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Berndt Hamboeck

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Administrator's Guide to Sybase ASE 12.5

A reference manual as well as a teaching tool

This month we'll be looking at another book written by Jeff Garbus. This time the book is about Sybase ASE 12.5 systems administration and database administration, where systems administration is the function of installing, maintaining, operating, and controlling the Sybase ASE Server.

A systems administrator (SA) is responsible, at the server level, for maintaining a secure and stable operating environment; for forecasting capacity requirements of the CPU; and for planning and executing future expansion. Further, an SA is responsible for the overall performance at the server level. Database administration is the act of migrating a logical model into a physical design and performing all tasks essential to consistent, secure, and prompt database access. A database administrator (DBA) is responsible for access, consistency, and performance within the scope of the database. This book is about systems administration. It also discusses the tasks that a DBA needs to perform since they overlap. After reading this book, you should be able to perform any task that encompasses the creation or maintenance of a server. (The only exception to this is tuning [other than server configuration parameters], which is a separate book in and of itself, which we had a closer look at last month.) So let's check out the different chapters.

The Chapters
Chapter 1: Systems Administration Overview

The systems administrator of a Sybase ASE (also referred to as SA, database administrator, or sometimes DBA) is responsible for all aspects of creating, maintaining, and monitoring the server and database environment This book starts by describing these tasks and will give you an overview of ASE system tables. It's an interesting chapter if you come from another database or have just started to administrate ASE.

Chapter 2: Adaptive Server Installation
When dealing with the installation of ASE, remember that Adaptive Server has been written to run on many different platforms. Since each platform - whether NT, Linux, Solaris, or other flavors of Unix - has its own way of getting things done, each platform has a slightly different installation routine. However, each server installation does have a few things in common. The first common point is planning. The installation of Adaptive Server requires a certain amount of planning in order to be successful. During the installation process, many questions will be asked that will affect the final outcome. The answers to these questions should be prepared in advance and this chapter points out most of them, so it's definitively a must read.

Chapter 3: Defining Physical and Sybase-Mirrored Devices to the Server
Now that the server is installed and we are prepared to install them on different platforms successfully, the next logical step will be to start creating user databases so you can begin building tables and other database objects. Before you can do that, the storage areas need to be defined, which the databases will require. This chapter describes that process. Also you'll see that the authors take a look at methods for protecting the databases from device failure and optimizing the performance of those database devices.

Chapter 4: Databases
One of the most important aspects of understanding Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise is the concept and application of the database. Simply put, a database is a container for all the data and objects needed for an application. Most of the physical space of the database will be taken up by user tables (those holding your data), but other items will be present as well: other objects that support the tables (indexes, views, procedures, triggers, etc.), the transaction log, and system tables. This chapter presents a detailed explanation of these concepts.

Chapter 5: Database Logging and Recovery
In this chapter you'll learn about the way the database log interacts with the data to ensure consistency. To ensure that the database is always consistent and can reproduce all the changes made to the database, Adaptive Server databases must maintain a list of the changes that have been made to the database. This list is the transaction log and after reading this chapter you will know a lot more about it.

Chapter 6: Security
More and more organizations are acknowledging that their data is the most important asset they own. To this end, these corporations go to great lengths to ensure that data is safe from all sorts of threats including environmental, hardware/software failure, corruption, and unauthorized access. Unauthorized access to data has become so recognized as a threat to corporate assets that it's making national news. ASE offers a rigorous approach to securing data, and in enabling you to protect data down to a very fine layer of granularity, including column-level security through grant and revoke options, and row-level security through views. Understand ASE security before you start implementing it. There are several layers of security, from the operating system down to the data columns. This chapter describes the options in great detail.

More Stories By Berndt Hamboeck

Berndt Hamboeck is a senior consultant for BHITCON (www.bhitcon.net). He's a CSI, SCAPC8, EASAC, SCJP2, and started his Sybase development using PB5. You can reach him under [email protected]

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