SQL Server Review

A relational database system that is critical for storing reporting data

What is our primary use case?

The primary use of SQL Server is to store and retrieve data.  If you go into the extra features that come with your license, you can also do reporting, analytics and ETL.

What is most valuable?

Everything is valuable. It is a relational database system which is critical for storing reporting data or any data that is highly relate-able. Plus your data is one of the most important assets in your company.  Might as well have a good system to protect it.

How has it helped my organization?

In a manufacturing system, storing test data in an Excel file has limitations in how much data can be stored at one time and how many people can manipulate the data at one time. Storing it in SQL Server allows you to store as much data as you have disk space for. It can be viewed and modified by multiple people at one time.

What needs improvement?

Setting up some of the more complex systems could be simpler. Things like service broker can be tricky to set up for the inexperienced.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability seems very good. I have not seen any issues with this.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not run into scalability issues. It feels very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not needed to contact technical support for this product

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did not use a previous solution. I have heard of other companies using Microsoft Access or Excel for similar problems. However, after hearing the headaches they have, I would not recommend those for large scale projects.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, but configuration post-install can be complex. Complexity comes from attempting to optimize it and implementing some of the new features that come in new versions.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it entirely in-house.  

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing is based on a per core and/or per-processor license. Try to keep these low, but keep it above four. (Four is the minimum number of cores.) If you are working mostly with OLTP, make sure your single thread CPU speeds are high.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options. The other options lacked support, lacked performance, or were too expensive.

What other advice do I have?

If you don't have a DBA on site, hiring a consultant is recommended to help get things setup and configured. This will reduce headaches down the line.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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