Make SQLskills part of YOUR team with dedicated consulting

We're there as part of your team when you need us, without the hassle of contracts and scoping calls. We realize that many of you want to have access to the best SQL Server resources on an ongoing basis and so we're now offering dedicated consulting through prepaid hours with a discount.

The idea is that you pre-pay a certain number of remote consulting hours that are valid for two years from the date of purchase and you can use them for consulting, architecture, design/code reviews, upgrades, migrations, hardware planning, performance tuning, health checks, 1-1 mentoring, virtualization, I/O subsystems, baselining, testing, and more, with access to the whole team. You can also convert some of the hours to onsite work or Immersion Event attendance too.

Your company benefits in multiple ways:

  • We get to know your environment and we become part of your extended team, perfect for larger enterprises with diverse consulting needs
  • Getting a discount for buying hours in bulk
  • No longer having to deal with multiple invoices and contracts with limited hours
  • Access to whoever on the team best fits your current needs

You're basically buying a practical insurance policy for your SQL Servers.

The plan has three options:

  • 100 hours pre-paid with a 7.5% discount
  • 200 hours pre-paid with a 10% discount
  • 400 hours pre-paid with a 12.5% discount

And we can discuss larger blocks of hours, as we have done with several of our enterprise clients.

You can convert some of the hours to Immersion Event registrations at the early-bird rate for the class, and you can also convert some of the hours to onsite visits. We provide guaranteed next business day response for incidents, but usually we're there helping our clients the same day. We just don't do 24-hour on-call. If you exhaust your hours, you can pre-pay some more, with the appropriate discount.

We've already signed up some of our existing customers who want no-hassle access to the best team in the business.

If you're interested in getting the same level of service, just send us an email at!

Do you want free hardware? We can help!

Our hardware guru, Glenn Berry, recently recorded a podcast with our good friends at RunAs Radio about the licensing changes in SQL Server 2012 and how many people are now finding they have hardware they can't fully utilize without spending a bunch more money. The podcast was published today and you can listen to it here. You've probably also heard about his best-selling book – SQL Server Hardware – I strongly recommend it.

The problem is that most companies don't know the ins-and-outs of choosing hardware, and how to maximize its performance while minimizing the hardware and licensing costs. Once you've spent your money, you're stuck with whatever you bought until the next hardware budget cycle comes around, whether it fits the bill or not.

Or maybe you just decide to upgrade in place, on old, under-performing hardware – that's a recipe for disaster as your performance needs grow with your workload volume.

You really don't want to see a message like this in SQL Server's error log:

SQL Server detected 4 sockets with 8 cores per socket and 8 logical processors per socket, 32 total logical processors; using 20 logical processors based on SQL Server licensing.

This is where we come in. Coincident with Glenn's podcast being published today, we've got a new consulting offering to help you out.

We can help you:

  • Evaluate an existing hardware and storage subsystem
  • Evaluate and recommend hardware and storage for an upgrade
  • Giving a sanity check on your proposed hardware specifications

With the savings we can show you, you may end up essentially getting your new hardware for free! That's a pretty good deal that's easy to sell to your management.

Contact us through our Hardware page and we'll hook you up with Glenn – you can't get better advice!

Back to business as summer heats up

You may have noticed that my blog’s been pretty quiet in June and empty in July. May and June were frenetic travel and work months for me, with two two-week teaching trips to the UK and producing two training courses for Pluralsight. Then at the end of June, Kimberly and I took the kids to Scotland for all of July, including us going to the spectacular Norwegian Arctic for two weeks to photograph polar bears, walrus, and other wildlife. Look out for some photo posts coming over the next month!

Online training

I’ll be blogging about what’s happening with Pluralsight next week sometime (it’s very exciting!), but in the meantime you can check out our courses: Myths and Misconceptions, Troubleshooting Using Wait Statistics, Collecting and Analyzing Trace Data, Transact-SQL Basic Data Retrieval.

In-person training

Now we’re back at work and gearing up for our main event of the year: five week-long classes over the next four weeks in Bellevue, WA. Week 2 will be especially cool as the entire team (7 full-time now – wow!) will be together for a week, including our newest team member, Erin Stellato, who starts work with us today!

These are our last public classes this year, as we have a bunch of onsite classes for private clients and a host of other projects we need to spend time on. We’ll be announcing our 2013 class calendar at the end of August – watch this space…


And one of those projects is to get back into my regular blogging groove – I’ve got a bunch of things to blog about, including the results from the latch waits survey I did a few months back and some cool uses of fn_dblog and fn_dump_dblog. Kimberly and I retired our weekly SQL Server Magazine blog at the end of July, after two years, so we can focus more on deeper posts on our SQLskills blogs.

Health checks special offer

Over the last few months the team has significantly expanded the depth and breadth of our signature semi-automated server health checks and as we get back into the swing of things again we’d like to extend an offer to you to take advantage of our health check service at a discount. For new clients, we’ll do each 8-hour health check for the flat-rate price of 6 hours (US$1950) – saving you 25% off the regular rate. You can read all about the health check process here and all you have to do to get the special pricing is sign up in August. You can be anywhere in the world, as we don’t need direct access to your servers to perform the health check.


It’s been a pretty wild year so far, with Kimberly and I being away from home more than 75% of the time and we’re looking forward to being here without flying for the next few months.

As summer starts to heat up here in Redmond, I’m looking forward to blogging for you, training some of you in August, recording more courses, and helping you get your servers healthy!