How has it helped my organization?
Most of the application what we use today are SQL-based applications. If you take a Microsoft ecosystem, there are many tools that connect easily with SQL - especially when it comes to reporting and analytics. Power BI is one of the good examples which can easily connect to SQL and then you can pull any report you want. SQL itself has its own tools like reporting services and transformation services. It also helps you to generate reporting and analytics and data transformation.
Overall, it helps our organization a lot. Again, it depends on what requirements and company has, and for what purpose you are using it. However, from an application relational database point of view that we are using today, it helps due to the fact that it comes with all that we need. Also, from a performance point of view, it configures well.
What is most valuable?
When you use the solution with Azure, for example, you get very good scalability. You can scale fast, whether it is horizontal or vertical.
If we use the product as a PaaS, Platform as a Service, it comes with all the security features you need - including against DDoS attacks.
The product offers good bloc storage, which you can buy at an additional cost. This allows you to have large object storage if you need it.
Over a period of time, their split engine has evolved and in the latest version, they've done a lot. Even from the management tool perspective, a lot of things have been done. A lot of functions have been added.
The initial setup is pretty straightforward.
Technical support has been good.
The solution has the capability to scale.
The pricing isn't as high as other options.
SQL is very easy to use. That's a very good thing about it in general.
What needs improvement?
Microsoft doesn't have active-active load balancing scenarios. It's always a failover cluster. There is no active-active cluster, which other tools, other database providers like Oracle, provide. If Microsoft can consider or probably come up with an active-active cluster, then it would be good. It will be more powerful in a scenario like that.
The pricing, while not the most expensive, is still quite high.
They have something called Parallel Queries, however, I don't know how it works. I've never tested it in a horizontal way. I'd like to understand a bit more about it and be able to use it horizontally.
For how long have I used the solution?
I'm new to my organization and have only been using the product for three or four months here, however, previously, I worked with SQL for a long time.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
In terms of direct users, there are only a few. However, there are applications that are using SQL and those application's users are 100 plus, or maybe 300 to 400 plus users.
This company is in the phase of growth. If it grows as expected, then definitely the chances are high in terms of the number of users - which means we will scale up a bit.
How are customer service and technical support?
We have direct support from Microsoft. We have Microsoft partners as well. I don't see any problem with technical support, as we ourselves are capable of troubleshooting. I'm a certified BBS developer. If there any related issues, we take care of them internally. If not, we raise a ticket from Microsoft and we get support from them. They are helpful and responsive. We are satisfied with the level of service they provide.
How was the initial setup?
The solution is very straightforward. It's not too complex. A company shouldn't have an issue implementing it. Once you install everything and get it configured as per your requirements if you are an SQL professional and an administrator, it's very straightforward.
It's doesn't take too long to set up. Within a week you can get it deployed. If you do a standalone module, a week likely is not required. If it is in a cluster module, of course, within a week you can set up a cluster and then get things done.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
SQL pricing is slightly high compared to where it was before. That said, compared to other products like Oracle, they are still cheap. It's not overly expensive in comparison to others.
The final price you can expect all depends on your requirements. A standard version of SQL is always cheaper than an enterprise. If you're going to go on a cluster, it's particularly expensive. However, when it comes to the value and what is provided, that is also important.
It all depends on what you need. I cannot just blindly say that it's expensive or cheap as it all depends on your requirement. Comparatively, SQL is cheaper than other products like Oracle. Oracle is really expensive compared to SQL.
What other advice do I have?
We are customers and end-users.
I'm certified in SQL. I have a pretty good understanding of the product.
Overall, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten.
Whether or not it would work well for a company all depends on what purpose it is being used for. However, SQL is simple to use and simple to configure, and very powerful in terms of relational database and the SQL language and functions it comes with. If you configure it well and then use it well, the outcome will likely be very good.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?