Optimize and Consolidate SQL Server

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Your Challenge

  • More servers are deployed in production than necessary, resulting in excessive hardware, utilities, licensing and maintenance costs.
  • Many databases are business critical, and prolonged downtime while IT changes the environment is unacceptable.
  • It can be hard to secure funds for an overdue upgrade project.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Get to action with the tasks that have the most impact. Focus your time and energy on the items that will provide the greatest return on investment.
  • Create a plan to replace infrastructure that can make costs and changes predictable.
  • Clearly communicate these needs to executive stakeholders, identifying the business value of changes.

Impact and Result

  • Create an inventory of your current environment.
  • Perform an analysis of the current system to identify candidates for consolidation and out-of-date platforms.
  • Create a detailed plan to test, execute modifications, and stabilize your platform.
  • Use Info-Tech’s tools and templates to guide your project and get to action.


  • Richard Teta, Manager of Technology Support, Trinity Wall Street
  • Dave Hildebrand, Manager of Information Technology & Systems, Meno Ya Win Health Centre
  • Mike West, SQL Server Educator, DBA, and Technical Consultant
  • System Analyst Manager, a community bank in Upstate New York
  • Senior DBA, a major international organization
  • Chief Technology Officer, mid-size US medical organization

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See how all the steps you need to take come together, with tools and advice to help with each task on your list.

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should consolidate and optimize your SQL Server environment, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

  1. Identify opportunities and challenges

    Understand opportunities to optimize SQL Server.

  2. Plan the optimization project

    Create a workflow for optimization.

  3. Test, execute, stabilize, and debrief

    Put the plan into action and collect the results.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a nine call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Identify opportunities and challenges

  • Call #1: Identify the current state of your SQL Server environment

  • Call #2: Review inventory of hardware and applications, and identify if opportunities exist for an upgrade to SQL Server 2014

  • Call #3: Review options for an upgrade or consolidation

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Plan the optimization project

  • Call #1: Review possible paths for a consolidation or upgrade project, and review likely budget estimates

  • Call #2: Discuss opportunities for an upgrade in the context of your current environment

  • Call #3: Identify opportunities and goals for consolidation

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Test, execute, stabilize, and debrief

  • Call #1: Review your project checklist and resourcing

  • Call #2: Discuss the stages in your execution with an analyst, and review possibilities for post-testing

  • Call #3: Debrief on project execution and discuss next steps

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Identify Opportunities and Challenges

The Purpose

  • Review the project rationale and identify project value add.
  • Identify challenges to overcome and opportunities to improve.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Create an inventory of your current database environment.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Identify pain points in the current system.
1.2 Identify project drivers, risks, and expected outcomes.
  • Identify project value proposition
1.3 Identify stakeholders, SMEs, and roles and responsibilities.
  • Complete the project opportunity assessment
1.4 Establish project parameters and deliverables and collect system data.
  • Create an inventory identifying system interdependencies
1.5 Identify new features in SQL Server that can provide business value.

Module 2: Plan the Optimization Project

The Purpose

  • Develop a project plan to guide implementation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Develop project scope and get sign-off.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Review key factors for your platform, such as security and availability, to identify the optimal path for modifications.
  • Document prioritized criteria to guide any modifications to your environment
2.2 Identify the paths to optimization that can help you meet business goals.
  • Complete the opportunity assessment and identify initial steps on the project checklist
2.3 Identify servers to upgrade, performance tune, and consolidate.
  • Complete the TCO budget tool

Module 3: Test, Execute, Stabilize, and Debrief

The Purpose

  • Establish a plan to execute and test modifications to your environment.
  • Communicate project successes to stakeholders.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Ensure your plan to modify your SQL Server environment will minimize disruption to business processes.
  • Build a roadmap for next steps to streamline future projects.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Create a step-by-step plan for modifications with your SMEs.
  • Complete the execution checklist
3.2 Identify steps for roll back and backup to deal with unexpected complications.
  • Complete the roll back checklist
3.3 Review your project plans with stakeholders.
  • Review the executive presentation
3.4 Discuss and document lessons learned.
  • Update the issue resolution template

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

Book Now

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Search Code: 79023
Published: November 2, 2015
Last Revised: February 8, 2016

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