Brent Ozar, 2016 company retreat

I make SQL Server faster and more reliable.

My areas of specialty are:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2019/2017/2016 performance tuning
  • Cloud-based SQL Servers in Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, and Microsoft Azure
  • Getting developers on the same page as DBAs, SAN, VMware, and SQL admins
  • Designing high availability and disaster recovery solutions
  • Starting open community efforts like sp_Blitz,,, and

My presentations consistently win awards for attendee feedback.  I’ve presented around the world including the PASS Summit (ranked in the top 10 for years), Microsoft TechEd (top 10 in both North America and Europe), SQL Intersection, SQLbits, SQLCruise, and more.

Here’s what I’ve done along the way:

2011-Now: SQL Server Consultant

I started a consulting company to share my passions for technology, my experience, my oddball sense of humor, and my dedication to helping the community. I use my decades of experience to rapidly assess the problem, then leverage my unique communications skills to get everybody onto the same page on what needs to be done to move forward. All I do is solve the toughest problems over and over, living on the edge of troubleshooting and planning. I knock out problems that have been challenging your staff for months, and we have fun while we do it.

Typical Engagements:

  • Review SQL Server performance and train staff on areas for improvement in code, storage, indexes, and configuration in 2 days
  • 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 deployment project, fix configuration issues, load test it, and be ready to go live in one week

2008-2010: SQL Server Expert
Quest Software

Pro 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting

I helped improve Dell’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 Red Gate’s Steve Jones and Grant Fritchey, and SQL Sentry’s Aaron Bertrand and Kevin Kline. 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, so I wrote a couple of chapters in Professional SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting. I now have enormous respect for authors: this is hard work, and I’m not doin’ that again!

In early 2010, I achieved the elite Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server certification, Microsoft’s highest technical test. I came to the realization that as much as I loved my work at Quest, I had an opportunity to go start something amazing, and thus Brent Ozar Unlimited was born.

2005-2008: SQL Server DBA,
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.

Brent teaching in Portugal

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.

Typical Week:

  • 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.

Got SQL Server pains? Contact me for help.