Join Adam Wilbert for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the role of the server, part of Database Foundations: Core Concepts.
- When working with databases, the term "server" gets thrown around quite a bit. It's important to understand what that means. A database server can either be a dedicated machine or a virtualized machine that is running the database management software. Typically, you'll hear this referred to as an instance of the server and multiple instances or multiple separate installations can be installed on a single machine at the same time. That's because when installing the server software, you'll give the instance a unique name so they can function alongside multiple other instances without getting all tangled up.
For this course, we'll be using a package called SQL Server from Microsoft as our database management system. But there are other packages from other vendors that perform similar tasks. Typically, users log in to the DBMS over a network and issue commands to the database server processes and then sends the results back to the users terminal for review. It's uncommon for people, including the database administrator, to interact directly with the physical machine that's running the database management system. The reason for this is because the database server software usually has some steep hardware requirements that go well beyond the typical desktop machine.
Server-class hardware typically features extremely fast read and write disk speeds, large amounts of memory, and more multicore processors than you would expect to be able to stuff into a single box. On top of that, they're also provided with very fast connections to the local network or internet. Basically, server-class hardware is tuned to the requirements providing high availabilty to their data stores by processing millions of transactions very quickly and handling lots of simultaneous users or requests. Multiple server-class machines are often tied together in clusters that all work together and it's not uncommon to require a dedicated air conditioning system to keep them from overheating.
Server hardware can also be distributed around the world while still acting as a single unit in order to provide availability to users in different regions. With all that said, for this Database Fundamentals series, I want to keep things simple. I found that for many people the biggest hurdle to getting hands-on experience with databases is a lack of perceived access to the appropriate hardware and software. So rather than assuming everyone has access to a full-fledged installation of SQL Server, we're going to make use of the lighter weight free version called SQL Server Express.
This will allow us to install the software on our local computers and get familiar with how the system operates in a very streamlined and accessible environment at the rock-bottom price of free. Now if you already have access to a SQL Server instance and have the credentials to log in and create and manipulate database objects, then you are ready to go. For everyone else, I'll walk you through the steps of getting all set up with your own database server in the next few movies.
Note: This course will also prepare certification candidates for the Microsoft Technology Associate Exam 98-364, Database Administration Fundamentals.
- Understanding flat file, hierarchical, and relational databases
- Installing SQL Server 2014 Express
- Creating your first database and tables
- Creating and editing database objects
- Writing commands in DML
- Selecting and inserting data
- Updating and deleting data
- Establishing relationships and file naming conventions