What is our primary use case?
Our correlation and relational databases are on Microsoft SQL Server.
The company uses two platforms: MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server. Some applications are on MySQL, and some applications are SQL Server.
I have pretty much worked all my life in Microsoft SQL Server.
How has it helped my organization?
I am in the process of creating a data strategy to consolidate multiple siloed data centers. Once my plan is finalized and approved, then we are going to execute it on the Microsoft platform.
What is most valuable?
- Performance-wise, it is an excellent tool.
- It is a Microsoft product, so there's a lot of support.
- It's not a new tool; it has been around for a while.
- It is one of the top five relational databases in the market.
- It is very user-friendly.
- There are a lot of resources available for it.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see native plugins built for other platforms versus having to buy third-party plugins to tap into S3 buckets and AWS Cloud. Right now, it does not have those built-in plugins.
I know that they are building SQL Server for the Unix environment, which is in the beta version, and not out yet. This has been a long time wish for a lot of people. Once that is out, we'll be able to tell how diversified they have become in regards to other platforms.
It hasn't 100 percent on scalability and third-party plugins.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It is one of the most stable relational databases out there.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
With the new versions and Azure, which is in the cloud, these do accommodate scalability. Until the 2014 version, the scalability wasn't there, but from the 2016 version and above, I think they have taken all these scalability features into consideration.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have not used technical support for Microsoft with my current company. I have used them in the past. It depends on the tier of support that was purchased by the company as to the level of support that you receive.
If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?
Our company has probably been using this solution since it was released.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
It is expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Since we are a cloud-based company, there is AWS pricing on top of the SQL Server pricing. The Enterprise Edition can typically sell from around $1000 dollars a month, which is not cheap. Then, there is an additional one-time Windows cost, based on the code, which can go anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 for the license.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
From my perspective, the two vendors for this are Microsoft and Amazon (AWS).
They are working on making it better with every release, compared to Oracle Db2 and IBM.
What other advice do I have?
I would definitely recommend SQL Server. It's not cheaper any more, like it used to be, but if you can afford it, then it's the best.
When I select a vendor, from a tool perspective, I make sure that they have full support available, have been in the market for awhile, and the solution/application is stable.
From an open source perspective, like MySQL, Aurora, and MongoDB, they have done a great job in making a robust database container.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.