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New Free Ebooks (SQL and Windows 2012) from Microsoft Press!

Hey Everyone, I hope you all had a safe and wonderful 4th of July.

As you may or may not be aware, Microsoft has released SQL Server 2012 and on 31 May 2012 released Windows Server 2012 (RC1) Release Candidate One (which should mean Release To Manufacturing or RTM should be soon) I highly encourage all IT professionals to get up to speed on these products are big steps forward for both Microsoft and the community. These products were designed in mind and geared to be deployed with Cloud Computing in mind. Not just from a private cloud, where you deployed Virtual Machines for your own use, but also a public cloud, like Windows Azure or Amazon Web Services where external customers can use your infrastructure to deploy their own environments for “on-demand computing.”

SQL Server 2012 has a new feature called Always On and I noticed there are numerous conversations on forums, blogs, etc about it. However, from reading these free books, I see that a lot of people are not fully aware of what this new buzz word means and a lot of gems are not being discussed about it. There are a few different configurations for this feature and you should really look into them in a test environment. Here is a sample of the information from this free Microsoft Press books on SQL 2012:

Availability groups are built on top of Windows Failover Clustering and support both shared and nonshared storage. Depending on an organization’s RPO and RTO requirements, availability groups can use either an asynchronous-commit availability mode or a synchronous-commit availability mode to move data between primary and secondary replicas. Availability groups include built-in compression and encryption as well as support for file-stream replication and auto page repair. Failover between replicas is either automatic or manual.

When deploying AlwaysOn Availability Groups, your first step is to deploy a Windows Failover Cluster. This is completed by using the Failover Cluster Manager Snap-in within Windows Server 2008 R2. Once the Windows Failover Cluster is formed, the remainder of the Availability Groups configurations is completed in SQL Server Management Studio. When you use the Availability Groups wizards to configure your availability groups, SQL Server Management Studio automatically creates the appropriate services, applications, and resources in Failover Cluster Manager; hence, the deployment is much easier for database administrators who are not familiar with failover clustering.

Now that the fundamentals of the AlwaysOn Availability Groups have been laid down, the most natural question that follows is how an organization’s operations are enhanced with this feature. Unlike database mirroring, which supports only one secondary, AlwaysOn Availability Groups supports one primary replica and up to four secondary replicas. Availability groups can also contain more than one availability database. Equally appealing is the fact you can host more than one availability group within an implementation.

Windows Server 2012 really enhances it network stack, IIS and Hyper-V to make it possible to make this your operating system of choice for Cloud Computing. Here is a sample of the information from this free Microsoft Press books on Server 2012:

Virtualization can bring many benefits for businesses, including increased agility, greater flexibility, and improved cost efficiency. Combining virtualization with the infrastructure and tools needed to provision cloud applications and services brings even greater benefits for organizations that need to adapt and scale their infrastructure to meet the changing demands of today’s business environment. With its numerous improvements, Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 provide the foundation for building private clouds that can use the benefits of cloud computing across the business units and geographical locations that typically make up today’s enterprises. By using Windows Server 2012, you can begin transitioning your organization’s datacenter environment toward an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) private cloud that can provide your business units with the “server instances on demand” capability that they need to be able to grow and respond to changing market conditions.

Hosting providers also can use Windows Server 2012 to build multi-tenant cloud infrastructures (both public and shared private clouds) that they can use to deliver cloud-based applications and services to customers. Features and tools included in Windows Server 2012 enable hosting providers to fully isolate customer networks from one another, deliver support for service level agreements

Without further delays and to help you get up to speed, Microsoft has released the following books:

Introducing Windows Server 2012 and Introducing SQL Server 2012

You can also find Kindle versions of these books at Amazon as well. (Links: SQL and Windows.)

Last but not least, here is a link for all free Microsoft Press Ebooks here.

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