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SQL Server Alternatives and Competitors

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Read reviews of SQL Server alternatives and competitors

NareshMote
Data Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
A great open-source product that offers great scalability and compatibility

Pros and Cons

  • "MySQL is open-source. There are a lot of open-source communities trying to come up with their own patches, and to come up with their own features, which help MySQL develop faster than traditional databases like Oracle, which is closed source."
  • "They should come up with a better solution than the NDB cluster for better scaling. If they could come up with a better solution for write scaling, apart from the NDB cluster, which is supported by all open source communities, that would be great. Although the NDB cluster, I believe, is an open-source tool, it's not widely supported as a solution."

What is most valuable?

MySQL is open-source. There are a lot of open-source communities trying to come up with their own patches, and to come up with their own features, which help MySQL develop faster than traditional databases like Oracle, which is closed source.

The solution is also compatible with a lot of other databases, like Percona, and it's compatible with MariaDB. It's also compatible with a lot of other shared database solutions.

Since MySQL is mostly used as a relational database in a lot of organizations, a lot of other solutions are being merged with MySQL and it's a rather easy process.

Unlike a lot of closed source services, the new features are solely based on customer feedback. The customer feedback of open source is way larger than the closed source application.

What needs improvement?

The developers of MySQL, which are Oracle MySQL, Percona, and MariaDB, seem to not be focusing much on object-oriented replication. Basically, replication is based on a text level of replication. There is a text level replication in Oracle, that is so similar it can be implemented in MySQL, however, it needs to pull a lot of resources. They have altered their approach for replication. Still, more focus on object-oriented replication would be good. 

They should come up with a better solution than the NDB cluster for better scaling. If they could come up with a better solution for write scaling, apart from the NDB cluster, which is supported by all open source communities, that would be great. Although the NDB cluster, I believe, is an open-source tool, it's not widely supported as a solution.

My understanding is there are a lot of features in MySQL 8.0, the latest release, which I'm not too familiar with yet.

For how long have I used the solution?

While I have just been at this company for the past two and a half years, and have been working on MySQL since I began here, I have about 12 years of experience in total with the solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

MySQL is reliable. If you are talking about it in terms of relational databases, MySQL is pretty stable. If you want to go ahead with a quite secure database like any PCR database or a customer-related database or even a bank-related database, it's still feasible that you can migrate to MySQL. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are a lot of features provided by Oracle MySQL, Percona, and MariaDB. They all have their own replication cluster. Percona has XtraDB, MariaDB has GaleraDB, Oracle MySQL has its own cluster as well. MySQL replication is common in all three organizations.

There is one cluster called the NDB cluster, which has been supported and developed by Oracle, and is based on MySQL. This is different than all of the other clusters. It's very scalable in the other clusters are all re-scalable, but they are not write scalable. NDB cluster is the only cluster feature recorded by Oracle MySQL, which is write scalable as well as re-scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution seems to have plenty of technical support due to the fact that there are three companies who are product owners, and therefore there are three companies who are supporting MySQL. They are: Oracle, Percona, and MariaDB. They're doing pretty well. 

There are a lot of companies also that support their customers. This is the good thing about any software which is open-source. A lot of open source communities come up with their own features and they try to patch up with the original source. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup has evolved a lot. It's pretty straight forward whether you're using Mac, Windows, Linux, etc. You can set it up on almost every operating system. 

It's supported by the open-source community, and they have plenty of documentation online that users can reference for assistance. If you are working in almost any operating system and you have any questions related to the installation, you'll find the documentation you need.

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

I am not sure, what the licensing costs are for the solution. From my experience, there is no straightforward cost. You can get that cost from the Oracle website about the Oracle MySQL licensing costs, however, it's not a straightforward price code for everyone.

If you are an existing customer, you can negotiate and you can get a better quote. The pricing on the website may be for new customers. That said, you can still negotiate. The same is true for Percona and MariaDB as well. 

What other advice do I have?

We are using MySQL 5.6, 5.7, and MySQL 8.0. 

In terms of advice, I'd say when implementing MySQL, if a company has been using any previous relational database, like Oracle, Microsoft SQL or DB2, the easiest way to migrate from any database is from Oracle to MySQL. There'll be some challenges from Microsoft SQL, as well as from DB2 to MySQL. Any existing application which is working with the Oracle database as a backend database, DB2 database as a backend database, or Microsoft as the backend database, they will still work fine with MySQL. 

MySQL is a product supported by a lot of applications and a lot of organizations. Almost every client and every API would be able to support MySQL. There still will need be a lot of testing, however, I don't think there would be any application that wouldn't be able to support MySQL due to the fact that it's widely supported.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Arief Gunawan
Product manager at Metrodata Electronics Tbk PT
Real User
Top 5
Great for building disaster recovery systems, very stable, and offers good scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "On-prem, Oracle is the number one database technology."
  • "Oracle needs to improve its cluster technologies. They need to improve in the cluster technology using ARC due to the fact that sometimes people think that they have a redundant server when they are using ARC with the cluster and think that will increase the performance. In reality, if they are using ii with a big workload, sometimes the performance is not increasing, and can sometimes actually impacts it in such a way that there's some degradation in the performance."

What is most valuable?

The best feature on Oracle Database is the Data Guard. It's great if you want to build some sort of disaster recovery solution.

ARC is one of the best features. It's quite simple and flexible. It offers really simple guidance that helps make using it a breeze.

On-prem, Oracle is the number one database technology.

What needs improvement?

Oracle needs to improve its cluster technologies. They need to improve in the cluster technology using ARC due to the fact that sometimes people think that they have a redundant server when they are using ARC with the cluster and think that will increase the performance. In reality, if they are using ii with a big workload, sometimes the performance is not increasing, and can sometimes actually impacts it in such a way that there's some degradation in the performance. 

Oracle has covered all the aspects of the market requirement. Let's say someone who searches for a security solution that has high availability, security, manageability, and performance. That's all of the IT requirements, basically, and they are all covered by Oracle. There aren't features lacking, in that sense. That said, while that's a true statement in terms of on-premises deployments, and Oracle really is is the number one database technology, when it comes to the cloud, it's still a question about how good Oracle really is. Most of our customers are using Azure or maybe AWS. Not Oracle. That's the one area that Oracle should improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for 11 years. I mostly only handle the core technology.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Right now, I would say that Oracle is one of the best solutions for our customers in terms fo stability. If they handle big productions or process a lot of paper, this is the perfect choice for them.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If they need to, companies can easily add more nodes to the cluster. It's easy to use its cluster technology to scale. I would say it's rather easy to expand the solution if you need to.

How are customer service and technical support?

If we talk about the MOS, My Oracle Support, it's more of a self-service. Currently, sometimes it's not as reliable as we wish it was. Mostly, our internal team handles support as we can't really rely on Oracle. We'd only go to them if the problem is related to the product, for example, if it's got some bugs or something like that. For troubleshooting, our customers come to us for assistance. From a technical aspect, we are quite confident that we can support all of the customer's needs ourselves without using Oracle.

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

We previously used MySQL, although that too is an Oracle solution. It's part of our portfolio alongside Oracle DB.

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

When people talk about Oracle, especially Database, most of them mention that Oracle is an expensive product. However, if it's suitable or not or if it really is "expensive" depends on their requirements. Today, Oracle is one of the best choices, regardless of pricing. 

Even though on paper their pricing looks expensive, everything can be negotiated. Companies may be able to come to an understanding with Oracle at a price point they can accept.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In our market, there are a lot of open-source products like EnterpriseDB. There are also commercial products like PostgreSQL. With Postgre you have to have MySQL with it right now. 

If a customer prefers to use an open-source product, I'm quite confident with MySQL.

What other advice do I have?

We are an Oracle Platinum Partner.

I'd first advise any company considering Oracle to learn the benefits first before they talk about the pricing. We like to do an assessment with the customer right away. The first thing we need to know is their pain points and basic requirement and also if they have a common problem in their system. I will judge that against the benefits of Oracle's technology, which is in the database. At the end of the day, if the features can solve your problem, then money comes as a secondary concern. 

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. There isn't a perfect solution on the market, however, this comes pretty close.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
AP
Software Engineer - Data at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Needs more integration capabilities and support for other programming languages but is pretty flexible

Pros and Cons

  • "Its in-memory capabilities are good, which is why many companies still use it."
  • "SAP HANA is a very proprietary tool and there's not as much support available for it as there is for an SQL Server (which is more popular)."

What is most valuable?

What is good about SAP HANA is its simplicity and its flexibility. 

Its in-memory capabilities are good, which is why many companies still use it. 

What needs improvement?

SAP HANA is a very proprietary tool and there's not as much support available for it as there is for an SQL Server (which is more popular). 

It requires some internal SAP knowledge to work with the tool and it's a completely graphical modeling kind of a system. You can't come in cold with no knowledge or understanding of the solution and think you can jump in and start working.

You have to work with the very few tools that are given to you. It could probably increase its flexibility and there could be more components added, which would make it more versatile. They could improve the solution by adding more components and by making it more feature-rich and including typical features that other more popular tools have.

There needs to be better support from the SAP support team. There needs to be more support for other programming languages like high-level C++, Java, or Python. That could be another improvement. 

HANA needs more integration with open-source tools, and with general reporting and analytics tools that are out there on the market. Once again, more integration on so many levels would be amazing. It's very SAP-centric and very proprietary right now. There are ways to connect SAP HANA with many tools already, however, in particular with open-source tools, if there could be even more integration, that would be helpful.

There needs to be more data transformation and more ELT features that can be implemented in the view. 

For how long have I used the solution?

While I'm not exactly sure how long the company itself has used the solution, I've been dealing with it for four years at this point. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, I can't comment much. It depends on the underlying system and infrastructure, and it has the same kind of stability as any other on-premise solution. It doesn't have any cloud features such as multiple replication and multiple locations, et cetera. In that sense, it has the same stability as any other on-premise solution and does not guarantee any SLA. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, it's quite scalable. We've used it for production solutions very often and from any number of users. Generally, there are a few hundred users or so. I have not really worked on an implementation that uses thousands of users or anything that big, so I can't really comment on massive scaling. However, if it's for enterprise applications that have a few hundred internal users, it's good. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The community support needs to be better. I haven't been impressed with it. In general, it just needs better support.

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

I have only worked on SAP and I haven't worked on other solutions.

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

I don't have information on the pricing, as that is an SAP and corporate-level agreement, which is not really known by all the in-house teams. I'm not really aware of the pricing. On the internet, I couldn't find much information about the cost of SAP HANA. I have heard that it is an expensive option. Being an enterprise-level solution, however, I don't have exact numbers. 

What other advice do I have?

I'm not really part of the decision making team or the architecture team. I do not know if my organization has a business relationship with SAP or not.

I'd rate the solution five out of ten.

In the case of enterprise projects, I've heard that SAP HANA is used very widely. I would say, in general, it would be good to explore other alternatives, and not just go with HANA. It would be good to explore big data alternatives that are out there. They might be a better fit. Databricks these days seems to be quite popular. It might be an interesting alternative for some organizations. Depending on the use case, I'd recommend that other alternatives should be considered. If it's a reporting solution that people are building, which is using a lot of SAP internal data, then SAP HANA is a good option. Otherwise, other alternatives are out there.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Basil Ndolo
Product Development Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Futuristic, feature-rich, fast support, and perfect for environments that require scalability

Pros and Cons

  • "It has a good feature called pureScale, which is just for scalability. It is a perfect solution for environments where scalability is going to be an issue."
  • "Microsoft SQL Server is comparatively very simple to use. I wish IBM would move towards making Db2 easy to use for both basic and advanced users. This is where I see room for advancement. Db2 is also more expensive than Microsoft SQL Server, and its price can be reduced. The replication feature needs to be there in Db2. Microsoft provides similar functionality in SQL Server. IBM also has similar functionality, but it exists in a different product. So, to have the replication ability, you have to buy a different product. It makes sense to have this functionality within Db2 instead of a different product. It will also be helpful in terms of competition. In Africa, the problem for Db2 is competition. Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server have been in this market for a very long time. These companies have built the ecosystem and the brand within this market for a very long time. So, they are very popular with users. Db2 or IBM came a little later in the game, and that's where the problem lies. They also don't do a lot of marketing for it, which is also a problem."

What is our primary use case?

I am an ex IBM employee, and I used to be the brand ambassador for Db2 in Africa. So, I do understand how it works because I've used it with customers. Currently, I am mostly supporting some of the Db2 customers in Kenya.

I am now using version 11.1, but I used version 10.5 for the longest time. 

What is most valuable?

It has a good feature called pureScale, which is just for scalability. It is a perfect solution for environments where scalability is going to be an issue.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft SQL Server is comparatively very simple to use. I wish IBM would move towards making Db2 easy to use for both basic and advanced users. This is where I see room for advancement. Db2 is also more expensive than Microsoft SQL Server, and its price can be reduced.

The replication feature needs to be there in Db2. Microsoft provides similar functionality in SQL Server. IBM also has similar functionality, but it exists in a different product. So, to have the replication ability, you have to buy a different product. It makes sense to have this functionality within Db2 instead of a different product. It will also be helpful in terms of competition.

In Africa, the problem for Db2 is competition. Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server have been in this market for a very long time. These companies have built the ecosystem and the brand within this market for a very long time. So, they are very popular with users. Db2 or IBM came a little later in the game, and that's where the problem lies. They also don't do a lot of marketing for it, which is also a problem.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution since 2012. It has been nine years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. The 10.5 Fix Pack One was not very stable. We also had Fix Pack 4, also called Cancun Release, which was very stable. As the product has evolved, it is more stable now than it was a couple of years ago.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a perfect solution for environments where scalability is going to be an issue. I am supporting two banks. They use Db2 for their core banking system. There are more than 500 users per bank who use this solution every single day.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have worked with IBM, and I have seen their support teams. They are very passionate about supporting their users. Whenever there is a problem, they have a team that is there 24/7 to ensure that their customers are supported. They are very fast and very technical in solving problems.

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

I have used SQL Server, IBM Db2, and Oracle Database. Microsoft provides usability. SQL Server is very easy to use and adapt. The only problem is that it only lives within the Microsoft Windows operating system, whereas Db2 is available on Linux, Unix, Windows, and Linux for mainframes. 

When comparing IBM Db2 and Oracle Database, I would go for IBM Db2 because it has complete functionality. A lot of features available in IBM Db2 are not there in Oracle Database. IBM Db2 has time travel queries that are not available in any other solution. From the perspective of a software developer or a database developer, there are more functionalities in IBM Db2. It is more futuristic.

How was the initial setup?

It is very technical to deploy, but once you configure and make it work, it is a perfect solution for an environment where scalability is going to be an issue.

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

Among Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Db2, Microsoft SQL Server is the cheapest one, and Oracle is the most expensive one. Db2 is in the middle. As compared to SQL Server, its price could go down. It will be good for customers.

What other advice do I have?

I would love to expand its usage in the future. We are looking to migrate the finance industry customers in Africa to Db2, especially from Oracle to Db2. 

I would rate Db2 an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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SumitGadgilwar
Solution Architect at ixtel
MSP
Top 5Leaderboard
Simple to implement, very fast, and easily scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very fast."
  • "The solution is quite expensive."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a warehouse. In the front end we are using MicroStrategy, and we are using Oracle as a database.

What is most valuable?

The warehouse is the solution's most valuable aspect.

The solution is very fast.

What needs improvement?

I'm not sure about the improvements needed in the solution.

The solution is quite expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. Almost everyone in the company uses the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution's technical support is good.

How was the initial setup?

I did not install it myself, but the database administration team did, and they found it simple. In one day they were able to administrate the data stack file.

What about the implementation team?

Our team handled the implementation.

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

Oracle is a costly product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Choosing this solution was the choice of the database administrator. I didn't participate in the process, so I'm not sure what was used before of if other solutions were evaluated.

What other advice do I have?

We use the on-premises deployment model.

I'd advise others to look at the solution, but to be mindful as it is costly. Whether it is right for a company or not depends on the requirements. If they have the budget, they should go for Oracle. If they do not, I'd suggest they look at something open-source like MySQL or Oracle SQL.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.