SQL Server DBA Tutorial

Are you a professional willing to start your career as a SQL Server DBA? Then you are at the right place. DBA is a person who is responsible to maintain the security and integrity of the database and restricts unauthorized users. DBA also grants permission to the database users. This tutorial will help you to learn about SQL Server, uses of SQL Server, its architecture, and many other things. Learning all these things will enhance your skills related to SQL server. So let's get started.

What is SQL Server?

SQL Server is a relational database management system that Microsoft has developed. It is mainly designed and built to compete with the Oracle and MySQL database. SQL server is primarily used for storing and retrieving data. SQL Server's key interface tool is SQL Server Management Studio, which runs on both 64-bit and 32-bit environments.

In order to understand SQL Server completely, first, we need to learn the SQL language. SQL is the query processing language used to process data into relational databases. In the client server model, the database server is a program which offers multiple services. Accordingly, we have referred to a SQL server as a database server that uses SQL as a query language.

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SQL server Usage:

The key usage for MS SQL Server is as follows:

  • Its main objective is the creation and maintenance of databases.
  • This is used for data analysis with SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS).
  • This is used for generating reports with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).
  • This is used for performing ETL operations with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).

SQL Server Architecture

SQL Server is a client-server based architecture and is aimed at end-users called clients who send queries to the MS SQL server that is installed on a specific computer. Once the processing input data is requested, the server will deliver the expected result. This server is vacant as a separate program and is in charge of managing any statements, instructions, or commands in the database.SQL server database engine will control data processing, storage, and security. So, it is the main component of the SQL server.

SQL Server looks very simple, but internally in the background, many processes run to respond to the requests. According to the architecture, the SQL Server primarily has three main components: Network Protocols, SQL OS, and database engine.

SQL OS: It is used for the first time in SQL 2005. In the past, this was only intended for small and medium-sized applications. Microsoft is upgrading SQL Server into SQL 2005 to fit the load of high-end enterprise databases. This is a layer that is located between the Windows OS and the database engine. Numerous OS services are managed by SQLOS, that includes I/O and memory management, threading, scheduling, synchronization, and exception handling.

                                                                                     [Related article: Exception Handling in SQL Server]

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Database Engine: This is what the SQL Server architecture is all about. This is the second layer in the architecture which provides connectivity among user connections using the network protocol and the SQL server OS to actually execute. It demonstrates the logical architectures of the database objects like views, tables, triggers, and stored procedures that work with relation engine and physical architecture to meet customer requests. The database engine is made up of two components:

Storage Engine: It displays physical database architecture along with data storage and retrieval from buffer manager and storage system.
Relational engine: This is responsible for the evaluation of user requests and carries out the execution. It decides what is the most effective way to execute a query. This is also known as the Query Processor. The main tasks performed by relational engines are memory management, Query processing, distributed query processing, buffer management, and thread and task management. 

Network Protocol: It is completely responsible for the client connectivity of the SQL Server database engine. In addition, it has another protocol called VIA. The VIA is the hardware protocol which has become obsolete by Microsoft. In the most recent SQL Server Configuration Manager, this protocol will not be seen.

There are three main protocols for network connectivity:

  • Shared Memory: This protocol is simple and needs no configuration. It runs on the same system in which SQL Server is installed. Communication between the client and the server does not exist.
  • TCP/IP: It is the widely used client-server communication protocol. To enable it we may use the SQL Server Configuration Manager.
  • Named pipes: This is mostly used for LAN connectivity and may be enabled from the SQL Server configuration manager.

SQL Server Services & Tools:

MS SQL Server includes Business Intelligence (BI) and Data Management tools and services. SQL Server consists of the following tools and services for managing data:

  • SQL Server Integration Services: It transfers different types of data from one source to another by importing, exporting, transforming, and loading. It translates raw data to information that will be useful in the future.
  • SQL Server Data Quality Services: This develops a data quality product that is knowledge-based and uses it to correct, enrich, standardize and duplicate data. We may also use this to cleanse data through cloud-based reference data services.
  • SQL Server Master Data Services: It serves to manage an organization's data master set. It organizes data to models, creates data update rules and controls that update these data.
  • SQL Server Data Tool: This is a tool for designing and developing databases.
  • SQL Server Management Studio: With this tool, we can deploy, monitor, and manage SQL Server databases.

                                                                                                  [Related Article: SQL Server Data Tools]

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SQL Server is comprised of the following data analysis tools and services:

  • SQL Server Analysis Services: This tool is designed for faster and deeper data analysis and data mining and includes machine learning capabilities as well. Python and R languages are embedded with SQL Server for advanced analytics.
  • SQL Server Reporting Services: It has a decision-making feature along with a collection of tools and services for the creation, deployment, and management of reports. Hadoop is part of that tool.
SQL Server has the following key components as well:
  • SQL Server: It allows us to pause, resume, start and stop the MS SQL Server instance.
  • SQL Server Agent: In the computer system, it functions like the task scheduler. It can be used in times of need.
  • SQL Server Browser: It gets the request from the user and connects to the corresponding SQL Server instance.
  • SQL Server Full-Text Search: It allows you to search for all document keywords which may or may not correspond exactly to the search criteria. It allows the user to execute full-text requests with character data in the tables.
  • SQL Server VSS Writer: This is used while SQL Server does not function for backing up and restoring data files.

SQL Server Instances

SQL Server installation is an instance. A number of instances can be installed on a specific machine, but the default will be only one. It is the accurate copy of databases, server files, and security credentials.

SQL Server is subdivided in two types: 
  • Primary Instances: The primary instance is accessible in two ways. The first way is to use the server name, and the other is to use the IP address. This is always unique.
  • Named instances: This can be accessed by adding a backslash and an instance name.

                    Top 20+ frequently asked SQL Server interview questions & answers for freshers & experienced professionals

Benefits of SQL Server Instances:

The SQL Server instance has the following benefits:

  • Installing various versions on a single machine: It enables us to install several versions on one computer, each working independently from the other.
  • Cost Reduction: It makes it possible to reduce the cost of operation of SQL Server. We can get various services from various instances, so we need not purchase a license for anything.
  • Maintaining development, production, and test environments individually: The main benefit of running more than one version of SQL Server on one computer is that you may differentiate your output, development, or test environments separately.
  • Minimize temporary database issues: If all services are executed on one instance of SQL Server, there is an elevated risk of issues. Such problems may be avoided if they occur in different instances.
  • Separate security privileges: When different instances of SQL Server execute different services, it will be easy to focus on the security of the instance that executes the sensitive service.
  • Maintain a standby server: Failure of the SQL Server instance may cause a service interruption. It explains how important it is to have a backup service available to pick up if there is a failure of the primary server. This functionality simplifies the execution of SQL Server instances.

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In this tutorial, we have covered all the basics related to SQL Server like SQL Server usage, architecture, and SQL Server Instances. We hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you find any topic to be included in this tutorial do not forget to comment below.

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As a senior Technical Content Writer for HKR Trainings, Gayathri has a good comprehension of the present technical innovations, which incorporates perspectives like Business Intelligence and Analytics. She conveys advanced technical ideas precisely and vividly, as conceivable to the target group, guaranteeing that the content is available to clients. She writes qualitative content in the field of Data Warehousing & ETL, Big Data Analytics, and ERP Tools. Connect me on LinkedIn.

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