We started Brent Ozar Unlimited back in 2011, and we had plenty of surprises along the way. We’d worked for consulting companies before, but we’d never run one. Our first surprise came in August 2011: incoming business simply stopped. We were terrified. What had we done wrong? Were customers just not that into us? Did we need to revamp our strategies? There were moments where we really doubted ourselves and the business we were trying to build. Fortunately, work started coming back in September, so we didn’t have too much time to freak out. Then it happened again in 2012 –…Read
So you’re thinking about taking the leap, abandoning your comfortable full time job and becoming an independent consultant. Here’s some of the plumbing mechanics to consider: Pick a Company Name There’s an old joke that says there’s only two hard things in computers: naming things, cache invalidation, and off-by-one errors. Don’t overthink the name – you can always go by something else if you have to. (Brent Ozar Unlimited® is actually Brent Ozar PLF, LLC® Doing Business As Brent Ozar Unlimited®.) After you’ve picked one, search the web for your company name by itself, and in combination with terms related to your…Read
If you’re thinking about offering something – a piece of software, a service, training, or an e-book – you need to know if people are going to buy it. (And buy includes free stuff, because it costs their time.) Getting the truth is surprisingly hard. I used to think I’d just flat out ask people and they’d be honest with me, especially if I explained that I needed their honesty because I was about to place a big bet on it. Instead, it turns out people want to say yes because they don’t want to insult you and they figure…Read
I liked the teacher. I loved the subject. A hot girl sat in front of me. Hell, I even got straight A’s during the semesters. Let the record show that I got an A in physical education. But I skipped class 57 times. I’m not sure how many school days are in tenth grade, but 57 seems like a pretty high percentage, and it was high enough that they failed me. Up to that point, I didn’t care. The point is that I learned the material, right? Why make me stick around and keep a chair warm when I could read the…Read
Thinking about quitting your full time job and changing things up a little? Here’s a quick explanation of the differences between IT roles. Full Time Employees (FTEs) of Regular Companies You show up for work on Monday at 8AM, and you know exactly where you’re going to work, and who you’ll be working with. You have lots of water cooler conversations with the same people every week. You’re frequently called into meetings that you can’t refuse, and they waste your time for hours on end. That frustrates you because you’d rather be out doing real work. You’re on call (either all…Read
Friday, Kendra and I launched our newest online training course, The DBA’s Guide to SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery. Here’s a quick glimpse behind the scenes at the work required in launching something like this. Designing and Building the Course Materials November – Course design started – Kendra wrote a profile for the ideal attendee, describing her experience, job duties, and current pain points. This determined the material we’d cover – and the stuff we’d ignore. For example, Kendra wrote, “What’s NOT included? How to install these things. I can figure out how to run a wizard.” November – EU…Read
You’ve read my blog posts or seen my webcasts, and you know I’m qualified to solve a particular SQL Server problem. You contact our company, and maybe you bring us in for an engagement. But many of you don’t – many of you only want me for 15 minutes, or an hour or two. You’ve got one particular problem, and it’s not a really big problem, but it’s not a good fit to post on a Stack Exchange site or a forum. Maybe it involves private code that would be painful to sanitize, or maybe you need interactive help with a…Read
I’ve been watching Steve Stedman’s Database Corruption Challenge with glee. Steve (@SQLEMT) is running one of the toughest kinds of blog posts you can do: an ongoing series that involves a lot of prep, urgent timings, and dealing with plenty of contributions/questions/answers from a lively audience. That is seriously hard work. So I emailed Steve and put even more work on his plate – an email interview. Here’s how it went: Brent: What made you decide to do a corruption challenge? Steve Stedman Steve: I was working on a blog post to explain the concept of how to pull in data from…Read
Having a champagne moment Five years ago this week, while presenting a session at the 24 Hours of PASS, I introduced the world to an easier way to check the health of their SQL Servers. I had no idea if anybody else would like it or find it useful. As I write this, I’m sipping champagne, watching golfers tee off in Scottsdale Arizona. I’m self-employed, part of a boutique consulting firm where I get to work with my best friends. I still can’t believe this is my life, and I want it to be yours, too, so as usual, I’m sharing what I…Read
It’s time for my annual update on the wild ride. A brief recap of what’s happened so far: April 2011 – started the company. April 2012 – year one finished, but I didn’t blog about it right away. I wanted to get it into the rear view mirror for perspective before blogging. April 2013 – year two finished, so I blogged about year one. April 2014 – year three finished, so I blogged about year two. April 2015 – year four just finished, so I’m blogging about year three – April 2013 to April 2014. When last we met The company logo…Read
Hi. I’m Brent Ozar.
I live in California with my wife Erika. 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.