Hi, Brent here! I’m really excited to welcome you to How I Use the First Responder Kit.

To prep, watch How to Think Like the Engine.

Before we get started, I need to make sure that we’ve covered the basics. In my free 90-minute How to Think Like the Engine class, you’ll learn the foundations of clustered and nonclustered indexes, statistics, memory grants, and sargability.

That alone doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to keep up in class, of course – but if you hadn’t at least learned this much before starting, then you’d have been totally screwed, hahaha.

If you want my advice on your server,
pick a production SQL Server to follow along.

The goal of this class is to do a health check on an existing production SQL Server. It needs to be a production server, not development or testing, because SQL Server’s diagnostic data is kept only in memory. If you try to analyze a development server, it won’t have diagnostic data about the workloads that are actually running in production.

(Azure SQL DB won’t work here, but VMs in Azure are welcome.)

You’ll need sysadmin (SA) level access on the server to see the live diagnostic information.

Install the First Responder Kit scripts on the server – the Install Core Scripts file is fine. If you’re on 2016 or later, you can use the with-Query-Store version, but we won’t be using Query Store in this particular class.

If you’re attending live, join Slack.

To ask questions and talk to the other attendees, get an instant invite to Slack here, then join the #BrentOzarUnlimited channel.

In the rest of my classes, I publish the slides so you can follow along. Here, there are just some intro slides – the whole class is 100% demos.

And that’s it! You’re ready for class – let’s find out what you can do to make your SQL Server faster and more reliable!

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