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RB
Software Engineer at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, with good performance but could have better pricing

Pros and Cons

  • "The performance is good."
  • "The pricing in general could be better."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is primarily used for studying data and statistics. We have some services that we are monitoring and keeping records and doing reports, and we use it for that.

What is most valuable?

The solution is quite stable.

The solution has the capability of scaling.

The performance is good. 

It's very easy to use.

What needs improvement?

The solution was delivered to us, and we really don't interface with the solution directly. I can't speak to any features that are missing.

The only people that can use it directly are developers. It's not for everyday users.

The pricing in general could be better.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used the solution for about five years or so. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. It's reliable. We do not deal with bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale, however, it's dependant on the hardware. It's not limitless.

There are about ten users using the solution at this time.

We do have plans to increase usage in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't interface with Microsoft support. We always go to the vendor that performed the integration for us.

How was the initial setup?

We did not implement the solution. We had it delivered to us.

I've done an installation in the past, however, not at this company. It's straightforward. It's simple due to the fact that it's going to be installed on the Microsoft operating system, not like MySQL that's used on a Linux server.

Deployment may take about 15 minutes or so.

We have a technical team of about eight people that can handle maintenance as necessary.

What about the implementation team?

We had an integrator deliver the solution to us, as we are not ourselves developers.

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

I don't have any details on the licensing in terms of any details or costs. It's not an aspect of the solution I directly deal with.

What other advice do I have?

We are just customers and end-users. We don't have any business relationship with the company.

We use the express edition of the solution.

It was delivered as part of a solution. We are not developers. It was a turnkey solution delivered to us by an integrator, and we are doing some maintenance, however, we are not developing the content of the database. It was used as part of our services for maybe five years or more.

The database is on the back end. We are using it with our applications at the front end that we are interfacing with. In terms of the SQL server, we don't go and use it directly. We use it through the application. There's an application that is providing a user interface for us, and we work on that user interface. We don't work on the native interface of the SQL server.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten. I've heard that Oracle is better.

I'd recommend this solution to other companies.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AM
Sr. DBA/Developer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable with good scalability potential and very easy to manage

Pros and Cons

  • "SQL is very easy to manage."
  • "Occasionally the performance, as good as it is, is a bit off. We sometimes experience memory spiking. If they could maybe fix that aspect of the solution, that would be quite helpful for our organization."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for our daily operations.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has provided our clients with some valuable data feeds.

What is most valuable?

The performance is a very valuable aspect of the solution.

SQL is very easy to manage.

What needs improvement?

Occasionally the performance, as good as it is, is a bit off. We sometimes experience memory spiking. If they could maybe fix that aspect of the solution, that would be quite helpful for our organization.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for more than ten years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable. We haven't had issues. We don't really experience bugs or glitches and haven't had the system crash on us before.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is very good. A company that needs to expand should be able to do so fairly easily.

We have about ten people using SQL at our organization. Some are in Operations. Some are developers.

The data we have is constantly expanding and growing for us, so we already are increasing the capacity of the SQL server. We'll continue to do so as necessary.

How are customer service and technical support?

If we have any issues, we contact Microsoft. We only do so if something happens and we can't fix it ourselves. It hasn't happened too many times, and it usually doesn't revert to me to reach out, so although I know we have used them in the past, I myself have no direct experience dealing with them.

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

It's been about ten years since we started using SQL, which is quite a long time. I don't recall if we used a different solution before that or not. If we did, I don't know what it would have been.

How was the initial setup?

I'm not sure how to answer as to if the solution is straightforward or complex in terms of setup. I didn't handle the deployment, so I'm not the person who would be best equipped to answer these types of questions.

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

I'm not the person that deals with billing and payments, so I don't know what the cost of the solution is, or if it is monthly or yearly billing. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm not sure if we would have looked at something else or what it might have been. If there was research and a comparison was done, that would have been a decade ago. It's been a long time. 

What other advice do I have?

We are using the 2008 and 2017 versions.

I'd like others to know that SQL is easy to use and easy to manage. It also offers pretty good performance, in my opinion.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It's not too expensive, or at least that is my understanding, but I am aware there are lots of open source options out there as well companies may want to consider.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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hugodpereira
Computer engineering student at a educational organization with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable with good technical support and integrates well with Visual Studio

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable aspect of the solution is that it's integrated with the Visual Studio and also with Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. It's a tool they have and it's quite easy to use and understand. It's the interface for programming for SQL Services."
  • "The solution could be better integrated with the SQL Server Studio tool."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution for the development of various applications, database connections, that I need for projects.

I just use it myself, for assignments. I am a student and am studying the product.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspect of the solution is that it's integrated with the Visual Studio and also with Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. It's a tool they have and it's quite easy to use and understand. It's the interface for programming for SQL Services.

The solution is very stable.

The solution scales well.

The initial setup is straightforward. 

What needs improvement?

I don't have a deep technical knowledge of the solution. It's hard to discuss features that may be lacking.

The solution could be better integrated with the SQL Server Studio tool.

There are some complexities with the initial setup sometimes as there are a lot of options.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable in terms of performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so.

As a student, I don't yet have plans to increase usage of the product.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've been in touch with technical support. I contact them to assist with a bug that I detected, that was not really related to SQL Server. It was, however, related to another tool, the Microsoft SQL Server Studio. They responded quickly. I was quite satisfied with their level of support for the most part.

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

I've also worked with PostgreSQL, and MySQL as well as MongoDB. I found that, in comparison, PostgreSQL was not as easy to use.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. It's very similar to other software products. The Visual Studio is easier, however, it's still mostly straightforward. It could be better integrated with this SQL Server Studio tool. You have to install it separately. If they could be installed together, that would be an improvement in my opinion. While not everyone would use it, the developer would find it a helpful item to have.

It can sometimes be confusing to install by yourself since it does have many options that you need to decide on.

What about the implementation team?

I was able to install the solution myself. I did not need the assistance of an integrator or consultant.

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

You do need to pay for a license in order to use the product.

What other advice do I have?

I'm just an end-user.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. I'm mostly happy with its capabilities.

I'd recommend the solution to other users. It's a solution that is nice and standardized. We are learning all about it at school and its industry standards make it a good option.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Francisco  Racionero
CEO Owner at ALESON ITC
Real User
Great data storage and provides a high level of stability and performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The Always On tool improves the SQL server availability."
  • "The treatment of database storage could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We are consultants and users of this solution and we deploy both on cloud and on-prem. The primary use case of this solution is for its Health Check feature. I'm the company owner and CIO.

How has it helped my organization?

We assist companies to improve the performance of their servers. We're generally able to improve performance by 40%. 

What is most valuable?

I like the Always On tool which improves the SQL server availability. We cross-link servers with Oracle, MySQL and other platforms using PolyBase as a service to join with big data systems like Spark.

What needs improvement?

I think the treatment of database storage could be improved. There is also an intermediate locked file that prevents users from inserting or writing something in the database that slows things down. I'd like to see the Perform Volume Maintenance Task made available for locked files. It would mean that the SQL server can directly grow files. Without it, you have to go to the local system account, which can disrupt users. It's connected to the local security policy. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 20 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution has fantastic stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great, and you can use several servers concurrently without using duplication services. Our company is small but we manage around 30,000 users. We have 10 people involved in maintenance and deployment. 

How are customer service and support?

We are part of the Microsoft team in Spain and sometimes we have to call support with a specific question but not very often. In the past 12 months I've only made contact a couple of times. 

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

I previously used Informix DB because Linux was not the best tool for enterprise when I began working in the industry. Microsoft was working on new technologies and when they came out with SQL I switched to it. I've had the certification on SQL for several years already. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is relatively easy but it depends on the situation, and sometimes requires some planning. You can configure SQL after you've deployed on cloud. Implementation can take some time because it's not just the installation of the SQL server which can be done in less than an hour. The implementation of the database systems can take several days or weeks depending on the organization. Our consultants have more than 12 years of experience working as DBAs, so we carry out the installation. 

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

In a standard package, you need to buy two core packs. If you need four core packs the price is around € 8,000. There are more options in the cloud where fees are around € 60 a month. The cost is scaled and if you're deploying in the cloud you need to buy a machine infrastructure as a service. We only sell the license across the cross solution provider (CSP) program. If you have less than 25 users, you can buy an SQL standard per server license where the cost is around €1,200 approximately.

What other advice do I have?

I rate this solution 10 out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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SM
Global Head ICT (CITP & MIE) at The Aga Khan Academies
Real User
Top 5
Runs seamlessly, stable and scalable, and easy to deploy

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a stable product, and it runs seamlessly. It is not complex."
  • "They have too many licensing options. They may want to simplify its licensing and bring it down to two, three, or four categories from ten to fifteen categories. Having so many different licensing options makes it difficult to decide which one to choose from. They can club things together. This is an area where they can make things easier for customers."

What is our primary use case?

We're using it for our on-premise servers, and we have the latest version of SQL Server.  

We use SQL Server for the database for Microsoft Navision. We also use it for the Track-It application that helps users in logging in their IT requests. We also manage all the IT inventory through Track-It. It does automatic auditing and traces online IT equipment.

How has it helped my organization?

We have end-computing devices with a server-client type of model. We have a server. All terminals are dumb terminals, but they get connectivity from SQL Server, and it has worked really well. We operate in difficult locations, such as Mombasa in Kenya and Mozambique in Maputo, where power is a big problem. Instead of desktop computers, we went for thin end-computing clients, and it worked really well with SQL Server.

What is most valuable?

It is a stable product, and it runs seamlessly. It is not complex.

It has been there for a long time, and they are doing whatever bug fixes they have to do. 

What needs improvement?

They have too many licensing options. They may want to simplify its licensing and bring it down to two, three, or four categories from ten to fifteen categories. Having so many different licensing options makes it difficult to decide which one to choose from. They can club things together. This is an area where they can make things easier for customers.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SQL Server for ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has pretty good scalability. In terms of usage, we have two different types of usage. For end-computing usage, we have about 600 or 700 students who use the media labs. For Microsoft Navision and Track-It, we have about 100 staff members as users. 

It is being used fairly extensively. Microsoft Navision is one of the core solutions of our business, and it is used on a daily basis. End computing is used by students. Because of the pandemic, for the last 14 months, everything is closed, and everybody is remote, so end computing has not been used, but Navision continued to be used. After the school reopens in each location, we will continue to use it even more. We definitely have plans for expansion.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their response is fast.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is very straightforward. In case there is an issue, Microsoft's tech support people come online and help you.

What about the implementation team?

For its deployment and maintenance, two people are required at each location. We have one database specialist and one IT service delivery engineer with networking knowledge.

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

It comes with the bundle package that we have. We have Microsoft Volume Licensing, so we don't have to pay for it separately. It is a part of the package.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution. I have nothing to complain about.

I would rate SQL Server a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Tim Lenz
SQL Database Administrator at Aurora Mental Health Center
Real User
Top 5
East to set up, fairly cost-effective, and scales well

Pros and Cons

  • "There is a lot of information about the solution readily available online."
  • "Technical support could be better."

What is our primary use case?

We're primarily using the solution for our health record system.

What is most valuable?

The solution comes at a more effective price than Oracle. 

It's a little bit more advanced than using MySQL or NoSQL.

It's more prevalent in the industry than SQL Postgre.

The initial setup is mostly straightforward.

The product is scalable. 

The stability has been mostly pretty good.

There is a lot of information about the solution readily available online.

What needs improvement?

Every time Microsoft comes out with a new version, they like to move everything around. Updates are a bit intrusive. For example, it used to be in a certain place and then they update it, and now I can't find it.

Technical support could be better. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution since version 6.4. I've used it since probably around the 1990s.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

With the versions we have, the solution is quite stable. That's one of the reasons we don't immediately download the latest version. We wait a little bit before we go to the newest version. We want to make sure it's very stable beforehand.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very easy to scale. We have between 300 to 500 people that use it. 

How are customer service and support?

Microsoft tech support is really hard to use. I would rather look outside of Microsoft for solutions.

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

SQL's been the main solution for this company. I have, however, used Oracle in the past with other companies.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

It can be complex depending on what you're trying to do, however, it has a good user base and user support groups, so that there's lots of information. If you're trying to do something, likely somebody else has already done it, and you can usually find that information or through a user group or a forum or even on YouTube or Google.

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

The pricing is pretty decent. It's less expensive than Oracle. 

While the solution started out really reasonable, it's gotten a little bit more pricey, as Microsoft keeps changing how they want to license it.

Whether you're doing it in the cloud or on-premise change the costs involved. A lot of times it might be more cost-effective to do it in the cloud. Microsoft includes a lot of the licensing in the cloud.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and end-user.

We're not using the latest version. We're probably one or two versions behind.

I'd advise new users that you want to know what you're going to use it for. I would say it's more suited to a more midsize or larger company than a mom-and-pop shop - unless they're tying it to some software that uses SQL.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Dimitris Iracleous
Lead Technical Instructor at codehub
Real User
Top 5
A user-friendly, reliable solution for organizing data from subscribers and customers

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is user-friendly, is a robust tool and is always reliable to users."
  • "The interface integration could be better."

What is our primary use case?

We are a company that possesses data relating to the banking and telecommunications sectors. We use the solution to organize all data received from subscribers and customers. 

What is most valuable?

I feel that this is the simplest of solutions. It is user-friendly, is a robust tool and is always reliable to users. The solution is within the Windows environment. This means that all users, who are already accustomed to Windows, will naturally prefer to use this environment over that of Linux or another operating system. 

What needs improvement?

I would like to have a more directed modeling, to have the flexibility to design all databases using a graphic interface. In other words, the interface integration could be better. 

To avoid the need to write code, many users like to use the database diagrams as an overall tool and, as such, the solution should be more flexible and user-friendly. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been actively using SQL Server for up to 10 years. I started with programming, moved to databases and am now concentrating on Power BI.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite scalable, as it can be extended to replicate many computers. It can be used in a virtual environment. One would, of course, make use of the cloud. We are now gaining experience in cloud programs such as Azure and AWS.

How are customer service and technical support?

There are two teams which provide technical support. The same team provides support for all these tasks. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not without certain problems. Many users prefer to use Docker in lieu of the original selection. This is more convenient for them owing to certain configurations it possesses. However, if one is incapable of doing this initially he will find it difficult to do at a later date. An example would involve the inclusion of TCP/IP support, which is quite cumbersome. While it is not very difficult, it does require a certain amount of expertise. 

We have prepared many virtual machines. Each month we prepare these systems so that they may be ready to meet our needs. This task consumes three to four days per month. 

What about the implementation team?

We have a support team who helps our users with deployment. They provide these services to our customers.

When it comes to deployment and maintenance, there are four people responsible for providing the administrative support to us and to our customers.

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

Our customers do pay license fees for the MS SQL Server but the Rabbit is free, as it is open-source software.

Some who pay for these prefer in-house, on-premises support, while others take a cloud-based approach. 

What other advice do I have?

I am also a consultant to SQL Server.

I usually consult with databases, including the Power BI. I started with data business and now shifted to this.

I strongly recommend the solution because we are doing consulting projects using Java applications.

I rate SQL Server as a nine out of ten. 

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
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MM
Director of Data Analytics at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Stable with good support, but the scalability needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support is very good."
  • "Scalability is an area that needs improvement, and the deployment is difficult, which why I'm looking for an appliance to deploy it in a much more scalable way."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution for application databases and data warehouses.

How has it helped my organization?

The organization was deploying SQL before I came to it, so I assume whoever selected this type of technology was really happy with it.

What is most valuable?

That question is not that easy to answer, to say that there is a feature in a database that you like more than others. When you are running a database, you expect it to do many different things, and if fails in one area, it basically takes it out of the picture completely.

What needs improvement?

Scalability is an area that needs improvement, and the deployment is difficult, which why I'm looking for an appliance to deploy it in a much more scalable way.

I would like to know how you can scale to be a large enterprise server.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SQL Server for approximately 20 years.

We were using version 16 and we went to version 19.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are no issues with stability that are not within the norm where you deploy new versions. Microsoft is always very close. When we experience any type of glitch, Microsoft handles it and we take care of it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales with a lot of effort. When comparing it to Exadata, it's easier to scale with Exadata.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. We have them on-site.

They know their business very well and I would rate them a ten out of ten.

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

Previously, I was working with Oracle Exadata at a different company. It was great, and ran very smoothly.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward because we had help from Microsoft.

What about the implementation team?

We had help through the Microsoft team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our company is Microsoft SQL Server based. I used to use appliances like Exadata before I joined the organization. 

I was looking to see if there would be available technology solutions that would make Microsoft SQL Server work on an appliance to improve stability and scalability, as opposed to running or dividing into Intel-based processors and servers, and handling all of the operational issues.

Having a server that's optimized for the purpose of data warehousing and analytics, is something that I would be interested in. 

I am not sure if there is anything else available as a nice comparison.

We use SQL Server and we are evaluating Azure cloud, and Azure SQL.

What other advice do I have?

I am a data person. I design data warehouses and I develop analytics.

Before implementing SQL Server, make sure that you evaluate it based on the case that you're actually planning to implement it for, and that it's not just for general purposes.

It's not built for everything and anything. You need to choose carefully.

I would rate SQL Server a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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