The days of SQL Server being merely a departmental database are long gone. SQL Server can now easily scale to databases dozens of terabytes in size. (For details see the results of the Winter survey at www.microsoft.com/sql/prodinfo/compare/wintercorp-survey.mspx.) In this chapter, we lay some of the groundwork that will be used throughout the book. We first discuss how the role of the database administrator (DBA) has changed since some of the earlier releases of SQL Server, and then quickly jump into architecture and tools available to you as an administrator. This chapter is not a deep dive into the architecture but it provides enough information to give you an understanding of how SQL Server operates.