Allonby IT Limited
Solving real problems with creative technology


The story so far…


Professional Experience…

Last assignment: Senior Consultant DBA, Wyndham Vacation Rentals Sept 2018 – Aug 2019

Primary Tasks

  • Create a methodology to migrate the Wyndham SQL server estate from the RCI active directory to a new AD infrastructure. This includes some use of the Binary tree product for AD objects, computer accounts and NTFS permissions however the whole of SQL server infrastructure was to be done by script.

  • To create a methodology and have it approved by Microsoft to migrate failover cluster instances between active directory domains which includes writing a script to script out the complete cluster configuration, drop the clusters, change the AD, recreate the clusters (including ensuring the disks remap to the same drive letters) and restarting SQL. I achieved a 100% success rate using this bespoke methodology and consider it one the highlights of my career to date.

  • Overcome SQL Reporting services incompatibility with SID History where the displayname is identical between source and target domains. This required the development of hundreds of lines of PowerShell including incorporation of the modules from dbaTools and ReportingServicesTools as well TSQL, webservice calls and consumption.

  • Overcome failures from the Binary Tree implementation regarding group membership, including nested group membership, migration, user permissions and other issues for the AD migration team.

  • Developing a system to interrogate SQL from one end to the other. From SSAS to SSIS via SSRS and everywhere else searching for hardcoded references to the old AD Domain and providing a list for remediation (most of which I scripted out for reliability). The most challenging is SSRS with changes needing to be made to Roles, Subscription Owners, embedded data sources, shared data sources etc and all without falling foul of the issues with SID history.

  • Providing the human interface between the deeply complex technical tasks and the operational and project management stakeholders, allowing them to focus on goals and deliverables without being bogged down with the atomic technical issues.

    Previous assignment: Senior Consultant DBA, Claranet Feb 2018 – Aug 2018

    Primary Tasks

  • Migration of Ardenta database systems from the Ardenta active directory to the Claranet active directory using bespoke scripts created in PowerShell and TSQL.

  • Migration of users, groups, mailboxes, shared mailboxes, distribution groups Contacts and other AD objects from The Ardenta AD to Claranet including mail objects onward to Azure using bespoke PowerShell and TSQL.

  • Designing, developing, testing and operating an automated migration solution using PowerShell for interrogation, TSQL for storage, assimilation and command list production to reliably, quickly, cheaply and most of all accurately migrate the original Ardenta infrastructure to the new parent company without the use of SID history etc

  • Performing additional DBA consultancy as required.

    Previous assignment: Senior Consultant DBA, Wyndham Vacation Rental May 2016 – 28th Feb 2017, 1 st May to 30th June 2017 and 24th July to 31st Jan 2018

    Primary Tasks

  • Plan migration from SQL 2008R2 to 2014 and 2016 for approx. 80 instances.

  • Redesign Backup solution for SQL to integrate offsite to S3 and Glacier storage for archives.

  • Architect migration strategy and end environment for a replacement Data warehouse and Analysis server implementation on SQL 2016 Enterprise.

  • Design replacements for SQL 2008R2 based solutions to include multiple SQL 2014 availability groups on top of failover clusters with power shell scripting to swap network names and IP addresses of AG Listeners.

  • Support, administer and troubleshoot backend SQL 2008R2, 2012 and 2014 databases behind the following well-known brands (see

    • Wyndham Vacation Rentals

    • Hoseasons

    • Landal

    • Novasol

    • James Villa Holidays


    • Blakes Holiday Boating

  • Knowledge transfer from exiting Senior DBA in June 2016 and to new permanent Senior DBA October 2016 including technical interviewing of candidates.

  • Leading onshore global DBA team through transition to new senior DBA.

  • Mentoring fellow team members with aim of instilling standardised practices and methodologies.

  • Defining standard practices and procedures, rationalising and simplifying organic technical solutions to reduce failure rates and costs.

  • Migrating on prem Database instances and solutions to Verizon CAAS including failover clusters, Always On availability groups for synchronous (local site), asynchronous (DR remote site), snapshot and transactional replication and SQL version upgrade.

  • Migrating SSRS reports and SSIS packages to CAAS including modifying connection strings and migration of security configuration.

  • Deploy, Manage, support and troubleshoot multi-tier transactional replication, merge replication and database mirroring.

  • Administer SSRS, SSIS and SSAS in multi dimension mode.

  • Performance tuning including execution plan analysis, query design, index design (including spatial data) and performance testing.

  • Tuning report performance through optimising underlying data sources.

  • Re working SSRS security environment to abstract user rights assignments from SSRS held objects with AD Group based Access

    Previous assignment: Senior Consultant DBA, Hitachi Consulting Nov 2015 – May 2016

    Primary Tasks

  • Knowledge transfer from exiting Senior DBA in Nov 2015 and to new permanent Senior DBA Mar 2016.

  • Sole onshore managed services Consultant DBA with steer on the offshore team.

  • Mentoring offshore team members with aim of instilling standardised practices and methodologies.

  • Defining standard practices, documenting and creating tools (TSQL and PowerShell forms).

  • System tuning of NHS, Mitchells and Butlers, Elexon and Go-Ahead data warehouse solutions through configuration, wait state, query plan and index analysis including producing tools to record information that is usually lost to system restarts and index rebuilds.

  • Index definition and optimisation through design, consolidation, joining and deduplication.

  • Deployment, Administration and troubleshooting of customer on-prem SQL releases 2005 to 2016 CTP3 and Azure based SQL installations including deploying Database, Warehouse and HDInsight for Argos.

  • Design, deploy and manage failover clustered and log shipped HA solutions

  • SSIS development and change implementation for ETL solutions to accommodate source data schema changes.

  • ETL landing, staging and warehousing performance tuning.

    Previous assignment: Ardenta Limited April 2014 – Sept 2015

    Primary Tasks

  • Lead MSSQL DBA for All Ardenta customers focusing on Betfred Australia, Danske Spil and Ardenta internal systems on a 24/7 rota.

  • Design and deploy and administer, including BAU, multi instance failover clusters in SQL 2012 and 2008R2 in Darwin Australia including clustered SSIS and SSRS.

  • Take ownership of service problems and RCA steering them through to resolution engaging with external teams as required whilst maintaining communication with the customer.

  • Design incl. POC, deploy and commission new MSSQL solution for Ardenta using two Physical/ virtual failover clusters for high availability with Log shipping to a remote data centre for disaster recovery. Deploy DR solution so that the actual SQL Instance name is abstracted by a CNAME and that the failover of log shipped databases is controlled by a GUI running a >2000-line PowerShell script which encapsulated the logic required to failover safely.

  • Perform due diligence on customer SQL servers, as a service offering from Ardenta, providing health checks and risk identification as required including documentation of findings and remediation suggestions. o Define and implement supporting infrastructure, maintenance, backup, optimisation and BAU support including data migration.

  • Performance tuning at a Hardware, OS, Instance, database, query and index level.

  • Database migration from SQL 2008 & 2008R2 to 2012. Process definition, testing, documentation and implementation

  • Design incl. POC A fully redundant Multi-tenant Exchange 2013 Email solution, including full client segregation and management, as a product for resale.

    Secondary Tasks

  • Support infrastructure technologies including Windows Server 2008 – 2012R2, Active Directory, DNS, DFS, Citrix XenApp, VCentre 5.5

    Senior Systems Engineer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel 2008 - 2013

  • EMEA Lead MS SQL Server DBA. As the lead DBA for EMEA I support MSSQL Server 2005 and 2008 implementations in both standard and enterprise editions for our mission critical applications. The SQL estate comprises mainly of MSCS clusters and often using virtualised servers attached to RDM partitions. In 2012 I delivered a new SQL server farm based on Clustered HP DL580G7 running multiple instances in an active - active mode. This SQL farm has been the destination for my EMEA wide SQL server consolidation program which has reduced costs whilst increasing service levels. I provide regular capacity planning, tuning and DR as well as being the escalation point for country DBAs

  • Lead Datacentre engineer responsible for the remote operation of the DC on a day to day basis. Provide technical validation for Structured Cabling, power supply and data centre infrastructure.

  • Lead Engineer for VMWare ESX support. Since 2008 we have based our datacentre on VMWare virtualisation consisting of a 14 server ESX farm hosted over two sites 7KM apart, linked by CWDM multiplexed dark fibre and using synchronously replicated EMC San storage. We delivered a highly resilient, cost effective and manageable infrastructure that provided complete hardware fault tolerance to non cluster aware systems. The solution runs > 200 virtual machines including 16,000 mailboxes on MS Exchange 2003, and multiple MS SQL 2008 servers.

  • Development of management scripts and tools I have created many VB scripts to aide in the management of our environment from reporting on users last login time, enabling OWA or OMA based on group membership, recovering from Cube generation failures and setting Out of Office Messages on mailboxes. Recently I have delivered a project which processes XML messages received on an IBM WebSphere MQ queue safely writes the data to a location for processing by an SSIS package

  • Co-ordinate all MS Exchange support for EMEA. I took over the Exchange 5.5 to 2003 migration after EDS were unable to deliver it in a way acceptable to the business, and working with an excellent PM, delivered a solution using custom made tools. Later I migrated the Exchange environment from Physical machines Frankfurt to virtual ones in Madrid, as part of a data centre move between EDS and Telvent, without downtime for users.

  • Point of contact for Datacentre PCI remediation activities I have been both coordinating and implementing remediation activities in order to achieve and maintain PCI compliance at an EMEA data centre level.

  • Technical Coordination of Disaster Recovery Whilst our virtualised environment is very robust we still have non-virtual machines and a healthy respect for the rule that ‘What can go wrong will go wrong and probably when you’re on vacation’, therefore, my goal is to provide DR solution planning and validation for all the environments using achievable and repeatable methods.

  • Co-ordinate create and maintain documentation on systems hosted in the EMEA data centre

  • Incident and problem management o Ensure incidents are managed in accordance with the incident management process and are logged and documented in Service Now.

  • Monitor escalated tickets ensuring appropriate resources are utilised to deliver resolution o Contribute to incident communication across EMEA.

  • Provide in depth root cause analysis including action plans to prevent issues reoccurring

  • Change Management o Co-ordinate implementation of RFCs o Provide SME input for risk and impact analysis for Wintel, Exchange, MS SQL, VMWare ESX and SAN technology

  • Monitoring o Manage the Nagios platform, the client agents and the monitoring configuration solution.

  • Implement, maintain and improve the Wintel monitoring including the scripting of selfhealing subroutines where necessary.


  • Advise projects and validate new infrastructure design against existing DC standards o Lead and participate in data centre projects o Contribute to the Go in production process o Provide escalation for issues to Project and Data Centre Manager Contractor, Carlson Wagonlit Travel 2007- 2007

  • Responsible for the 2nd and 3rd line operation of their Exchange 5.5 environment including monitoring and problem resolution.

  • Assistance with the upgrade to Exchange 2003 as required.

  • Assistance with other activities of the Production and GIP teams as required.

    Senior Systems Engineer, Digica Ltd 1998-2007

  • Before becoming seconded exclusively to Carlson Wagonlit and maintaining their Exchange 5.5 environment I looked after their Leeds hosted Wintel servers as well as the remote exchange 5.5. My main role was both onsite and remote 2nd -3 rd level support for Windows NT and Exchange 5.5 for Carlson Wagonlit Travel and also, Geo Logistics, Rhodia Chirex and Bekaert Fencing, Windows 2000 AD, server and desktop for Express Dairies and Deluxe Media and Exchange 2000 and AD support for Freshbake foods.

  • I upgraded or replaced production servers for Carlson Wagonlit Travel as well as Geo logistics, Express Dairies, Pizza Hut and other leading companies.

  • Produce documentation for due diligence and server audit functions where I used various technologies to enumerate server configuration.

  • I would also fill in for absent colleagues who are based on site providing 1st and 2nd line support.

  • Configure install and implement IBM, Compaq and HP hardware and software.

    Systems Engineer, MAM Software Ltd 1994-1998

  • Supervising and training a team of 8 field engineers

  • Implementing, administrating and supporting Microsoft Windows NT and 95 based networks including Citrix WinFrame systems

  • Configuring and supporting WANs using Chase and Develcon ISDN and Kilostream routers

  • Configuring and supporting Internet servers using NT4.0 IIS and Proxy Server

  • Developing, Configuring and supporting Microsoft SQL Server 6.5 systems

  • Evaluation of new technologies including Digital NT Clusters 1.1A, Lan Research Net PCs, Wyse Winterms, new servers and desktops from Lan research and Digital, Service packs and updates from Microsoft and network hardware and diagnostic equipment

  • Providing advice and help to Software development, technical support and sales forces

  • Supporting customers in the UK, Ireland and northern Europe in the field

  • Ensuring that adequate stock control is enforced and non-functional kit is repaired either under warranty or in our own workshops

  • Providing an 8 working hour response time for over 630 sites in the UK

    Royal Air Force 1993-1994

  • Training for SNCO Aircrew Loadmaster

    Voluntary Work

  • Treasurer Greenfield Methodist Church (2015 -)

  • Chair Greenfield Whit Friday Band Contest (2014 -2017)

  • Vice Chair Greenfield Whit Friday Band Contest (2017-)

  • Parent Governor Greenfield Primary School and Nursery (2010 -2016)