88-970: My Study Guide

Since I know I’m going to go for the SQL MCM next year, I’m going to start collecting all of my study materials here, on my blog. Hopefully that way it can jump start your own study process towards that goal. I’ll mark all the entries with the tag 88-970, since I don’t really know how to build study materials for a lab exam…yet.

When you look at the SQL MCM Knowledge Exam topics covered, there’s not a lot of detail.

Exam Topics Covered

SQL Server 2008 core engine components and dependencies. Experience and expertise regarding SQL Server high availability, disaster recovery, integrity, performance-tuning and optimization, SQL Server Operating System (SQLOS) internals, storage engine, relational engine, developer support, scalability, security, manageability, and data distribution technologies.

And when you look at the New Path to MCM you only see a little more information.

5.1 Recoverability and integrity

The candidate should have a thorough knowledge of SQL Server recoverability and data integrity concepts and should be able to design, implement, and troubleshoot specific scenarios. The candidate should also be able to determine an appropriate data recovery solution that minimizes disruption and data loss.

5.2 Manageability

The candidate should have experience with deployment and enforcement of policies and configurations. The candidate should also have experience designing, deploying, and troubleshooting maintenance strategies, monitoring solutions, build-out standards, data retention processes, and consolidation strategies based on application and business requirements.

5.3 Security

The candidate should be able to derive security requirements based on organizational compliance needs and requirements. The candidate should also be able to articulate and apply SQL Server security best practices, identify vulnerability scenarios, and remediate security issues.

5.4 Performance

The candidate should be able to identify performance issues and determine the appropriate solution. The candidate should also be able to distinguish root-cause issues from lower priority side effects, and evaluate diagnostic output in order to assess the health of an environment. The candidate should be familiar with capacity planning, baselining, and benchmarking techniques. The candidate should have an in-depth understanding of performance tuning and troubleshooting techniques and their effect on system resources.

5.5 Availability

The candidate should be capable of designing and implementing an availability strategy based on business and application requirements. The candidate should also be able to identify, troubleshoot, and resolve availability issues.

5.6 Developer support

The candidate should be capable of recommending appropriate schema design, query tuning, and query technology methods based on application and business requirements. The candidate should also be familiar with the various SQL Server data movement and distribution methods and be able to apply them appropriately based on application requirements.

5.7 Scalability

The candidate should be capable of defining a scalability strategy and applying appropriate technologies and features based on business or application requirements. The candidate should also understand the implications of interoperability between features and be able to identify and resolve scalability implementation issues.

General Knowledge

There are some things you need to know that don’t easily fit into one of the above categories.  This is my category, not Microsoft’s category. I’m pretty sure this material will be on the exam in some form or fashion.

My plan is to use this page as a landing page. I’ll add links to articles and books to read, SQL Skills videos to watch, SQL Saturday and Pass Virtual Chapter events to attend, and more. You’ll see all the steps I take between now, and the time I obtain my SQL MCM.

By Shannon Lowder

Shannon Lowder is the Database Engineer you've been looking for! Look no further for expertise in: Business Analysis to gather the business requirements for the database; Database Architecting to design the logical design of the database; Database Development to actually build the objects needed by the business logic; finally, Database Administration to keep the database running in top form, and making sure there is a disaster recovery plan.

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