10 Misconceptions of Hiring a Virtual DBA

10 misconceptions of hiring a Virtual DBA

Leaving your mission critical databases in the hands of a third party can be daunting. With the right service provider, there’s no need to be concerned.

At WARDY IT Solutions, our objective is to allow our customers to totally forget about their SQL Server environment. We know that might sound hard to believe but after reading this post, you’ll understand why the Virtual DBA Service is different.

#1: I’ll need to sack my DBAs

#2: I can’t trust external consultants with company data and servers

trust external consultants with company data and servers

#3: My IT team won’t know what’s happening with our databases

#4: I’ll be tied into a long term contract

#5: Virtual DBAs are reactive not proactive

#6: A Virtual DBA will cost me more in the long run

#7: I’ll have to permanently upgrade my plan to cover short term work

#8: A different person will be working on my database every week

#9: I’ll lose visibility of my servers

#10: I won’t get my money’s worth

 





Learn more about our Virtual DBA service




February 2017 QLD SQL Server User Group

February 2017 QSSUG

Azure Machine Learning Test Drive

Wouldn’t it be beneficial if a hospital could identify patients who are at high risk of readmission, or predict wait times based on staff levels, patient data and emergency room size?

Machine learning tries to provide the answers. Azure Machine Learning makes it supremely easy to build machine learning experiments that train, score and evaluate ML models and publish as web service.

In this session, Ram will cover how to easily build, test and deploy machine learning models using Azure Machine Learning.

The session will be demo based and will inspire you to further extend Azure Machine Learning capabilities.

About the Presenter

Ram Katepally is a Data Analytics Consultant for WARDY IT Solutions. He is MCSE for both Data Platform & Data Analytics, with a passion for analytics and visualizations. In his free time he is a avid player of chess.

Click here to register for the February 2017 QLD SQL Server User Group

Location:

Microsoft Brisbane – Level 28, 400 George Street, Brisbane

Date & Time:

Thursday, 23rd February 2017
Catering from 5:30PM for a 6:00PM Start (meetings typically finish at 7:30PM)

Register now!

January 2017 Round Up

New Training Courses

Happy New Year to all! For those of you hoping to make 2017 the year of professional development, we have a number of new training courses to help you on your way:

There are a number of other training opportunities over the next month including SQL Saturdays in Sydney and Melbourne and Microsoft Ignite on the Gold Coast.  WARDY IT Solutions is proud to be a sponsor of these events and we look forward to meeting some of you in person at our booth.

Blog: Do I really need a SQL Server DBA?

Data has become the lifeblood of almost every organisation today and timely access to this data is key for providing insight and making business decisions. Check out our latest blog post to read our thoughts on the topic.

SQL Server Database Healthcheck

Reduce the need for expensive upgrades by optimising your existing infrastructure and identify problem areas with the SQL Server Database Healthcheck. We carry out a comprehensive examination of your SQL Server environment. Helping to reduce the business risks associated with down-time, performance bottlenecks, and the complexities of deploying and managing Microsoft SQL Server. Find out more.

SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1

With SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 Microsoft made a number of key improvements including allowing a consistent programmability surface area for developers and organisations across SQL Server editions. This will enable you to build advanced applications that scale across editions and cloud as you grow. Developers and application partners can now build to a single programming surface when creating or upgrading intelligent applications, and use the edition which scales to the application’s needs.  Click here to download and find out all of the key benefits of SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1.

Power BI Phone Reports

With Phone reports you can specifically tailor a portrait view of your existing report on Power BI Desktop for mobile viewers. With this update, everyone can create report views optimised for phones, to enhance the experience of viewing Power BI reports on phones. Learn more about authoring phone reports in Power BI Desktop and the report experience on phones.

New Microsoft Offering: SQL Server Premium Assurance

IT departments are in a fundamental state of change, with the drive for digital transformation creating many new applications and moving others to the cloud. At the same time, companies must also maintain stable and secure operation of their existing applications databases. To provide better flexibility in managing these diverse priorities, Microsoft has announced two new offerings to help run applications longer without disruption: Windows Server Premium Assurance and SQL Server Premium Assurance.

$900 Service Pack Service

Are you struggling to keep up to date with the latest SQL Server Pack?  For only $900 ex. GST WARDY IT Solutions can review a SQL Server instance, prepare an implementation plan, install the latest SQL Server service pack for your instance and provide post implementation support. To take advantage of this limited offer contact us today.

SQL Server Support: Virtual DBA

Virtual DBA is our very own award-winning remote database administration service based here in Australia. Our Microsoft certified team of DBAs watch over your databases 24x7x365, providing a cost effective solution to meet the day-to-day challenges of availability, performance and administration of SQL Server databases. Plans starting from just $1450 ex. GST per month. Find out more.

Overview of Azure Data Lake

Azure Data Lake offers a hyper-scale data repository for storing data of any type and is built to the open HDFS standard. You can store trillions of files and single files can be over a petabyte in size. Azure Data Lake makes it easy to run massively parallel data transformations and data processing programs using U-SQL, R, Python and .NET over massive datasets and all with just a few lines of code and absolutely no infrastructure to manage. Find out more about Azure Data Lake.

Do I really need a SQL Server DBA?

Do I really need a SQL Server DBA?

Data has become the lifeblood of almost every organisation today and timely access to this data is the key for providing insight and making business decisions. For many organisations data not only provides insights but is also the key to enabling business transformation. This transformation was recently summarised by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella when he described “data as the new electricity”. Many industry analysts describe data as one of the most important assets that an organisation has and as a result appropriate management of data is paramount.

As the data for most business systems is stored in a database there is a need for a coordinated role to manage the data, this is fulfilled by a Database Administrator (DBA). Broadly the role of a DBA includes a number of functions broken down into the broad categories of capacity planning, installation, configuration, database design, migration, performance monitoring, security, troubleshooting and data recovery. While holistically all of these are important responsibilities of a DBA, where production databases are concerned, performance and data recovery are key. These two functions alone affect overall productivity and will directly impact the businesses ability to operate.

When you first take a car out of the showroom it runs perfectly; it starts first time, there are no strange noises and none of the warning lights are on. However, over time if the car is not maintained and serviced the performance deteriorates and the reliability is significantly reduced. Similarly, without regular maintenance and ongoing tuning database systems performance will deteriorate over time. This is where an experienced DBA is key to the operation of the businesses data systems, they ensure that performance and reliability are maintained and adapt the environment to meet changing usage patterns and scalability requirements along with any other organisational requirements.

Another function of a DBA and arguably the most important is that of data recovery. All too often when organisations think about recovery they are only focused on backup strategies; however, a backup isn’t successful until you have been able to successfully restore from it, reliably and within appropriate timeframes. The DBA ensures that the businesses data recovery time and recovery point objectives are exceeded whilst optimising the total cost to the organisation to deliver the required high availability and disaster recovery solutions. In short, down time equates to lost revenue, if you need to insure your data is available in a timely manner to allow you to make informed business decisions or close transactions then you need a DBA’s expertise to design and manage your data recovery solutions

In short, if you are using any form of business system in your organisation and the data stored within that system is of value, a DBAs expertise will help you to manage the cost effectively whilst maximizing the value you can obtain from your data assets.

December 2016 Round Up

December 2016 WARDY IT Solutions' Round Up

As we reflect on the year that was 2016, there have been numerous changes to the Microsoft Data Platform – the release of SQL Server 2016, the announcement of SQL Server on Linux and the introduction of the Azure SQL Data Warehouse to name a few. With the cloud cadence, it’s becoming harder and harder to pick technology trends. Technology roadmaps are often out of date before they are written. In order to assist with the technology transformation there is a growing need to work with modern technology partners like WARDY IT Solutions who can assist you in navigating the ongoing disruption and deliver true business innovation.

For those of you that are planning to take the Christmas period off, our Virtual DBA Service operates 24x7x365 so if you have any issues with your SQL Servers during the Christmas break, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

December Round Up

Training: Analysing Data with Power BI

Analysing Data with Power BI is a 2-day instructor-led course designed by Microsoft. By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • Describe key features of a self-service BI solution
  • Describe Power BI and its data sources
  • Model, shape, and combine data
  • Describe Power BI data visualizations
  • Utilise Report Builder

Those of you that have Enterprise Agreements with Microsoft will be pleased to hear that you’re able to use your Software Assurance Training Vouchers (SATVs) to attend, you’ll just need to check with your Benefits Administrator. Find out more.

Blog: SQL Server as a Machine Learning Model Management System

If you are a data scientist, business analyst or a machine learning engineer, you need model management – a system that manages and orchestrates the entire lifecycle of your learning model. Analytical models must be trained, compared and monitored before deploying into production, requiring many steps to take place in order to operationalize a model’s lifecycle. SQL Server is the perfect tool to do this. Find out more about SQL Server can be used for model management.

SQL Server Support: Introducing Virtual DBA

Virtual DBA is our very own award-winning remote database administration service based here in Australia. Our Microsoft certified team of DBAs watch over your databases 24x7x365, providing a cost effective solution to meet the day-to-day challenges of availability, performance and administration of SQL Server databases. Plans starting from just $1450 per month. Find out more.

SQL Server Monitoring Scripts

The Microsoft SQL Server Tiger Team have releases a set of scripts to assist monitor your SQL Server instances. These scripts can be downloaded here.

Analytics Platform System Update

Microsoft has recently announced an update to the Analytics Platform System (APS). APS is Microsoft’s scale-out Massively Parallel Processing fully integrated system for data warehouse specific workloads. The appliance update builds on the SQL Server2016 release as a foundation to provide many value-added features. APS 2016 offers additional language coverage to support migrations from SQL Server and other platforms. It also features improved security for hybrid scenarios and the latest security and bug fixes through new firmware and driver updates. Find out more about this release here.

Database Experimentation Assistant

Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA) is a new A/B testing solution for SQL Server upgrades that is currently in Preview. This tool will assist in evaluating a targeted version of SQL Server for a given workload. This tool will assist with upgrading from previous SQL server versions and assist identify compatibility errors, degraded queries, query plans, and other workload comparison data to build higher confidence and have a successful upgrade experience. Download the preview of this tool here.

White Paper: SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016 Better Together

Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server teams are collaborating closely to ensure that the combination of these products is greater than the sum of their parts. Both products are offering improvements to availability and disaster recovery features, providing an unprecedented level of interoperability in a variety of environments. Concepts such as Just Enough Administration (JEA) and new technologies in access control and encryption ensure that data is protected from threats and risks—both external and internal. Simply put, Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016, both world-class products on their own, are better together. To find out more about running SQL Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 refer to this white paper.

SQL Server on Linux

The Public Preview of SQL Server on Linux is now available for preview. The next release of SQL Server brings the performance and security of SQL Server to Linux and Windows enabling organisations to build modern applications with innovative features using any data, any language. It will enable organisations to develop and deploy with macOS, Windows, Linux, or Docker, on-premises, and in the cloud. Find out more about running SQL Server on Linux.

Free SQL Server 2016 eBook

Microsoft has released a free SQL Server 2016 eBook to help you get the most from your database system through enabling in-memory performance, enhanced security, end-to-end mobile business intelligence (BI), and advanced analytics. Download the free eBook.

$900 Service Pack Service

Are you struggling to keep up to date with the latest SQL Server Pack? For only $900 ex. GST WARDY IT Solutions can review a SQL Server instance and prepare an implementation plan and install the latest SQL Server service pack for your instance and provide post implementation support. To take advantage of this limited offer contact us today.

SQL Server Database Healthcheck

Reduce the need for expensive upgrades by optimising your existing infrastructure and identify problem areas with the SQL Server Database Healthcheck. We carry out a comprehensive examination of your SQL Server environment. Helping to reduce the business risks associated with down-time, performance bottlenecks, and the complexities of deploying and managing Microsoft SQL Server. Find out more.

December 2016 QLD SQL Server User Group

StretchDB – Deep Dive QSSUG

StretchDB – Deep Dive

Stretch Database migrates your cold data transparently and securely to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Stretch Database targets transactional databases with large amounts of cold data, typically stored in a small number of tables. It enables organisations to save costs, save data for longer periods of time without having to worry about storage, and maintenance costs. It’s a great feature in SQL Server 2016 and will be enhanced further in future SQL Server versions.

This presentation will introduce industry experts to the technology, what it can offer and how it can meet your business requirements. The presentation will include a demo.

About the Presenter

Amit Arora is an SQL Server Consultant with WARDY IT Solutions. Amit has over 11 years of experience working with SQL Server including working as a Technical Advisor and DBA for Microsoft. Amit has recently been working on SQL Server solutions with Microsoft Azure and HDInsight as well as other big data technologies.

Click here to register for the December 2016 QLD SQL Server User Group

Location:

Microsoft Brisbane – Level 28, 400 George Street, Brisbane

Date & Time:

Catering from 5:30PM for a 6:00PM Start (meetings typically finish at 7:30PM)
Thursday, 15th December 2016

Click here to register

The Virtual DBA Service Goes International – Launching Our Reseller Program

Join WARDY IT Solutions' International Reseller Program

Providing True 24×7 Support

Building a world class SQL Server managed service practice is hard. Many organisations try to provide 24×7 support with varying degrees of success. After launching our Virtual DBA service 10 years ago, we’ve learnt that providing true 24×7 service-excellence is tough to achieve.

Many organisations claim to provide 24×7 support but more often than not, they are providing an on-call service where someone is woken in the middle of the night to respond to an issue, or worse still they are called during the day and they are working on a project. This balance of juggling project and operational workloads is a constant battle for many organisations. Operational workload is the priority but this can severely impact project delivery.

Back in 2006, we saw our clients struggling with the ever increasing demands of both operational and project requirements. Consequently, we developed the Virtual DBA service. Today the Virtual DBA service is an award-winning, best of breed managed service, that supports organisations using the Microsoft Data and Analytics platform.

International Reseller Program

As more and more organisations look to implement various different delivery models including outsourcing, co-souring and as-a-service, clients are expecting more from professional service practices and are requesting support services to assist with managing their changing platform requirements. Professional services firms are often ill-equipped to provide this support due to scale, systems and process or 24×7 support may not be part of their current product offering.

As a result, we’ve launched an international reseller program. We are partnering with other SQL Server professional services firms, enabling them offer true 24×7 support to their clients, using the Virtual DBA service. This allows organisations to meet the 24×7 demands of their clients whilst focusing on their core offerings. We know firsthand how difficult it can be to build the technology and processes required to be in a position to scale. That’s before you even consider recruiting SQL Server experts, which is notoriously difficult across the globe. After years of hard work, we are fortunate enough to be in a position to allow others to ride the wave of success we’ve had with the Virtual DBA service.

Introducing Straight Path IT Solutions

One of the many successful partnerships is our partnership with Straight Path IT Solutions in the US. Straight Path IT Solutions are a specialist SQL Server consulting and mentoring company who found their clients were looking for true 24×7 support to complement their existing DBA on Demand service offering. Straight Path evaluated the worldwide market to find a best of breed partner that would enable Straight Path to focus on the current services they provide but also ensure they could meet the support needs of their clients. The Virtual DBA service does just this. As described by the Straight Path Solutions founder Mike Walsh

The Virtual DBA service provides us a competitive advantage and helps as ensure we strengthen the relationships we have with our clients by allowing us to deliver the solutions they require after business hours. We know the Virtual DBA team is always there and they provide us elastic resourcing if required but most importantly, they are supporting our clients 24×7 while we focus on high-end project work.

If you would like to know more about how the Virtual DBA service can enable you to offer the services that your clients need whilst focusing on your core business offering, please get in touch.

November Round Up

November 2016 round up

This time of the year is Microsoft conference season which provides a platform to make product announcements. This year is no different and the Connect(); 2016 developer event saw a number of exciting new announcements including the first public preview of the next release of SQL Server including SQL Server on Linux.  The next version of SQL Server will provide you the ability to deploy the leading operational database management system on Linux.

November Round Up

1. No more 3am wake up calls

Richard Wiltshire, Head of Technology Operations at Cover-More explains how the Virtual DBA service has helped Australia’s leading travel insurance provider become a 24-7 operation. Watch the video.

2. $99 Power BI training

We’re proud to announce that Microsoft’s very own Dashboard in a Day is coming to a city near you:

  • Sydney: Friday 25th November
  • Melbourne: Friday 2nd December
  • Brisbane: Monday 12th December – SOLD OUT
  • Brisbane: Tuesday 13th December

Designed by Microsoft, delivered by WARDY IT Solutions, Dashboard in a Day is a 1-day training session including the latest features of Power BI for only $99+GST per person. Limited spaces available. Find out more and register.

3. Free Data Science & Advanced Analytics eBook

Every business and nearly every industry is being transformed by technology. SQL Server 2016 was built for this new world and to help businesses get ahead of today’s disruptions. Microsoft have released a free eBook to help with this transformation and enable you to deliver data science solutions and advanced analytics projects. You can download this free eBook from here.

4. $900 Service Pack

Are you struggling to keep up to date with the latest SQL Server Pack? For only $900 ex. GST WARDY IT Solutions can review a SQL Server instance and prepare an implementation plan and install the latest SQL Server service pack for your instance and provide post implementation support. To take advantage of this limited offer contact us today.

5. Data Migration Assistant

Data Migration Assistant (DMA) enables you to upgrade to a modern data platform by detecting compatibility issues that can impact database functionality on your new version of SQL Server. It recommends performance and reliability improvements for your target environment. It allows you to not only move your schema and data, but also uncontained objects from your source server to your target server. You can download this free tool from here.

6. SQL Server Database Healthcheck

Reduce the need for expensive upgrades by optimising your existing infrastructure and identify problem areas with the SQL Server Database Healthcheck. We carry out a comprehensive examination of your SQL Server environment. Helping to reduce the business risks associated with down-time, performance bottlenecks, and the complexities of deploying and managing Microsoft SQL Server.

For more details and to book your SQL Server Healthcheck refer here.

7. Hybrid and Hyperscale Cloud with SQL Server

With cloud computing comes a new paradigm shift as organizations continue to realize the potential cost benefits of running their database applications in the cloud with greater scale and flexibility. Microsoft SQL Server 2016 is built for the cloud first, but not cloud only—organizations can easily deploy SQL Server in a private cloud, hybrid cloud, or public cloud, and can use familiar tools for development and management.

Learn more about running SQL Server across cloud environments here.

8. Azure Analysis Services

A preview of Azure Analysis Services (AS) was recently announced. Azure Analysis Services is based on the proven analytics engine in SQL Server Analysis Services, and is an enterprise grade OLAP engine and BI modelling platform, offered as a fully managed platform-as-a-service (PaaS). You can provision an Azure AS instance in seconds, pause it, scale it up or down, based on your business needs. For more details about Azure AS refer to here.

9. SQL Data Warehouse free trial

An exclusive one-month free trial of Azure SQL Data Warehouse is available for a limited time. You can bring in your own data or try out a pre-loaded sample data set and run queries with compute power of up to 200 DWU (Data Warehouse Units) to experience this fully managed cloud-based service. You can take advantage of this free offer here.

Super Patch Week

Super Patch Week

It is Super Patch Week with not only the release of SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 but also the following updates for SQL Server:

If you are struggling to keep up to date with the latest updates for SQL Server, then WARDY IT Solutions has a service to assist you. For only $900 WARDY IT Solutions can review a SQL Server instance and prepare an implementation plan and install the latest SQL Server updates for your instance and provide post implementation support.  To take advantage of this limited offer contact us today.

October 2016 Canberra SQL Server User Group

Managing Your SQL Server Infrastructure

Operational Excellence in Managing Your SQL Server Infrastructure

Invariably the database solutions hosted on your SQL Server infrastructure represent line-of-business or other mission-critical applications. Consequently it is important to ensure that your SQL Server infrastructure is being managed according to established best practice. With more databases and a shortage of database administrators the industry has seen a decline in operational excellence with SQL Server management.

This user group session will cover operational best practices in areas such as configuration, storage, backups, monitoring and patching. Whether you have 5 or 500 SQL server instances under management, this session will help ensure they are reliable, robust and optimal. This session will have plenty of practical advice and takeaways that you can immediately implement within your organisation.

About the Speaker

Victor Isakov (MCA, MCM, MCT, MVP) is a Microsoft Certified Architect on the Data Platform who provides consulting and training services to various organizations in the public, private and NGO sectors globally, and regularly presents at various international events and conferences. He’s authored a number of books on SQL Server and developed Microsoft certification/courseware. Victor is one of only three non-Microsoft MCAs globally.

Click here to register for the October 2016 Canberra SQL Server User Group

Location

Microsoft Canberra Branch – Level 4, 6 National Circuit, Barton

Date & Time:

4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Click here to register for the October 2016 Canberra SQL Server User Group