SQL Server Consulting
Below you will learn everything you need know about our SQL Server Consulting Service (even if you don’t choose to go with us):
- How a SQL Consultant can help you
- SQL services we provide
- The step-by-step process of how we work
- Why you should use us (with some proof), a few logistical items, and how to get started
MS SQL Consulting Services List
Emergency SQL Support
Use this when your SQL Server is on fire, down or won’t start. We will work on the issue for as long as is needed. We are able to fix the majority of possible issues within hours.
SQL Performance Tuning
Use this when your Microsoft SQL Server is too slow or you simply wish it ran faster. Maybe a lot faster. This can be done in three ways:
- Tune the SQL Server settings in the way that affects *ALL* queries it is processing.
- Tune one (or a few) problematic queries which are taking too long or consuming too many resources (using too much memory or CPU).
- Perform *PERIODIC* performance tuning every month (only the best of the best do this, so don’t feel bad just yet). Every week, every month, every quarter (pick your duration), take the top worst performers (most problematic queries) and figure out how to make them go faster (or tune them, as SQL DBAs say) – proactively attacking performance issues. And if this process is done right and for a while, it will eventually make your SQL Server blazing fast.
This is a ‘catch all’ service. We can’t list every single project we can take. The best time to use this option is when you need ongoing SQL DBA services for a larger project that will take more than a week to complete.
Step by step how SQL Consulting works
- Initial consultation – First, we get on the phone with a SQL Server Consulting expert. We will want to know the exact problem you are experiencing, when it started and what successful engagement means to you (so we know how to kick it out of the park).
- Architecture – we may ask some questions about your SQL architecture.
- Planning – do you want us to “diagnose only” or “fix as we go”, during what hours we can do SQL work, are there is DEV, QA or UAT boxes that can be used for testing potential fixes, when are the busiest/slowest times of the day/week, do you have planned downtime, and if yes, when, etc.
- Backups – before we do anything, first we will make sure all backups are in place. This applies to cases when we are making SQL changes. This does not happen when we are in “diagnose only” mode.
- Implementation – the part clients love the most – you sit back and relax (maybe put some Netflix on) and wait for our status updates showing how we got your issue fixed. Maybe it is not this easy every time, but we certainly try!
- Project completion – this is where we wrap up loose ends. We will send you all the documentation of what was done, SQL scripts we ran, finish up all incomplete items, tell you where we are, and basically prepare to leave your environment in your hands (unless you fall in love with us, and decide to keep us for a while).
- Training – here we make sure that you know what to do when you take over your SQL server after we’re gone. Very valuable when needed.
- Support – we won’t let you suffer. If there is anything you need, you can contact us, we will re-engage and help you. This only applies to your SQL problems though.
Other Logistical Items
- Billing – we can bill in two different ways:
If we can set a project scope and provide an exact price – we will.
If not, then we will bill hourly.
When hourly billing is used, we have pricing tiers. They start to kick in when larger blocks of hours are being purchased (such as 80+ per month).
- Terms – sign a short agreement.
- Payment – We require an upfront payment before scheduling your work on the calendar. I understand this may be unusual, but I prefer to work on SQL and not on chasing payments.
Why choose us (and a bit of proof)
- Testimonials on our site
- Testimonials on LinkedIn.com
- Testimonials on Clarity.fm
- Testimonials on Upwork.com
- Our founder was (and maybe still is) a TOP RATED SQL DBA on Upwork
- Psstt… are you still reading testimonials? Fine, lets keep going…
- Proven track record – nothing proves good work like testimonials from past clients. See links above.
- Experience – All our database administrators are Microsoft certified. Certification alone is not proof a DBA is good, but I think it helps. Only when it is coupled with all of the other proof we have!
- Security – we have been doing SQL work for 17+ years. We have literally touched (full disclosure – mostly over RDP) thousands of SQL Servers, tens thousands of databases, and a hundred plus clients. If we were up to no good, I doubt I’d be writing this.
- Building online profiles takes a loooooong time. And presence is not easy and I don’t intend to be re-doing this any time soon. Therefore, it is in my best interest you are taken care of!
- Benefits – the biggest benefit to you is we are small. How is that a benefit? Because one SQL client means a large piece of pie to us. When you go with a large provider, one that claims to have 300 DBAs, each DBA is probably servicing at least a few clients, therefore they have 1000+ clients. Would you like to be one of the thousand clients or one of a few, and where do you think you will be more important and given more attention?
- Technologies – we *only* work with SQL Servers. No Oracle, mySQL, noSQL, PostreSQL, IBM, Cassandra, or whatever other providers. It is just too complex to cover them all.
- Value – where else can you get top notch Sr. level database admin with that much proof of who will work on your issue?
- Team – we are pretty small. Today as I am writing this, we are three DBAs. (I probably will forget to update this when we grow, so don’t use this as fact when you read it.)
- Focus – We only work on Microsoft SQL Servers. Nothing else. We also don’t do everything on SQL Servers. The product is just too big to cover all things that are possible. We concentrate on DBA type of items, and the majority of the work we do is SQL Server Performance Tuning related. And we have been doing it for years.
- Dedication – SQL Servers are all we know.
- We know SQL Server surrounding technologies well – such as SAN or SAN load testing, hardware, Active Directory, Windows OS (obviously), PowerShell and PowerShell Desired State Configuration (workflows, automation), performance monitoring, a bit of C#, and couple of others. But if SQL Server was discontinued tomorrow – we would have a BIG problem! Because this is all we know.
- We have worked with many types of businesses – from popular websites with a couple of people behind the curtain, up to major brands with 50,000 employees and are on the Fortune 500 list.
Industries we consulted in:
- Financial institutions
- IT Services
- Web Hosting
- Fortune 500
- Inc 1000
- International companies outside USA
How to hire the right SQL Server Consulting Firm (or Database Administrator)
We suggest you do this:
- Look for trust items (such as testimonials).
- Does the DBA (or firm) work on more than one platform like Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL? That’s a major negative – being an expert on one platform is already hard enough; working on many means you are just average on a bunch of them.
- What do customers say?
- How far back does their online profile go?
- And most importantly, do a technical interview. Ignore all online tests. I haven’t seen a good online test yet. A good DBA will not want to waste time on that junk anyway. Here is a quick hack you can do: if you are not a DBA, hire one on Upwork.com (pick someone for $100+ per hour) and have him interview your potential DBAs. Make sure your potential DBA can pass another DBA test. I have seen probably 200-300 DBA resumes, and hired probably 20-30 DBAs and SQL Developers. A resume usually doesn’t help much – most look great. It is how the person performs during the interview. We have interviewed over 200+ DBAs and we have pretty tough questions (we are going to be the Bad Cop). Our questions are situational, and allow us to drill deeper into situations based on where the person stands in terms of experience. You can’t BS through our questions; you know it, or you don’t, and the questions make the applicant sweat a bit. Is this person qualified to touch production SQL Servers?
Still not ready to go ahead with us as you SQL Server Consulting partner? Or still don’t trust us or have a nagging worry about who will be touching your production database?
You don’t know how many databases we dropped in the past, or how many clusters we set on fire, after all. Test us on a small SQL server consulting engagement. Trusting someone you have never seen with your PROD db is a bit…irresponsible. We get it.
Let’s get on the call and we will walk you through how we will keep your database safe, and answer any question you have.
Even if you don’t hire us (not a typo)!
Go to contact us form to get started!