How to Be a Senior DBA

  • Instructor(s): Brent Ozar, Kendra Little
  • Cost: (Sold Out)

You’re a DBA who is ready to advance to the next level in your career but aren’t sure how to fully master your environment and drive the right architectural changes. That’s about to change in two days of learning and adventure.

Update – This class has sold out. Check out the 2015 version.

In 2014, join us to learn how size, architect, and maintain your SQL Servers:

Day 1: SQL Server Architecture for Production DBAs

Architecture Design for RPO/RTO -You can add in speed later with more CPUs or memory, but you can’t add in reliability. In this session, we’ll show you what questions to ask the business about RPO and RTO, and how to translate those requirements into clusters, mirrors, AlwaysOn Availability Groups, and more.

Hardware Sizing – Once you’ve decided what kind of architecture to build, how big should each node be? Do you need 64GB of memory or 128GB? If you’ve only got one set of SSDs, should you use them for log files or TempDB? We’ll explain the right server builds for common use cases.

How to Build an Enterprise Maintenance Strategy – You know maintenance is important, but you’re not sure what you should REALLY be running, or how often. In this session you’ll learn why index maintenance is generally overly-hyped– but can still be critically important to performance in some situations. We’ll discuss how to implement statistics maintenance and make sure backups and integrity checks are running regularly, as well as maintenance gotchas and pitfalls.

The Secret Meaning of Performance Counters – Most DBAs collect the wrong performance counters. Learn which performance counters matter, how to collect them, and how to use them to solve problems. Kendra will teach you the meaning of critical counters, which counters to avoid, and how to integrate performance counter data into your troubleshooting process. You’ll also learn which tools and scripts help collect SQL Server performance counter data more easily.

SQL Server Settings for Senior DBAs – Every software product has its gotchas. SQL Server has some settings and configurations which can cause major problems for performance and availability when changed– or when left to the default. Learn which settings that may be lurking in your environment could be a nightmare, and find out how to identify ‘em fast.

Test Your Knowledge: SQL Server Configuration and Maintenance – Can you spot the problem or find the answer in four maintenance and configuration scenarios? Learn about advanced features that impact performance and test your skills in this session.

Day 2: Specialize and Respond to Crisis

Virtualization Management & Troubleshooting – It’s easy to virtualize SQL Server – but it’s hard to get performance right afterwards. You’ll learn how to figure out if your SQL Server is configured correctly for VMware and Hyper-V, plus how to troubleshoot when you’re not getting the performance you want.

SANs and SSDs for SQL DBAs – Is your storage a black box? Do you put data in, and it doesn’t come out as fast as you want? Brent will explain Storage Area Networks (SANs), pathing, SSDs, and how to test your storage subsystem to find out if it’s as fast as it’s supposed to be.

What Every Senior DBA Must Know About Failover Clustering – Failover clustering has become integral to high availability in SQL Server. You’ll learn the strengths and weaknesses of failover clusters for SQL Server, and why clustering can no longer be ignored.

SQL Server First Responder Kit – When your SQL Server is critically injured you need a first responder kit to help you diagnose the problem and apply emergency aid. Learn tools and techniques to triage an emergency situation in your SQL Server quickly and effectively.

AlwaysOn AG Lessons Learned – The brochure says AlwaysOn is AlwaysEasy, but in reality, it’s chock full of nuts. Quorum questions, subnet surprises, and random replica reboots catch DBAs by surprise. We’ll share the nasty lessons we’ve learned and share what the best AG deployments have in common.

Pushing Boundaries: Stories from the Field – We’ve worked with some of the biggest, scariest SQL Servers out there. What happens when you have thousands of databases? Tens of terabytes in a single data file? Client names will be changed to protect the innocent, but the stories will remain the same. Learn these lessons long before you approach SQL Server’s limits.

Kendra Discusses the Training Outage Post-Mortem

Kendra Discusses the Training Outage Post-Mortem

Student Testimonials

Don’t take our word for it – here’s what some of our 2014 in-person attendees have said so far:

“Immediate practical use.”

“I’ve been pushed into the SQL world because of a slow third-party application. This class pulled together concepts I’ve heard about but not really understood, and introduced me to a lot more that will assist in the future.”

“Amazing sessions, interesting topics, entertaining speakers. 2 thumbs up.”

“It was extremely useful. Gonna go back and re-evaluate a lot of DBA goals and projects to reprioritize them with new knowledge I gathered. Thank you!”

“I figured out that my skillset is a little lower than I thought.”

Logistics: Hotels, Travel, and Restaurants

During the training, we provide you with breakfast, mid-morning breaks, lunch, and afternoon snacks. Dinner is on you, but during the training, we’ll organize Birds of a Feather groups so you can dine with fellow folks who share the same interests.

Here’s information about travel logistics:

You also get 2 hours of video training to prepare for the in-person training. We’ll cover how to prescribe the right database maintenance, how to set up database mail, how to find your business’s RPO and RTO goals, and how to choose the right high availability and disaster recovery methods for those RPO/RTO goals.

Why This Class?

For weeks (or maybe months or years!) you’ve watched free Brent Ozar Unlimited webcasts. You’ve checked out our online SQL Server training. Maybe you’ve even had the chance to see our award-winning sessions at conferences like the PASS Summit, Microsoft TechEd, SQLBits, and DevConnections. You like those – but you want more, and you want a long, in-depth series of sessions that will arm you for the real problems you face every day at work.

These sessions are all about solving your real pain points. It’s all killer, no filler – all knowledge that you can take back to work and look like a superhero.

Update – This class has sold out. Check out the 2015 version.

The first 20 registrants at each event get a $200 discount plus a personalized, signed copy of Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting, the book Brent coauthored. SOLD OUT!


Can’t Wait for the In-Person Training?

Check out our related online courses that you can watch anytime:

Update – This class has sold out. Check out the 2015 version.


About Brent

Specialities: performance tuning, SAN storage, VMware

Off duty: foodie restaurants, travel, bad pop music


About Kendra

Specialities: query tuning, index rocket science, SSDs

Off duty: drawings, dinosaurs, Spurious Capitalization


The Fine Print: Read our “Refund and Cancellation Policy” here. Want to pay by check or purchase order? Download our order form spreadsheet, pick out what you want, hand it to your company's accountants, and we'll set you up when we get your check.