consulting DBinsight

SQL in the Cloud

DBInsight recognises that businesses are now moving their production SQL Server database systems to the cloud.

Whether its a greenfield SQL Server implementation, a requirement to avoid capital expenditure upfront for hardware replacement or a disaster recovery solution for SQL Server, the AWS/Azure Cloud can provide the cost effective building blocks for your organisation’s cloud solution.

DBInsight has developed a number of SQL in the Cloud services to assist businesses moving to the cloud.

  • Cloud Transition Service
    – takes the guess work out of migrating your SQL Server database systems to Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure. Read more
  • Cloud Always On Service
    – designs and implements a SQL Server high availability and disaster recovery solution optimised for the AWS/Azure Cloud environment.Read more
  • Cloud DR Service
    – designs and implements a AWS/Azure Cloud based disaster recovery solution for on-premise SQL Server database systems.Read more
  • Cloud SQL Monitoring with SQLRDS Monitor
    – a fully functional, SQL Server optimised monitoring solution that provides a single pane view of your On-Premise and Cloud based SQL Servers. The monitoring service comes bundled with a variety of SQL Server support options from DBInsight. Read more

DBInsight is an accredited Amazon Web Services consulting partner.

Call DBInsight on 1300 914 460 to find more about DBInsight’s SQL in the Cloud services.

Cloud Transition Services

DBInsight’s Cloud transition service helps take the guess work out of migrating your SQL Server database systems to Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure.

Whether it’s an on-premise SQL Server or a greenfield implementation, we first need to determine if the Cloud is right for your database system.

If it is, then which of the AWS/Azure features is the best fit for your organisation.

The transition to the AWS/Azure Cloud presents a number of challenges to organisations making the move, some of those challenges include :

  • What are the best practices for deploying SQL Server to the Cloud?
  • What SQL Server licensing do I need for the Cloud?
  • What CPU, Memory, and Disk resources will I need?
  • How can I minimise downtime in the Cloud?
  • Should I buy on-demand or reserved resources?
  • How can I ensure that it will perform?
  • How do I effectively monitor my environment?
  • How much will this all cost?

DBInsight’s Cloud transition service helps you overcome these challenges and delivers a detailed plan to smoothly migrate your database system to the AWS/Azure Cloud.

DBInsight can also assist you in implementing the plan by executing:

  • Server and network provisioning
  • SQL Server installation/configuration – including DB backups and database maintenance
  • Installing monitoring/alerting
  • SQL Server high availability feature
  • Optimise database backup processing and data protection
  • Managing the SQL migration cut over

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email and find out more about Cloud Transition Services.

Cloud always on Services

Ok so you have successfully deployed to the AWS/Azure Cloud but what happens if the data centre goes down or the whole region is down?

What about if you just want to apply a patch and can’t afford long outages, or perhaps your SQL Server is significantly slow today and your initial investigation suggests a physical host issue.

How can you avoid major downtime for the above scenarios or at least give yourself some breathing space to investigate the issue?

DBInsight’s Cloud Always On service is the answer!

DBInsight’s Cloud Always On service designs and implements a SQL Server high availability and disaster recovery solution optimised for the AWS/Azure Cloud environment.

Depending on your business objectives and budget we can seamlessly:

  • Switch to another server in the local data centre and minimise downtime for patching or provide an alternative environment while investigating physical host issues.
  • Switch to another server in another data centre in the same region for local disaster recovery.
  • Switch to another server in a different region to provide regional disaster recovery.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email and find out more about Cloud always on Services.

Cloud DR Service

A lot of businesses that have local server rooms tend not have any warm standby disaster recovery options implemented for their critical SQL Server database systems. Therefore if the server room is destroyed then the game is up for these businesses.

Typically for these businesses the cost of implementing a DR environment for their SQL Server database system is prohibitive. Well, until now!

DBInsight’s Cloud DR service designs and implements a AWS or Azure Cloud based disaster recovery solution for on-premise SQL Server database systems.

It leverages the AWS/Azure features to reduce the cost of a DR footprint and securely extends the on-premise network to the AWS or Azure data centre. Features like

  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC/VNET) – where your virtual machines are sandboxed and are allocated user assigned private IP Addresses.
  • Ability to create a VPN between the VPC/VNET and the on-premise network.
  • Direct Connect/Express Route – where you establish a dedicated network connection from your on-premise to Cloud environment
  • Optionally place your virtual machines onto dedicated physical hosts (AWS).
  • Ability to turn off your application servers and therefore not incur any costs while operating out of your on-premise site.

Add in the rich feature set for high availability and disaster recovery within SQL Server and an affordable DR solution becomes a reality.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email and find out more about Cloud DR Service.

Cloud SQL Monitoring with SQLRDS Monitor

Traditional monitoring tools find it difficult to securely monitor the On-premise and Cloud based SQL Servers. The DBAs typically need to run multiple monitoring tools that are not integrated and are disparate in functionality and reporting. In addition, monitoring infrastructure needs to be deployed into multiple sites and DBAs need to be trained to support multiple monitoring tools.

To overcome this challenge, DBInsight has now released their Cloud based SQL Server monitoring service called SQLRDS Monitor. The SQLRDS Monitor is a fully functional, SQL Server optimised monitoring solution that will provide a single pane view of your On-Premise and Cloud based SQL Servers. The SQLRDS Monitor service requires no monitoring infrastructure, no monitoring rule definition and is deployed within minutes.

The SQLRDS Monitor Service has two main offerings; a low cost Self-Service option where the customer gets the alerts and only calls the DBInsight DBA if required and an Out-sourced option where the DBInsight DBA attends to all alerts

You can get more information on the SQLRDS Monitor Service (here).

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email and find out more about Cloud SQL Monitoring with SQLRDS Monitor.

Troubleshooting and Support

DBInsight’s Microsoft certified consultants have over 30 years combined experience in dealing with SQL Server issues. We have seen our fair share of SQL Server faults and anomalies, but there is always a chance that its a new, never seen before issue.

No problems! DBInsight’s experience in troubleshooting SQL Server and knowing where to look and what to check will ensure that the root cause is discovered quickly.

Your problem gets solved quicker and you save money!

DBInsight’s Support Options

DBInsight has a number of support options through which you can engage us:

  • Engage us adhoc via a Time & Materials arrangement.
  • Purchase 10, 20 or 40 hour support blocks and receive a discounted hourly rate and priority access to DBInsight’s DBA resources.
  • Signup up to our DBInsight Monitor service.

Contact Us for Assistance

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email if you need assistance.

Health Checks

DBInsight’s SQL Server Health Check service determines the overall health of a SQL Server instance and its adherence to best practices. Why purchase a SQL Server Health Check?

  • Avoid unexpected downtime and data loss through pro-active analysis.
  • Avoid security breaches and data theft.
  • Improve business productivity by maximising performance and response time.

Areas targeted include:

  • Security Assessment.
  • Backup & Recovery Assessment.
  • Performance Counter Collection & Assessment.
  • Database Integrity Assessment.
  • Database & Server Configuration Assessment.
  • Capacity Assessment.
  • Index Analysis & Fragmentation Assessment.

The deliverable from this packaged service includes a report which highlights areas of concern ranked by severity and potential impact, and a list of targeted recommendations which address the issues discovered. On completion of the report, a DBInsight senior consultant will arrange to meet you onsite to walk through the report findings and to recommend a no-obligation course of action to return the SQL Server instance to optimal operating conditions.

DBInsight recommends a regular and ongoing health check once initial issues have been addressed and rectified. Available on a monthly, quarterly or half yearly basis, ongoing health checks ensure continued optimal operational stability.

DBInsight’s Health Check service has been tailored into 3 offerings:

  • The Standard package provides a detailed report on the general health of your SQL Server instance and adherence to best practices for configuration and security.
  • The Performance package provides a detailed analysis of your SQL Server instance and provides recommendations to improve its performance.
  • The Premium package incorporates both the Standard and Performance offerings.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email to find out more about our Heath Check service.

Performance Tuning

DBInsight DBA’s have analysed and tuned systems from a wide variety of workloads including:

  • Low throughput but complex statements
  • High throughput but simple statements
  • Mixed environments of complex and simple statements
  • Virtualised workloads
  • Concentrated peak periods.

Our experience and extensive tuning skills ensure a shorter resolution timeframe, minimising the time lost to outages and slow response times, and ultimately saving money for the client.

What also sets us apart from our competitors is our willingness to mentor our client’s technical staff and increasing their SQL Server knowledge and improving their self-sufficiency when it comes to troublshooting SQL Server issues.

Our performance analysis and tuning methodology has been packaged into our Performance Health Check service. This service provides a comprehensive review of your SQL Server performance, identifies the root cause of performance issues and provides recommendations on how to resolve the issues.

Here’s what our clients say…

“DBInsight has done a great job designing, maintaining and performance tuning our highly complex SQL Server environments. We have some challenging requirements (including extremely high transaction load, datasets sized into the tens of terabytes and a need for 24x7x365 uptime) and their in-house expertise in these areas is second to none. DBInsight always delivers our projects on time & on budget, can be relied upon to go the extra mile when needed and most importantly, always keeping our systems running smoothly. I would highly recommend DBInsight for any SQL Server project.”

Liam Howard, Operations Manager, Eyecon

“As part of a performance analysis engagement, Rob Risetto not only identified the root cause of performance issues within the SQL Server and the VMWare level and but they also provided a suite of recommendations, along with the estimated costs involved to implement these recommendations. Rob also accommodated our timeframe requirements when providing the report.”

Michelle Chalk, National Business System Manager, Saleslink.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email to find out more about our Performance Health Check service.

High Availability

DBInsight’s High Availability services are designed to assess an organisation’s reliance on their SQL Server environment and tailor an appropriate architecture to ensure a highly available and reliable database environment. Why purchase a High Availability package?

  • Your data is arguably your most valuable business asset. Measuring the business cost of an unexpected outage and/or data loss is difficult, and often unknown until the unthinkable occurs.
  • There’s an endless list of possible events which may impact on your SQL Server environment from natural disasters through to accidental and/or malicious data deletion. Which of these are you prepared for and how would you recover?
  • There are many different High Availability techniques that can be utilised in avoiding and minimising the impacts of unexpected events. DBInsight’s DBAs have extensive experience in designing and implementing cost effective and targeted architectures which match an organisation’s reliance on their SQL Server environment.

High Availability Assessment Service

DBInsight’s High Availability Assessment service includes:

  • Assessment of the current SQL Server environment and its susceptibility to a range of possible disaster events.
  • Assessment of the recovery time objective (acceptable lead time to restore service).
  • Assessment of the recovery point objective (how much data loss is acceptable).
  • Selection of an appropriate High Availability technique which aligns the recovery time and recovery point objectives with the budget constraints and the current version/edition of SQL Server being used.
  • Documentation of the proposed High Availability architecture.

Other High Availability Services

In addition to the assessment service described above, DBInsight has designed a number of common High Availability services described below. All services come with configuration and operational documentation and appropriate handover sessions.

  • Failover Clustering
    – Installation of a two node, single instance failover cluster configured with appropriate alerts and best practice configuration.
  • Availability Groups
    – Installation of a two node Windows Cluster, an instance of SQL Server is installed and configured on each server with appropriate alerts and best practice configuration. An availability group is installed and configured for a selection of databases.
  • Database Mirroring
    – Installation of Database Mirroring for one database in either Synchronous or Asynchronous mode with appropriate alerts and best practice configuration.
  • Transaction Log Shipping
    – Installation of transaction log shipping for one database with appropriate alerts and best practice configuration.
  • Replication
    – A customised implementation of various replication techniques designed from a high availability perspective.

Note that it’s common practice to combine a number of different High Availability techniques in a single customised solution. Such an approach minimises the limitations of individual techniques and maximises an organisation’s resilience against a wide variety of possible failures.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email to find out more about our High Availability service.

Server and Hardware Sizing

DBInsight’s Server and Hardware Sizing service defines the SQL Server physical environment for upgrades, consolidation projects or green field implementations.

The physical environment components include:

  • Number of CPUs.
  • Type of CPU.
  • Server RAM and SQL Server memory configurations.
  • Disk system (Number of disks, disk type, RAID, controller throughput etc).
  • File placement.
  • SQL Server/Windows version and edition.
  • Number of servers.
  • Virtual vs physical server
  • High availability and disaster recovery site options

Server Sizing Process

DBInsight can either:

  • Capture the performance data and then extrapolate the statistics to determine the specifications.
  • Assist you in generating an indicative workload and then analyse the statistics to determine the specifications.

If capturing or generating a workload is not practical, then DBInsight can determine the minimum specification required; based on information from the client, and our extensive experience in sizing servers and disk systems.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email to find out more about our Server and Hardware Sizing service.

Version Upgrades

DBInsight’s SQL Server Version Upgrade service includes two offerings:

  • Upgrade Assessment service
    - is designed to review a SQL Server environment and assess it in preparation for a version upgrade.
  • Upgrade Implementation service
    – executes the version upgrade plan determined in the version upgrade assessment service.

Why purchase a SQL Server version upgrade service?

  • With each new version of SQL Server, some features are no longer supported whilst others undergo subtle changes; DBInsight can develop an appropriate upgrade strategy which is crucial in mitigating these risks and ensuring a smooth upgrade path.
  • There are many different upgrade techniques that can be utilised to minimise the downtime during an upgrade. DBInsight has extensive experience in executing complex upgrades on mission critical systems with little or no downtime.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email to find out more about our SQL Server Version Upgrade service.

Database Consolidation

DBInsight’s Database Consolidation service provides a detailed plan on how to reduce the number of servers in your SQL Server farm and save on management and licensing costs.

The consolidation service includes a detailed discovery of all your SQL Servers in scope, and then using the client’s consolidation objectives we produce a set of server specifications and database to server mappings.

In addition, a detailed plan is created to outline the sequence and dependencies for the database migrations to the consolidated platform.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email to find out more about our Database Consolidation service.

Replication

Replication Design and Implementation Service

DBInsight has extensive experience in designing and implementing a variety of SQL Server replication models including:

  • Peer to Peer Replication for high availability and workload balancing between sites.
  • Merge replication to hundreds of subscribers including Head office to Regional office republishing.
  • Transactional Replication for offloading the reporting workload.
  • Transactional Replication with updatable subscriptions for high availability and occasional head office updates.

DBInsight specialises in replication deployment automation using Powershell and provides replication management training and mentoring for clients that want to manage their own replication environments.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email to find out more about our Replication Design and Implementation service.

Business Intelligence

DBInsight has proven experience in developing Business Intelligence (BI) solutions using the Microsoft BI software stack.

Whether it’s single a report or a fully functional BI solution, DBInsight’s BI consultants will work with you to deliver invaluable insight into your data.

DBInsight’s Business Intelligence design and development services include:

  • Business intelligence product road map advice and strategy.
  • Report design and construction using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).
  • Dashboard design and implementation using a variety of visualisation tools including Sharepoint/Performance Point Services, PowerView, PowerPivot and SSRS.
  • Data warehousing design and construction.
  • Data modelling and OLAP cube design using SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) multi-dimensional and tabular models.
  • Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) development using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).
  • Analytical query design, implementation and tuning using the MDX and DAX.
  • Packaging and deployment of business intelligence / data warehousing solutions.
  • Self-service BI development using PowerPivot, PowerView, Microsoft Excel Services and Report Builder.

Contact Us for More Information

Call us on 1300 914 460 or send us a contact email and find out more about DBInsight’s Business Intelligence services.