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Implementing the Physical Database

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This chapter is from the book

Terms you'll need to understand:

  • RAID

  • Gigabit

  • Database

  • Table

  • Record

  • Row

  • Column

  • Field

  • Filegroups

  • Clustered index

  • Nonclustered index

  • Trigger

  • Primary key

  • Foreign key

  • Constraint

  • Stored procedure

  • Log file

  • Model database

Techniques you'll need to master:

  • Hardware setup/file placement

  • Database creation

  • Object creation

  • Setting/altering properties

  • Setting constraints


This chapter deals with the physical components of a SQL Server database system. Beginning with the server hardware, organizing the data storage and creating the physical files is where a lot of future performance will be determined. There are many options to consider for a production environment, and one thing is certain: The minimum installation requirements will not be sufficient. The computer hardware components are only the beginning of the physical elements.

Although we tend to think of the physical realm as things that we can touch and feel, within a DBMS environment it also defines the components of the database itself. The database layout, the key structures, constraints, and other software elements are all considered physical elements. It’s time for the entities discussed in the logical design to become tables.

In any physical design, the goal is to provide an efficient and responsive database system that also lends itself to appropriate maintenance tasks without becoming a database administrator’s burden. At this stage of a database implementation, care is taken to provide a system structure that is usable, provides for optimum user response time, can be readily maintained, and above all meets the needs of the business for which it was designed.

In moving from an idea to a logical structure to the actual physical elements, you must remember to consider elements that contribute to performance, reliability, and data integrity. Having a model of the system is one thing, but it must be able to meet the demands of an environment in which inevitably the system must meet the intended goals of the company and add to the bottom line.

In a book of this nature, trying to fit all topics into the fray in a logical manner can sometimes be awkward. In this chapter we will discuss some of the hardware implementations that probably should wait for a database design and other criteria. We will approach the hardware next from a standpoint of what the baseline rules are for establishing the server.

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