I’ve been up and down the country lately doing lots of talking and meeting lots of people in and around the SQL community.

This blog post is going to be a bit of a Q&A session using some of questions that I’ve been asked about the consultancy when I’ve been on my travels and hopefully the post will explain a bit little more about the things we do, and it’s not a bad way of doing some PR too!

Why are you called DTA?

Yeah, I know! 🙂 We’re not related to the Data Tuning Advisor! It’s our initials and they came out like that, and it looks a bit like DATA too so I don’t mind too much.

What’s your most popular consulting service?

I think people are really genuinely interested in consulting and like to understand how we work because this is the most popular question I’ve been asked and the answer is without doubt our SQL Server health checks.

Lots of organisations are running or building instances of SQL Server that are business critical and having a clean bill of health is vital. Our health checks provide a thorough instance assessment, detail all of our findings and put forward the next steps to implement (which we often do as well).

What’s the most common problem you encounter?

There’s a few regular “issues”; misconfiguration of SQL Server is definitely on the list. Maintenance, either setup incorrectly or even missing completely is way more common than you’d expect. Lack of proactive monitoring is another one, I think there’s maybe an expectation on cost sometimes but people don’t realise what you can do without spending anything at all, and finally query layer issues (bad code, indexing etc) is definitely up there too.

Do you mix consulting with training?

This is actually a really great question that I got asked the other day -because it’s something that we quite often do! When we’re working with clients we typically work alongside different teams, not just DBA but Developers, Support Engineers and really anyone who comes into contact with SQL Server. Quite often we’ll deliver training sessions during the consulting period that are either based on our training courses or sometimes completely ad-hoc based on a specific requirement.

We’ve delivered sessions on administration, performance, database corruption, alerting, HA/DR, all sorts really and to be honest it’s something we really enjoy doing as well so if there’s the need, we’re more than happy to deliver that sort of training!!

Do you work with other database technologies?

Sort of, is the honest answer! We don’t typically get involved in things like administration of other databases such as MySQL, MongoDB etc but we do often work within migration projects that are using these types of databases. Worth adding that SQL 2019 is definitely more of a broader data hub so I expect the use of other platforms will increase, so watch this space.

Hopefully this post has provided a look into DTA IT and some of our services. I might make this more of a feature so if you have any more questions? Either reply to this post, or on social media or even drop us an email with anything you’d like to know and we’ll reply as quickly as humanly possible!

Consultancy Q&A

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