Case Study: SQL Server Consolidation

The Story

If there is one universal law about data it is that you will always have more data tomorrow than you have today. The modern data problem is that data does not just mean records in a table or even documents in a document store. Think bigger...

With software defined infrastructure, data now covers entire servers stored as virtual disks on a SAN. These virtual servers can often grow into tens or even hundreds of Gigabytes in size. Worse still shadow IT can be such a problem that these servers often get forgotten. They still get backed up, patched and monitored but after a while no one asks why is this server even needed?

This has made it much more difficult to monitor and control. Large companies that grow by acquisition are especially vulnerable to the exponential data growth. Suddenly they have an entire extra business worth of data to analyse and manage on top of all the other data stores currently being managed.

Before one company purchase has been properly merged and consolidated the next is already half way through and a third acquisition is on the horizon. Each one has less time to be completed but the business continues adding system after system to the list of infrastructure being looked after by your static team resource. 

The Problem

Our client had a business growing organically and through acquisition. The growth over the years had become large and scattered. The landscape covered various versions of the same software, SQL Server versions 7 to 2012. These versions were all old at the time and a few were well out of support with the vendor (Microsoft) leaving their business at risk from data loss as well as unpatched software vulnerabilities.

Sometimes there are systems that were only known about by a single person that retired a few years back. When the system dies, that is when they realise it has never been backed up or that the backups had started failing years ago without notification as the only notification went to the person that left.

  • How do you manage it?
  • How do you maintain visibility? 
  • How do you scale your teams time to meet the increasing challenge of delivering 'more with less'?

The Solution

Having an outside view by our consultants can quickly give you that perspective. We analysed what our client had and found the areas to be worked on. We can find out everything you have, work out if its even used or not and begin to decommission the unused, migrate the needed onto the latest platforms and allow for older systems that are due to be replaced to have a timescale for death. We were able to reduce their SQL estate by 80% because of our tried and tested methodology for data management.  


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