A few folks have asked for more information on the Pre-Con that I will be delivering as part of SQLSaturday #241 in Cleveland, OH. I thought it would be beneficial to post a summary for the class.
The Pre-Con is titled “A Day of Internals and Data Recovery” and it is split in two sections: Section 1, which is allocated all morning, discusses SQL Server internal structures like pages (and different types of), records, extents, IAM chains and allocation units, partitions, filegroups, and such. The goal at the end of the morning is that you’re able to understand how SQL Server works under the hood enough to understand how you can protect your data and recover from failures.
In Section 2, which will take all afternoon, we will discuss data integrity mechanisms like torn pages, page checksums, and many others. Then we will talk about integrity of backups and restores, recovering deleted data and recovering from corruption. Many disastrous scenarios will be touched upon, and along the way many demos will be presented. We will most definitely use Hex Editors to corrupt (and fix!) databases. Tools like DBCC PAGE will be discussed as well – and also, we will talk about OrcaMDF. A heavy emphasis on proactive measures, but a good dose of reactive measures nonetheless.
Undocumented stuff? Well of course. Things that can break your database easily? You bet. There is a reason why we start the PreCon with a huge disclaimer!
If you love to geek out on SQL Server internals, I look forward to you joining us on February 7th in Cleveland, OH!