What is our primary use case?
It is used for everything under the sun. We're currently using it for a health pass for a medic aid information management system. It is also used by companies in banking and retail.
We are using SQL Server 2014 on Windows Server 2012 platform, and we also have SQL Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 platform. I have primarily worked on the hardware, but I am now also working in the Amazon AWS cloud.
How has it helped my organization?
The entire solution that we're deploying is built on Microsoft SQL Server as a database engine. Our solution is completely engineered for that, and if we attempt to deploy it in any other database engine, it is going to be a huge nightmare.
What is most valuable?
Microsoft SQL Server is one of the better database administration software packages out there. It runs primarily on Windows Server platforms, but it can also run on Linux platforms.
What needs improvement?
Primarily, the data replication and the backup areas can be improved. It should have data replication capabilities and uptime capabilities. The native SQL Server Backups take more time than do the backup processes from LiteSpeed, and the backup compression is a little less.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using SQL Server since version 6.5, which came out about 30 years ago.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is very scalable. You can run the database engine on the C drive, or you can run it on a large cloud array or a disk array. Currently, we just have developers and testers accessing it.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support from Microsoft is very good.
How was the initial setup?
If you know how to set it up, it is easy, but you have to learn that over time. For a new user, it is detailed. You need to have the right things in place at the right time before you actually install the software.
To create an instance, it takes about an hour overall. This includes deploying the basic system, applying the latest service pack, and then applying the latest cumulative update.
What about the implementation team?
It was an in-house job. In terms of maintenance, the number of staff members required would depend on the implementation. It requires coordination amongst teams. It is a team effort. The database administrator creates and runs the jobs that create the backup file. You need to have somebody for copying the backup files to offline storage. You also need to have system administrators for setting up the hardware.
What other advice do I have?
I would advise others to just be familiar with Windows concepts.
I would rate SQL Server a nine out of ten. If you're familiar with Windows concepts, it just works.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?