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We have been working with Microsoft on a ticket we opened due to one of our queries being much slower on MS Sql server 2k8 enterprise vs sql 2k5 standard. The engineers we are working with have incredible tools and knowledge of the internals of sql server.

Is there any course I could take to get me this knowledge?

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What's the query? –  Mark Canlas Jan 20 '11 at 17:54
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SQL Skills offers Master training on SQL internals and so on: http://www.sqlskills.com/T_SQLskillsMasterImmersionEvents.asp

These classes are designed to be standalone training classes for anyone wanting to know more about SQL Server. While these are slated as “deep events” we want to stress that you can be really successful if you understand a lot of the basic requirements of data/databases but just not with SQL Server. The first week – which starts with internals and then moves into database design and then ends with indexing for performance – is the best base that anyone can have that works with SQL Server. This answers a lot of the “how” and “why” questions in terms of setup, design and tuning.

Paul used to work for Microsoft (on the SQL team) and Kimberly has been teaching and speaking on SQL forever. They are both incredibly entertaining and smart people - while I haven't taken courses from them I have been to sessions they've given and had technical conversations with them many times.

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Kalen Delanay's is the most advanced course I am aware of.

SQL Server 2005/2008 Internals and Query Tuning

This is an advanced 5-day course designed for advanced SQL Server professionals. The course includes extensive demonstrations that illustrate the details of SQL Server internals as well as tuning techniques. This course will be presented on SQL Server 2008 and cover features specific to that version, but most of the information is relevant to SQL Server 2005 as well. This 5-day intensive seminar was developed by one of the world's leading experts in SQL Server internals. Topics to be covered include the following:

  • SQL Server Architecture and Metadata
  • Physical Storage Structures
  • Index Design and Tuning
  • Query Processing and Query Plans
  • Optimization and Recompilation
  • Concurrency Control: Locking, Blocking and Row Level Versioning
  • Query Tips and Techniques
  • Troubleshooting Tools

The course includes extensive demonstrations that illustrate the details of SQL Server internals as well as performance tuning techniques...

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The books she co-wrote is a good starting place too: amazon.com/Microsoft-SQL-Server-2008-Internals/dp/0735626243/… –  HLGEM Jan 26 '11 at 15:51
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