How the Company-Startup Thing is Working Out for Me

A little over two years ago, I partnered up with Jeremiah Peschka, Kendra Little, and Tim Ford to turn my blog,, from a blog into a consulting company. I didn’t want to live-blog the business-building process. As life unfolds in front of you, it’s a noisy, jumbled mess with everything happening at once. Plus, like Salman Rushdie wrote in Midnight’s Children, “Most of what matters in our lives takes place in our absence.” To give myself better perspective and a bigger picture, I decided I’d wait at least a year before blogging about anything that happened. It’s going well,…

Interesting Stats About My Community Work This Year

My Microsoft MVP status is up for renewal again, so it’s time for a little navel-gazing at the community work I’ve done over the last twelve months. Here’s the data I found most surprising this time around. YouTube Channel Stats This one just completely boggles my mind – you have watched OVER 23,000 HOURS of our videos this year, and that’s just since September 1st: YouTube Channel Stats 3 people are watching a Brent Ozar Unlimited video, around the clock! We must find these three people and show them a different web site or something. Maybe Taylor Smith’s goat duets.…

How Fast Should the Developer’s SQL Server Be?

Slow and cheap, right? Managers and DBAs usually want the development server to be just slow enough to get the job done, and no faster. The dev server doesn’t have production load on it – you’re just working by yourself. If you can’t make your code fast when you’re the only person working in the server, then it’ll never scale in production with hundreds or thousands of simultaneous users. Wrong – the development server should be faster than production. Ideally, the whole database should fit in memory, and we should be using solid state drives. Amazon’s running a huge >30%…

Why I’m Tolerating the Surface Pro

When the iPad came out, reviewers pointed out that the iPad itself simply disappeared when you used it. The iPad became a featureless black frame, and what you were really using was an app. Fire up a text editor, a game, a browser, whatever, the iPad hardware was just a simple glass window into the app itself. If you used an app that was clean, polished, and functional, then you saw the iPad as clean, polished, and functional. Luckily for Apple, developers came out with a lot of clean, polished, and functional apps within the first year, so the iPad…

Why sp_Blitz™ is Free

We give away sp_Blitz™, a totally free health check tool for Microsoft SQL Server. It looks for all kinds of common reliability and performance problems and gives you a prioritized to-do list. The number one question I get about it – by far – is, “Why do you give it away for free? Why don’t you charge for it?” Free Beer vs Free Speech We need to start by considering the word free. In the software world, there’s two ways to look at it. The Wikipedia article on Gratis versus Libre sums it up well: Gratis versus libre is the distinction…

Followup on the @DBAReactions Experiment

Database administrators are lonely. In most companies, there’s only one DBA, and nobody else really understands the job duties. We don’t have anybody else we can talk to about the crazy things we run across. I think this is the biggest reason there’s such a vibrant SQL Server community on Twitter – we’re looking for other people who understand us. This January, Jeremiah turned me on to, and I was hooked. DevOps is a new hybrid job, a cross between developers and system administrators. Like DBAs, they’re an unusual profession with very different challenges than most of their coworkers. I knew…

Pick a Needle and Move It

Employees have one job: move needles. Company executives track their most important metrics using dashboard graphs like the example at right from Geckoboard.  The VP of Sales, the Chief Financial Officer, the Board of Directors, or anybody else with a fancypants title can all name their top 2-3 key metrics, what the numbers are today, and where they need to be. Your job – no matter what you think your job title is – boils down to these 6 things: 1. Figure out who you need to impress.  If you’re just getting started with this technique, odds are your direct…

Treat Criticism Like Spam Email

When you do something – anything – you’re going to get criticized. I used to lose a lot of sleep about it, but I’ve figured out there’s an easy way to filter criticism: treat it like incoming email.  Use a series of filters and scores to determine whether it meets your threshold, and if not, throw it away. All criticism starts at 0 points. Filtering the Critic Is the critic anonymous? -5 points Does the critic know me in real life? +5 points Has the critic given me helpful criticism before? +5 points Has the critic given me unhelpful criticism…
State of the Office 2013

How I Cleaned Up My Desk Cabling

My idea of the perfect desk would be something straight out of the Apple store – bare tables with no visible wiring.  Back here in reality, though, I’ve got monitor cabling, device chargers, microphone and speaker cabling, etc, etc.  Every year or two, I take a shot at making a really clean, minimalist desk, and here’s how it turned out this weekend: State of the Office 2013 It’s hard to really appreciate it until you see it from behind: Back of the Desk Yes, that’s Ernie’s ears peeking out from her black chair.  That used to be my chair, but…

Why Not Everybody Loves My Sessions

I spoke at my local SQL Server user group last month.  I delivered one of my very favorite presentations, and it’s got one of my favorite punch lines.  I ask the attendees where SQL Server does its sorting, and someone inevitably answers TempDB.  I then say, “Yes, TempDB – or as I call it….” TempDB: SQL Server’s Public Toilet You have no idea what other filthy, disgusting things people are doing in TempDB.  It’s a sloppy mess. I’m quite proud of that slide, and every single time I deliver that punch line – every time – it brings the house…

Hi. I’m Brent.

That's me, Brent.

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.

I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.

My current car collection includes a Jaguar XKR-S, Porsche 944 Turbo, Porsche 356 Speedster replica, and a Ferrari 328 GTS.

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