SQL Server Review

High availability/failover clustering makes DR straightforward.

Where to start?

Great range of admin tools (far outnumbers MYSQL) - I like the database tuning tools 
Nice BI tools and integration ability. 

Evolves quickly due to the monster support from MS
Integrates with the rest of MS products (this is a plus and a minus, of course)
Scalable - a few MBs up to petabytes. 
High availability/failover clustering makes DR straightforward.

Own reporting services - if you can't report on it, it's hard to manage. 

Problems include - is it an MS product? Then licensing can be a pain if they do an audit. 

Also, with AWS's offerings becoming so easy to set up, scale, and work at great speed, MS SQL probably needs to up its game massively if they are ever going to keep up, let alone fully compete with Amazon's database suite.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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author avatarManager Database Administration at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees

Well, I have faced a lot of challenges in PT and DR setup of MS SQL. Its not that simple.

author avatarGaryM
Top 5PopularReal User

You mentioned the admin and BI tools...the issue all the cloud solutions face (at least SaaS) is they don't have all these tools.

SqlServer environment isn't just a database, its a really really big toolbox. If you only need the database then a stripped down SaaS solution may be a great option for you. But of course a database just stores the data - you still have to get it in, get it out and manage it right? I know this is kind of obvious but it seems like this is so often missed when comparing on-prem to off-perm especially with SqlServer because its so much more than just a database. If you don't have what you need to efficiently doing something with the data then SaaS cloud solutions are hardly a viable option. You have to consider the entire ecosystem requirements unique to your shop before considering against AWS's offerings.

author avatarSoftware Architect at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Top 5Real User

I agree with the fact that the inclusion of AlwayOn tools (since SQL Server 2012) has somehow simplified the configuration of High Availability (HA) settings in SQL Server, in this sense, the HA part in HADR (High Availability - Disaster Recovery) is a little bit simpler than with previous versions of SQL Server.

But we have to realize that when you include an HA solution to an instance of SQL Server, you should previously conduct a proper analysis on HADR for said instance, and that analysis is more complex than a (simpler) Disaster Recovery Plan.

It will take more time to complete a proper HADR Plan for your instances at your site, once you have your HADR Plan approved, you have to design and plan the detailed implementation of said plan.

But then again, AlwaysOn simplifies the config of HA in SQL Server, and said AlwaysOn (HA) solutions in SQL Server are a great complementary solution to a DR solution in SQL Server, in particular, if you combine Failover Clustering and Automatic Failover DB Mirroring with a DR solution for a given database in a given instance, instance that is covered by Clustering.

Kind regards, GEN