UPDATE – December, 2016 – see  this blog post


These days, one of the things everyone asks me is related to the book – mainly “How is it coming?” – a nice way of asking “Is it done yet?” It’s been awhile since the last update, and I figured it is time for a new one. If you are subscribed to the pre-release content, look for new chapters starting the week of May 25 (next week). Everyone who is not subscribed will need to wait for the final, completed book. There is a chance I may decide to put a few preview chapters up, but only when some more hit the pre-release folks; it is only fair.

So why the delay? Writing a book and publishing it on your own is much harder. My previous books were all done through a publisher who had editors and other bits of infrastructure I do not have at my fingertips. For the most part, I am a single threaded, one man show on the production of this book.

When I put the book up for preorder in July of 2013, I had an idea what I was signing myself for because I had written books before. Writing and publishing – especially self-publishing – is a whole different ball game if you want to do it right and not just dump raw Word files into the world and call it a book.

The good news is that I recently found an editor so the book will have a nice level of spit and polish. I’ve worked with her in the past, and am looking forward to seeing what she delivers. Having said that, primary writing and reviews must be completed before I can turn it over to her.

The only thing I can equate this to is when I scored a friend’s musical in the mid-1990s. I had played in tons of pit bands going back to when I started playing bass in 1980, so I figured, “How hard could this be?” Oh, how naïve I was. Between learning the scoring program, writing and arranging for multiple instruments, rehearsals, corrections – you name it. This was not a one day or one week process. I learned a lot, but it was very painful. Arranging got a lot easier after that, and so, too, will any future projects I do in the self-publishing arena.

Add to that my normal day job (consulting, training, as well as running SQLHA with Max), presenting, eating, sleeping, and trying to live my life somewhere in there along with the writing – oy! There just is only so much time and energy I have. However, I do believe all of these things play into one reason I believe that my books have been well received in the past. I bring real world perspective and experience to the table. If I am not doing this stuff for real, it’s just lab work.

For example, Max and I spent the better part of last year working with a large customer on a virtualized SQL Server project which also leveraged quite a few new storage and networking technologies not usually used with SQL Server. What was gained there will be filtered into the book, so you will be getting a lot better content than if I was not also actively doing consulting projects.

In more good news, I have pretty much cleared the decks for the next month or two to get all of the primary writing completed. Chapters need to be reviewed, and then reviewer feedback and corrections incorporated. Once all of the chapters are done, they will be handed off to the editor. Last but not least, all of the final formatting needs to be finished on the edited chapters. This is the entire book process in a nutshell.

Below are some specific questions that I want to address now because I have been asked from time to time. I have also updated the FAQ accordingly.


What content/chapters will the book contain?

While it may change a little, this is the near-final chapter list with my working (read: not final) titles:

  1. Basics of Availability
  2. Data Center Principles
  3. Brief Intro to the SQL Server HA Features
  4. Windows
  5. Networking Part 1
  6. Networking Part 2
  7. Storage Part 1
  8. Storage Part 2
  9. Security
  10. WSFC
  11. Quorum Part 1
  12. Quorum Part 2
  13. Planning FCIs
  14. FCI 2008 R2
  15. FCI 2012
  16. FCI 2014
  17. Scripting Installations
  18. Planning AGs
  19. Implementing AGs
  20. Cluster Admin/Troubleshooting
  21. Backups Part 1
  22. Backups Part 2
  23. Admin/Monitoring
  24. Planning Highly Available Upgrades
  25. Solutions
  26. Building Your Own Virtualized Test Environment

As you can tell, this is quite a bit of content. Right now the book will weigh in somewhere between 1000 and 1500 pages in Word prior to any formatting. Many of these chapters are in process, so those of you that have seen the updates may have only seen a few chapters but a lot of these are in various states of completion. If you are subscribed to the pre-release content, you’ll see all of this content soon.

When will the book truly be done?

From a timing perspective, assuming no issues or problems, primary writing should be done by July, edits by late August/early September, and then onto formatting. It really should be released on or before PASS Summit 2015. That is what I am working towards, and I see no reason that cannot be achieved.

I know people have been waiting patiently for Mission Critical SQL Server. My mistake in hindsight was putting it up so soon for preorder and not anticipating some of the roadblocks that popped up since putting it up for sale. I know that now, and will never repeat that again. For that, I apologize and I do believe the wait will be worth it.

I paid forever and a day ago – where is my money?

No one has asked, but I’m being forthcoming here – it’s sitting in a bank account earmarked for paying book costs. It’s not long gone. I made sure this happened for a very good reason. I need to pay people like editors 🙂

I subscribed to get updates to the book once it is released – will I still get them?

Yes! Needless to say, I’ll make sure you are taken care of. See the next question for a touch more detail, too.

If you preorder with updates on or before May 31, 2015, look for an e-mail from me soon. Anyone preordering with the updates option post-June 1, 2015, will get updates for the specified term – one year post-book release.

Will you do anything for people who purchased Mission Critical SQL Server a long time ago and have been waiting patiently?

Yes! I’m figuring out what that will be. This is different than the post-release updates. But the same rules will generally apply: pre-May 31, 2015 and post-May 31, 2015. I do appreciate your patience, and trust me, no one wants this done more than me because it is a big thing on my plate. There are other things I’d like to do which cannot get done until the book is complete.

When you first announced the book, you said it would cover through SQL Server 2012. What about 2014 and 2016 now that they are out or announced? How about Windows Server 2016?

Here is even better news. With the book being delayed, SQL Server 2014 is now included in this version. I will touch on a few 2016 (SQL Server and Windows things) but the first updates to the book will arguably be SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016. Once those are released, I’ll examine what needs to be updated or added, and go from there. It is too soon to tell.

Any current discounts?

Yes. 20% until May 31, 2015 off of anything in the store. Code to be entered at checkout: MAY31