/2005/2008 environment so have a good idea of the different tools though most of my work relates to scripting (T-SQL) and not so much administration.

    I have managed to get my hands on:

    Amazon.com: SQL Server 2008 Administration: Real-World Skills for MCITP Certification and Beyond (Exams 70-432 and 70-450) (9780470554203): Tom Carpenter: Books

    The Real MCTS SQL Server 2008 Exam 70-432 Prep Kit: Database Implementation and Maintenance: Mark Horninger: 9781597494205: Amazon.com: Books

    Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Administration Course Online

    I have also been going through the sticky thread for MCTS 70-432 in this very forum, some very good resources there . The aim is to keep a daily log on topics covered along with any notes I might pick up, not really a genius idea but shouold help me keep on track. I am aiming at writing the exam by end of October at the latest, once I have gone through my first few topics I should have a clearer picture of exactly when to schedule the exam. So well, here we go........
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  3. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #2
    If you have a few years of real world experience then the exam should not be too difficult. I would say make sure you take the practice tests and zero in on the areas you are most unfamiliar with. Spend more time on those. Good luck!
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  4. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #3
    @Robert - thanks for the pointers. I do have a few years experience working on a product that utilizes MS SQL as it's underlying database. Like any good techie I normally prefer to just dig into queries when extracting data as the application GUIs have their own inherent shortcomings. I'm fairly comfortable with T-SQL, it's more the pure admin side that needs polishing (for example, we back up our databases and restore but I can't really claim to understand the different types of backups in depth nor the different recovery methods etc.)

    Last night I managed to go through some introductory material - overview of databases, different flavours of SQL 2008 and hardware requirements. I already knew most of the material but have decided to just go through everything instead of skipping chapters going "I know this". Hopefully today can read a few more chapters, yesterday had a long day at work so did not really cover as much material as I would have liked.
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  5. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #4
    Didn't manage to do as much as I would have hoped over the weekend (feeling totally washed out from work). Did manage to get through a few more VTC videos and read through the first 2 chapters of Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 T-SQL Fundamentals (PRO-Developer): Itzik Ben-Gan: 9788178531045: Amazon.com: Books . I really like Itzik's writing style and the fact that the end of chapter exams actually require one to think and apply concepts learnt. Really to up a few gears this week.....
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  6. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #5
    Data Files: SQL Server uses pages (8 kilobytes in size) and extents (8 pages of 8kb = 64KB). Sapce is allocated on an extent by extent basis but data is stored and retrieved from individual pages. Extents can be uniform (data is all from one page/index etc) or mixed (extent is shared by up to 8 different tables/indexes).
    Data Access Methods: Reading - Pages containing the records meeting the SELECT criteria are read into memory buffers --> Records returned to the user as a recordset (from buffers). The pages are left in the buffers until required for another operation.
    Writing - Data to be modified read into buffer memory --> data modified in memory --> Transaction recorded in transaction log.Checkpoints and lazy writers used to then write the data into the data files on disk.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...525(v=sql.105)
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...475(v=sql.105)
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...560(v=sql.105)

    Interestingly enough I have been working around SQL for quite a number of years but, till now, I did not fully understand how data is read and written in SQL Server. In as much as I was setting recovery methods etc I did not fully understand the role of the transaction log
    Last edited by Zorodzai; 08-30-2012 at 08:39 AM.
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  7. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #6
    The project I am currently working on is scheduled to go live this weekend so it has been rather hectic with closing off UATs and finalising training etc.

    Some observations on the Sybex "Real life skills" book :

    First observation - I haven't had that many "ahaa" moments as yet. SO far only one really (I didn't really know how data access details in enough detail. Chapter 2 has a brief section on pages, extents etc. Form that I was able to search for more information but the actual info in the book does not really go deep.

    Second observation - There is a tendency to go into detail into non SQL related stuff. For example, there are a number of pages dedicated to command prompt and CMD.exe - standard command line commands, setting up and customising the command prompt window etc. In my opinion that's a waste because more detail should on SQL related material.

    Third observation - I feel there are too many instances when the author mentions something then makes mention we will look at it further in another chapter. Though it's inevitable I think it can be a bit distracting to start off in one direction then promptly put it off till another chapter and head off ina another direction .

    Additionally I have been going through the VTC videos - again not yet deep enough to feel I am learning anything really new yet but, because it's audio visual, I am finding it easier to retain what I am learning in the videos vs reading through documentation. I am currently book marking the resources in the 70-432 DBA thread and, hopefully, can work my way through them over the few reamining weeks.
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  8. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #7
    Super thread, man! Nice to see how much you are learning.

    I know what you mean about the second observation. I think that there is too much a desire to try and cover all bases so anyone can follow the exercises. But I think any DBA should have basic server admin skills and if you want to be a good DBA you should make sure you have all of those bases covered first and information like that should just be assumed.
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    #8
    Glad to see someone else working on this. I am thinking about trying to do this exam before it expires.
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    #9
    first of all...hi everyone....Okay....Abt the exam retirement.....


    first of all....i am kinda on a cross road...will there be any need to go for this certification (MCDBA) anymore since it is going to be retired (i am just beginning my journey in the certification world ) or does that not matter. there seem to be no upgrade path for this exam, so why not wait for the replacement right? (i am new in this please, i hope i have my facts right)

    Secondly, would you rather i get some other skill b4 i venture into DBA, my tot is, why waste time since all i want is to be a DBA. I am an End user support engineer and just wrote my ITIL 2weeks ago. though i have some database knowledge and work in a DB environment

    All comments will be welcome......this is my first post in techexams too...thanx in advance
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  11. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by slimbumzie View Post
    first of all...hi everyone....Okay....Abt the exam retirement.....


    first of all....i am kinda on a cross road...will there be any need to go for this certification (MCDBA) anymore since it is going to be retired (i am just beginning my journey in the certification world ) or does that not matter.
    MCDBA has been retired for years. The last version it was offered was for SQL server 2000. Since SQL Server 2005 it has been called the MCITP: Data Base Administrator.

    Now there are several different tracks you can take for SQL Server.


    Quote Originally Posted by slimbumzie View Post
    there seem to be no upgrade path for this exam, so why not wait for the replacement right? (i am new in this please, i hope i have my facts right)
    Regarding the upgrade path:
    Transition Your MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform

    Regarding the new certifications for SQL Server 2012:
    SQL Server Certification Overview


    Quote Originally Posted by slimbumzie View Post
    Secondly, would you rather i get some other skill b4 i venture into DBA, my tot is, why waste time since all i want is to be a DBA. I am an End user support engineer and just wrote my ITIL 2weeks ago. though i have some database knowledge and work in a DB environment

    All comments will be welcome......this is my first post in techexams too...thanx in advance
    To get yourself started you should at the very least have "Server Administrator" skills. Study the MCITP: Server Admin material so that you have the fundamentals of server management under your belt. In some very large enterprises the DBA does nothing but be a DBA, but not in any I have worked for. I have always been expected to manage the server OS as well as SQL Server.

    As far as SQL Server... If I were you, I would go right to the SQL Server 2012 certification but still be familiar with the older systems (2005 and 2008/R2). There is enough similarity between managing them that getting certified on the newest version will always count to be able to manage the older versions.
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    #11
    Were you able to find any good practice tests for this exam?
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  13. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #12
    @Carl - I only have the test questions on the "Real world skills" book at present. I am considering buying the Transcender pack for 70-432 but, with second shot now active, I just might go straight ahead and try my luck. If not successful I can then purchase the Transcender pack before I resit. To be honest I am still debating the idea, not 100% sure whether to "try my luck" or not.
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    #13
    Please let me know what you decide to do. I am considering buying the $150 package at MeasureUP.

    This one: http://www.measureup.com/70-432-TS-M...rse-P2937.aspx
    Last edited by NotHackingYou; 09-10-2012 at 10:10 PM.
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  15. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #14
    @Carl - I have decided to just go ahead and write, if I fail then I can look at buying practice exams. Good thing is that Second Shot gives me an extra chance to write the exam.


    This week was supposed to be rather laid back with me concentrating on my studies - boy was I wrong !! Over the weekend we went live on the project I have been working on and it has been HECTIC !! Loads of teething issues, in fact I am busier than before "go live". I have not had a chance to read much but I have managed to go through more VTC videos. I am seriously considering Transcender videos as well - I have read generally good reviews about the Transcender videos though I have not managed to get reviews on the 70-432 videos. I like VTC but I used Transcender for my project management course and they were really useful (though the material is quite dry and I struggled to stay awake) so I'm hoping it's the same level of excellence.
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  16. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Zorodzai View Post
    @Carl - I have decided to just go ahead and write, if I fail then I can look at buying practice exams. Good thing is that Second Shot gives me an extra chance to write the exam.
    I think this is a good choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorodzai View Post
    I have not had a chance to read much but I have managed to go through more VTC videos. I am seriously considering Transcender videos as well - I have read generally good reviews about the Transcender videos though I have not managed to get reviews on the 70-432 videos. I like VTC but I used Transcender for my project management course and they were really useful (though the material is quite dry and I struggled to stay awake) so I'm hoping it's the same level of excellence.
    Consider a PluralSight.com subscription. It's only $30 a month and they have a ton of general SQL Server videos. Granted these are more "data platform" centric (i.e. more geared at developers) but you can still learn a lot. Here is there current list of courses:

    Introduction to SQL Server Dan Sullivan Beginner [02:09:54]
    Microsoft StreamInsight Fundamentals Richard Seroter Beginner [05:07:33]
    Redgate SQL Prompt Dan Sullivan Beginner [01:47:48] 14 Feb 2011
    SQL Server Fundamentals Dan Sullivan Beginner [08:12:38] 15 Jun 2010
    SQL Server Management Studio by Example Dan Sullivan Beginner [01:03:32] 11 Mar 2010
    SQL Server: Transact-SQL Basic Data Retrieval Joe Sack Beginner [03:53:16] 1 Aug 2012
    SQL Server - TSQL Dan Sullivan Intermediate [04:47:01] 22 Mar 2010
    SQL Server Performance: Indexing Basics Dave , Kumar Intermediate [01:58:53] 5 Mar 2012
    SQL Server Performance: Introduction to Query Tuning Kumar , Dave Intermediate [03:55:16] 1 Jun 2012
    SQL Server Questions and Answers Dave , Kumar Intermediate [02:13:45] 24 Jan 2012
    SQL Server: Collecting and Analyzing Trace Data Jonathan Kehayias Intermediate [03:52:35] 30 Jul 2012
    SQL Server: Myths and Misconceptions Paul Randal Intermediate [03:54:47] 6 Jun 2012
    SQL Server: Performance Troubleshooting Using Wait Statistics Paul Randal Intermediate [04:31:31] 28 Jun 2012
    Using XML and XQuery Effectively with SQL Server Bob Beauchemin Intermediate [05:29:38] 20 Aug 2010

    At the very least, if you are planning on looking at the developer exams or the 2012 upgrade once you complete the 2008 you should do their trial membership and watch the Using XML video.
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  17. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #16
    @Robert - Wow, thinks for the info. I'll definitely check those out. I am interested in the T-SSQL programming field though my work is mainly admin hence the push to do 70-432. For a while I seriously considered 70-433 as that's where my personal interest mainly lies but, after some consideration, decided it makes more sense career wise for me to have the MCITP: Database Administrator title to my name.
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    #17
    @Zorodzai Good luck with your exam!

    @Robert that's great information thank you for sharing
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    #18
    Hi Robert,
    'MCDBA has been retired for years. The last version it was offered was for SQL server 2000. Since SQL Server 2005 it has been called the MCITP: Data Base Administrator.'

    Actually I meant MCITP DBA not MCDBA. Thanks for other responses too, I'll work with those

    Thumbs Up!!!
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  20. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #19
    Not a problem. I just tend to be precise and wanted to make sure you knew there was a distinction.
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  21. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #20
    Managed to get the CBT Nuggets 70-432 set. Still going through the initial nuggets and am currently on Policy Based Management. I was using the VTC video series before this and, in my opinion, CBT Nuggets offering is "meatier"; with the VTC videos I feel they are more geared towards giving beginners an introduction to SQL 2008 as opposed to being an exam prep tool.

    I initially thought I could sit the exam at the end of this month but work has been really hectic and badly affected my study time so I'm aiming to be "exam ready" by end of October [fingers crossed]...
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    #21
    Hey there - I have a few questions for you about your studies. Are you using the Syngress Real MCTS book you mentioned in your first post? I read somewhere, either here or in an book review, that it's riddled with errors and that you have to request errata and updates from the publisher. Did you get any of that?

    I, too, am pursuing 70-432. I ran thru the MS Press TKIT just to get a sense what MS wants us to know, but I felt it was kind of weak in terms of depth and real teaching material. I'm coming back to SQL Server after bouncing around in other areas of IT. I looked at the VTC series and completely agree with you, there's not enough there to really learn the material. I've started the Real World book that everyone mentions; it's good. After that, the AiA book looks promising.

    Do you have any practice tests? Recommend any? I was considering the uCertify folks. They've appeared 'sketchy' in the past but now they get a clean rating with certguard.com. The selftest software questions seem to be well-received, too.

    Thanks for answering, and good luck to you!

    Mike
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  23. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #22
    @msltechie - Sorry it took so long. I am currently concentrating more on the Sybex "Real World Skills" book. Though I have a copy of the Syngress book I have not yet started on it as I would like to go through the one book first.

    I have not purchased any practice exams - I'm personally looking at purchasing a "Second Shot" voucher and just trying my luck, if I pass great whereas if I fail I still have a second shot for no added cost.

    Hope that helps....
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  24. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #23
    I started on my copy of The Real MCTS SQL Server 2008 Exam 70-432 Prep Kit: Database Implementation and Maintenance: Mark Horninger: 9781597494205: Amazon.com: Books and, as usual, I have some observations:
    1. First chapter seems to be all over the place - I really do not like the first chapter ! I suppose the idea was to jump straight in but it comes out jumbled and non cohesive to me.
    2. Chapter two onwards are good tutorials - I am currently on chapter 4 and I am finding the chapters easy to read. I do think the book serves well as a secondary guide, not as the main guide. The author(s) do not really get into depth with the material but give enough of an introduction for one to delve in deeper. I have actually rewatched some of the CBT Nuggets videos I had gone through because I have a slightly better understanding after reading the topics in the book.
    Overall I think I am on course for a first exam attempt at the end of October, I have a week off work next week and intend to spend it labbing, reading and just tearing into SQL inside/out. I am relatively comfortable with installation, backups but am really weak at using tools like Profiler, am only really gettng to appreciate DMVs and there are quite a number of features I have used without really thinking into what I am doing and more out of rote (eg. database mail - have set it up a few times but never really delved into it).
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    #24
    Another good source is the "Joes to Pros" series available on Amazon. I order this book late winter Beginning SQL Joes 2 Pros: The SQL Hands-On Guide for Beginners (SQL Exam Prep Series 70-433 Volume 1 of 5) (Sql Design Series): Rick A. Morelan,Doug Fritz,Jessica Brown,Peter Kendall: Amazon.com: Kindle Store and will be getting back into it, as work is started to see the benefit of using SQL and not just having our main CRM program run on top of it.
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  26. Senior Member Zorodzai's Avatar
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    #25
    @Bokeh - I have read good reviews on the Joes2Pros books. Let me know how you find it. I am going for the 70-432 exam whilst the books are more for 70-433.
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