Brent Ozar’s Resume
SQL Server DBA, Microsoft MVP,
Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server
I’ve been working with very expensive technology and avoiding management work for over a decade. It feels like my entire life has led up to this moment, being able to help businesses solve their toughest IT pains.
My areas of specialty are:
- SQL Server 2012, 2008, 2005 performance tuning
- VMware vSphere implementations for SQL Server
- Storage performance tuning including solid state, iSCSI, EMC, Equallogic, Dell, IBM, HP, NetApp, Fusion-IO
- kCura Relativity SQL Server tuning for hosting firms
- Implementing high availability with AlwaysOn Availability Groups and failover clustering
My presentations consistently win awards for attendee feedback. I’ve presented around the world including:
- PASS Summit (ranked in the top 10 from 2009 to 2012)
- Microsoft TechEd (top 10 in both North America and Europe for 2012)
- DevConnections, SQLbits, SQLCruise, and more
Here’s what I’ve done along the way:
2011-Now: SQL Server Consultant
Brent Ozar Unlimited
I started a consulting company with three of my close friends because we shared a passion for technology, a decade of experience, an oddball sense of humor, and a dedication to helping the community. We each have our own deep specialties – mine are the SQL Server engine, storage (SANs, SSDs, DAS, etc), and virtualization – but we all approach engagements the same way. We use our years of experience to rapidly assess the problem, then leverage our unique communications skills to get everybody onto the same page on what needs to be done to move forward. All we do is solve the toughest problems over and over, living on the edge of troubleshooting and planning. We knock out problems that have been challenging your staff for months, and we have fun while we do it.
- Review SQL Server performance and train staff on areas for improvement in code, storage, indexes, and configuration in three days
- Implement VMware vSphere, a new Equallogic SAN, Veeam backups, virtualize existing hardware, and train company staff on management, all in one week
- Assess a SaaS company’s current infrastructure and help them plan a global scale-out architecture in one week
- Jump-start a company’s failed SQL Server blade deployment project, fix configuration issues, load test it, and be ready to go live in three days
2008-2010: SQL Server Expert
Quest Software (now Dell)
I helped improve Quest Software‘s database products, dived deeper into SQL Server internals, and educated the SQL Server community. This is a very hotly contested position in the industry – other similar database positions include Quest’s Kevin Kline, Confio’s Tom LaRock, Red Gate’s Brad McGehee, and SQL Sentry’s Aaron Bertrand. I’d worked with Quest’s marketing team on a few whitepapers and webcasts while I was a DBA, and they must have liked what they’d seen. I was completely surprised when I told them I was looking for a new position, and they offered me a job as an evangelist.
I spoke at events around the world including the PASS Summit in Seattle, SQLBits in the UK, PASSCamp in Germany, and many more. My sessions won awards including back-to-back Best of PASS Summit and the Microsoft MVP award. My favorite sessions help bridge gaps: I taught database professionals about things that influence SQL Server reliability and performance, like virtualization, storage, programming, and hardware.
I’d always wanted to see my name on Amazon.com, so I wrote a couple of chapters in Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting. I now have enormous respect for repeat authors: this was a much more difficult task than I’d initially expected. As of this writing, I’m proud to say that all of the Amazon reviews have given us five stars.
In early 2010, I achieved the elite Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server certification, Microsoft’s highest technical test. Most MCMs work for Microsoft – I’m one of less than a dozen in America who don’t, and even less of us are available for consulting. I came to the realization that as much as I loved my work at Quest, I had an opportunity to go start something amazing. I briefly joined SQLskills as a consultant, and then headed out on my own.
- Write blog posts about latest troubleshooting and tuning techniques for SQL Server
- Conduct a webcast to train database professionals
- Analyze upcoming changes to SQL Server for their impact on customers and products
- Help design new features for Quest products
- Handle highest level of support escalation calls about SQL Server, hardware, and storage issues
2005-2008: SQL Server DBA,
SAN Admin, VMware Admin
Southern Wine & Spirits,
$7B Distribution Company
I did a short consulting project for Southern Wine & Spirits and liked the team so much I stayed on full time. I started as the company’s first database administrator, then after I stabilized the dozens of SQL Server instances, I took over more duties. Along the way, I managed the storage area networks and virtualization infrastructure.
I conquered the rest of the company’s unmanaged SQL Server instances, instituting standards and preparing them for high availability and disaster recovery. Being in hurricane alley, we did role swaps a couple times a year, failing over our mission-critical databases to our DR datacenter and running everything there for a week.
When the company’s virtualization project failed, I stepped in to take a shot at it. I learned the inner workings, turned the project around, and the company went almost exclusively virtual. When the SAN admin quit, I volunteered to take his job duties for no additional salary because I wanted to learn how it worked. I loved seeing what was inside the black box because it made me a better database administrator.
- Work with a project manager to determine the database infrastructure for a new third-party software package
- Help in-house developers improve performance of their applications
- Monitor status of company’s sales infrastructure, all of which went through SQL Server
- Consolidate databases onto less servers to cut software and infrastructure costs
- Led the company’s Architecture Review Team to ensure long-term success of app designs
1999-2005: Developer, DBA, Architect
Unifocus (independent software vendor)
I joined a small 10-15 person team of developers and support engineers delivering hotel accounting and payroll software. My official title was Developer, but small companies have no room for people who just wear one hat. In any given week, I would be gathering requirements from customers, using my own hotel business knowledge to find edge cases, writing code, testing somebody else’s code, training our support staff and end users on the new features, and taking support escalation calls when something didn’t work. I loved the fast pace.
I was promoted into higher roles until I reported directly to the CIO. I was responsible for software architecture, platform choices, and database administration.
- Designed and implemented database changes
- Reviewed and tuned SQL queries, stored procedures, views, triggers
- Managed health of SQL Servers including backups, restores, monitoring
- Created company intranet with help desk ticketing and order tracking (still in use in 2011)
- Worked directly with executives to build demos for sales and marketing
1997-1999: Network Admin & Programmer
I maintained a few dozen computers and a handful of servers (including my first SQL Servers) at the home office in Memphis, plus traveled around the country setting up computers and networks at each of our hotels. Since I’d also come up the ranks doing accounting and management, I trained the accounting staff as I went. I wrote the company’s accounting manual, and even became the internal auditor.
Mandatory Buzzword Section
I know a lot of technologies, but I specialize in the SQL Server database engine, VMware virtualization, and storage including EMC, Equallogic, Fusion-IO, IBM, NetApp, and others.
I’m perfectly comfortable talking to SQL Server DBAs, SAN administrators, sysadmins, VMware admins, CIOs, and end users. I speak everybody’s languages, and I’m comfortable under pressure.
My SQL Server expertise includes indexes, stored procedures, views, triggers, clustering, high availability, disaster recovery, performance tuning, and much more.