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MO
Senior Manager at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Easy to manage with good stability and knowledgable technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is easy to set up."
  • "The configuration process can be a little complex."

What is most valuable?

We find the Microsoft SQL Server affordable compared to its real competitors. 

We find it easy to manage. 

It offers a very robust infrastructure for us.

The solution is easy to set up.

We have found the stability to be good.

We've had a good experience with technical support. They are helpful.

What needs improvement?

We may use different levels of SQL Server when it comes to licensing. We have some Enterprise and some Standard services. They can improve the recovery processes of the replication or disaster recovery scenarios for the lower-tiered version, such as the Standard server.

While we have many options in Enterprise, it's expensive for most companies.

The configuration process can be a little complex. 

Technical support can take a while to respond in Turkey.

The solution may be better with some integration with some factory cloud software. With the standard version, the lodgement process is never enough. We are replicating near real-time to make recovery easy and to make all the RPO targets as expected. 

You cannot recover SQL Servers, especially for big financial companies like ours. It's not easy to erect SQL Servers on any other site, and with an acceptable data loss in the foundations.

For how long have I used the solution?

Personally, I have used the solution for about 15 years at this point. It's well over a decade. I've used it for a while. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been great. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. it's reliable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The Microsoft team never responds fast in Turkey. I cannot say they are fast. Unless you have some Enterprise agreement, they're not quick. However, I find that when I deal with the same technician a few times, they are quite good and very helpful. They are very capable. They know what they are talking about. 

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

We also use Oracle Servers. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial implementation is easy and straightforward. It's not overly complex or difficult to set up.

However, it's not just the server we have to set up. We have a cluster environment. Mostly it's just, click, click, click and you are done, however, the configuration process is a bit more difficult. Adjusting performance levels, in particular, can be a real challenge.

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

The enterprise version of the solution is very expensive and most companies would likely find that they wouldn't be able to afford it. 

What other advice do I have?

We're a customer and an end-user.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We've been very happy with its capabilities. 

I would recommend the solution, however, it will only be effective if the company hires an effective administrator. While there are default settings, you will likely need to configure quite a bit and connect most of your hardware in the correct way. To be effective, it really needs to be tuned by a professional. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Stephan Warreyn
GF at Innopact GmbH
Real User
Top 5
Extremely mature, scalable, and stable

Pros and Cons

  • "The product has been on the market for over 25 or 30 years. It's an extremely mature solution."
  • "Technical support could be faster."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for data storage. We use it for its data warehouse, BI services, and AI.

What is most valuable?

If you compare the SQL Server with the block storage it's stable and it's working. 

The product has been on the market for over 25 or 30 years. It's an extremely mature solution.

The solution is pretty scalable.

The initial setup is pretty straightforward, depending on your requirements.

What needs improvement?

The solution is very expensive. 

Technical support could be faster.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for many years. It's been a while. It's likely been over ten years or so - a decade or more.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

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

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales well. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so with ease.

Three people are using the solution in our organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've used technical support in the past. However, it's not a very fast support system. For the new Office 365, it's better. This solution still needs to work on support.

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

For a specific task, we are using this solution. However, for some other tasks, we're using MongoDB, MariaDB, Oracle, or something else. It depends on the task and the solution and the requirements.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is not overly complex or difficult for the most part. The initial setup's level of straightforwardness, however, depends. If you only need an SQL Server, it's easy. If you need a cluster, it's more difficult. If you need a great cluster all over the world, it's more difficult.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the installation myself. I did not need the help of an integrator or consultant.

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

The solution is expensive. The pricing is different and not really standardized. If you're using it on Azure you pay on your workloads. If you have a separate dedicated instance, you pay for the course. It's different, according to the situation, however, in either case, it's expensive.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users.

We are using the 2014 and 2019 versions of the solution.

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations and users. However, if it will work for a company, or if it will work for them in an ideal manner depends on the requirements you have to fulfill as an organization. For example, race cars may be good cars, and great products, however, it's for a specific task. For other tasks, it may not be useful.

I general, I'm quite satisfied with the solution and it does what I need it to do. I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

I'd recommend the solution to other users and organizations.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about SQL Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
555,139 professionals have used our research since 2012.
MY
IT at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Enables a person to do whatever is required at the command line level

Pros and Cons

  • "Since we can automate most of our tasks, it means that the management is very easy."
  • "I would like to see the database become fully automated."

What is our primary use case?

Microsoft SQL Server is a database application, meaning it acts as the backend system for help with the backend data repository system. It concerns itself with every activity that happens at the front end of the database in Microsoft SQL Server. ERP Microsoft solutions is one reason that the SQL server has compatibility. The management of Microsoft SQL Server is actually quite easy. It has a GUI interface and enables a person to do whatever is required at the command line level. It functions as a repository for storing one's data in the relational database. 

What needs improvement?

The Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition have certain limitations. While the latter is clearly more expensive than the former, it would be nice to see some of the features in the Enterprise Edition be moved to the Standard Edition. This will encourage many more people to use that solution.

If we were discussing the 2000 edition in respect of the SQL Server, I would probably cite security and performance as issues. However, nowadays, when it comes to an application connected to their databases, there is no real difference between MS SQL Server and Oracle. As a consequence, it would be nice to see the application be made more cost-effective. I am aware of much database self-management in respect of Oracle. I know that the last time a colleague of mine used this solution in California, he informed me that the application itself was managing the database.

At present, the solution uses the older connection and the schema is designed in such a way that it can actually provide a very low level of virtualization. Since the security is also hierarchical within the system, they've really done a very good job. 

This said, I would like to see the database become fully automated.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SQL server for a couple of years, since day one. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable and it has remained so over the years. I've worked in different organizations, such as the banks here in Lagos. Straight off the bat, I've been using Microsoft SQL Server 2000. We currently use Microsoft SQL Server for our ERP needs. How one designs his tables is important. As the team leader, it is my job to ensure that the functioning is as it should be. The application is pretty straightforward. 

Since we can automate most of our tasks, it means that the management is very easy. We can have jobs for our backups. The solution grants us the ability to perform database housekeeping tasks.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's been fun dealing with technical support. Generally speaking, they have shown a willingness to handle issues we may have. 

What other advice do I have?

The solution demonstrates performance and this is going well for the moment. 

In consideration of its performance, I rate SQL server as 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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MB
BI Developer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
A stable and scalable relational database management system

Pros and Cons

  • "The performance is great."
  • "It's difficult to make changes. It's a very complicated product in general — that's the issue."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to analyze the profitability of sales.

Within our organization, there are roughly 30 people using the analysis services solution from the Business Intelligence side.

What is most valuable?

The performance can be great. Tuning and understanding SSAS is not straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The issue is that Microsoft is not really supporting the Multi Dimensional Analysis Services feature any longer and it's looking very obsolete. We're looking at replacing it.

SSAS-MD is difficult to make changes. It's a very complicated product in general — that's the issue. It is too complicated for most. It's too difficult to change. It's too difficult!

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product for more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This particular product is quite stable. We've not had any particular problems. We've had problems with Microsoft Excel recently, but Analysis Services has been quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it's quite good. It's not scalable up to the big data type of thing that people are doing now. It's scalable up to a point, but it has been overtaken by newer products.

How are customer service and technical support?

We try and avoid calling Microsoft support, generally. That's the truth. We've tried getting support for other products like Power BI — support is an issue.

They're changing their products and they're not stable enough. Analysis Services has been okay, but some of their other products, like Excel and Power BI, are not stable.

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

We're looking at alternative solutions because we think Microsoft's licensing costs have been expensive and multidimensional cubes have been overtaken by other technologies such as in-memory databases and products like Snowflake.

We're looking for a solution that allows us to pay by usage rather than pay by the number of users. We don't want to pay for hardware capacity that we rarely use. I'm looking at several products, including Snowflake, that bill by how much we use the product. I'm not sure if Microsoft is on board with that yet. I was also looking at Qlik — they do a commercial model that is paid by the amount of time. I think paying per usage is a rising trend at the moment.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give SQL Server a rating of nine. It's generally a good product.

If you're interested in using this solution, my advice is to do your research. It's a good product, but there are other products available.

One of the biggest issues that I have with Microsoft is that they change their products and don't continue to support the old product. We've got some things in Microsoft Excel that are no longer supported. They bring out a new model and they drop support for some of the older features.

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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YT
Information Security Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good for publishing web applications, but security, stability and performance can be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "We have found the feature that allows us to publish web applications to be valuable."
  • "As we have faced problems with the solution in both the past and present, I feel it could be more stable."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for nearly all of the services we provide that utilize Windows Server. We use it to provide continuous service and in respects of our mail server. 

What is most valuable?

We have found the feature that allows us to publish web applications to be valuable. 

We have 20 servers and we use disparate ones for different applications, such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus Server and Windows SharePoint in respects of the surveillance system. 

What needs improvement?

The solution should be more secure and stable and have better performance, particularly as concerns the endpoint operating systems. I would like to have a better operating system that links the CPU and the RAM efficiently.

For the majority of our servers we have not used other operating systems, although there are certain features or requirements that necessitated their use, such as Red Hat. This was rare. Mostly, we used Windows OS. 

As for the performance issue, we have recently encountered situations in which everything would fail in spite of the CPU and memory being 100 percent operable. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SQL Server for 12 or 13 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As we have faced problems with the solution in both the past and present, I feel it could be more stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution seems scalable to me. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not had experience with technical support and have handled this independently whenever we encountered problems. 

How was the initial setup?

When it comes to the installation of the operating system, we have found it to be easy and user-friendly. 

Our greatest praise for the solution we reserve for its ease of installation and usage. These provide definite advantages. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that we have always made use of the solution for nearly every relevant company in South Africa.

While I cannot recall exactly how long the installation lasted, I did recently install endpoint Windows 10 Operating System and this took an hour and a half. 

We were able to handle the installation on our own, as we are well versed in this process when it comes to Windows OS.

On an individual basis, we solely make use of Windows OS. There are between 300 and 400 people in our organization who do so. 

Generally speaking, we do not make use of a technical team for deployment and maintenance purposes and do so internally. There are a maximum of seven or eight people in our organization who are responsible for this. We are talking about technical people who are responsible for the direct installation and configuration of Windows OS and they do not include managers. 

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

I believe the licensing to be on an annual basis. In 2019 we purchased a three year license. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other other options before going with the solution. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate SQL Server as a seven out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Mazen Kassem
Senior Digital Services Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Configurable, stable, and scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is configurable."
  • "The integration could be better. They are not open-source, so the integration with other platforms is not that easy."

What is our primary use case?

We only use it as a logging solution. We use it as logging for processing our database. It holds records for some systems and so on. That's it.

What is most valuable?

The solution is stable.

The product is scalable.

The solution is configurable. 

What needs improvement?

The IT and digital transformation department are a bit fresh in this company that I am working for. They have a lot of plans, a lot of visions. I don't know how are they are going to do the infrastructure. I don't know their vision.

So far, the solution fits the scope of our company. We aren't missing any features. 

The integration could be better. They are not open-source, so the integration with other platforms is not that easy.

For how long have I used the solution?

The company has been using them for a long time. I newly joined the company two months ago, so I don't know when exactly they start using it.

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. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale the product. You can increase and decrease the storage as needed. It's very easy.

The amount of users on the solution is anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 users. 

How are customer service and technical support?

While I've never been in touch with technical support, the administration team has. They've contacted the team in Egypt. I haven't heard of any negative experiences.

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

I've also worked with Oracle in the past. At this company, since it is an older server, it may have been in service longer. We were using the two databases for two different functions.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't a part of the installation process, however, it's my understanding that the company handled the installation themselves. 

The administration team has three or four team members. They can handle maintenance tasks and rotate tasks between themselves.

What about the implementation team?

My understanding is that the company handled the installation internally. However, I was only recently hired. 

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

Any kind of information related to costs or licensing is beyond my scope. I don't deal with that aspect of the solution. I do not know if licensing is paid monthly or yearly.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users.

Our architecture is divided. There are parts on-premise and parts on Azure cloud. I don't know exactly where the SQL Server sits. 

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

I might recommend it to other organizations. That said, it depends on the solution they need. I've worked on Oracle, I have worked on my Microsoft SQL servers. What would be best depends on the solution they need. However, Microsoft SQL servers are a very trusted product. I would recommend it if someone was asking about it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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NipunaMaliga
Systems Specialist at Zillione Technology
Real User
Top 10
Has good replication, availability, and clustering features

Pros and Cons

  • "Its availability for a secured server is one of its most valuable features. Also its replications - we can manage eight replicas. Their clustering and availability groups are also valuable."
  • "They do not offer the SQL Server Management tool via the installation. It is a separate tool I use when I'm trying to configure the mirroring with SQL Server Mirroring. This is not supported and I'm getting some errors on the database mirroring."

What is our primary use case?

Mainly, I do infrastructure support. We do fine-tuning, information, configuration, higher-level availability, and replication. Also, single and clustering solutions - both kinds.

We do on-premises and cloud deployments. This is because some customers use Microsoft Azure, mainly in the financial sector, such as the Sri Lanka Government, who has many databases that cannot go on the cloud. The financial sector also works with on-prem databases.

I am mainly using the SQL Server from 2019. That's the latest version since last January while our customers are mainly using the 2016 and 2017 versions. This is because we are not providing the latest version. We are testing some bugs now. In terms of functionality, I think the 2017 version is better. I have not fully tested the 2019, so I cannot give a recommendation for it.

What is most valuable?

Its availability for a secured server is one of its most valuable features. Also its replication features are valuable- we can manage eight replicas. Their clustering and availability groups are also valuable.

What needs improvement?

They do not offer the SQL Server Management tool via the installation. It is a separate tool I use when I'm trying to configure the mirroring with SQL Server Mirroring. This is not supported and I'm getting some errors on the database mirroring. So sometimes I use the 2014 management console and the 2017 server for that. If the customer does not agree to that, I use a query for the database mirroring connections.

Additionally, I think some kind of machine learning related feature should be included. This is because technology is moving fast and all of the customers are getting it easier. So developers are making machine learning products. That's why they should include some kind of a machine learning feature here, too.

How was the initial setup?

Which initial setup are you referring too? It has multiple solutions and installations, some of which are very simple. Clustering is very difficult to setup.

Setup time depends on the customer's environment, including database size, the number of databases, and the amount of data. Last week I did a PLC with two databases and one availability crew. It took two days because one day I did clustering. It can be done in one day but the customer provides another day for that.

Also, because the customers haven't kept some downtime, we request some kind of downtime for the primary server. So sometimes we plan downtime when we need some days for the complete environment.

What about the implementation team?

I'm working with Microsoft solutions in Sri Lanka. We have a technical team for the DB side only - Microsoft SQL Servers, Azure platform, SQL servers. All of those have a security device. And as I mentioned, installation is per requirement. There is no need for a couple of engineers for that.

In terms of maintenance after the deployment, it also varies depending on the number of databases.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate Microsoft MDS an eight. I'd give it an 8 and not a 10 because it lacks some features, such as machine learning.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Biswajit Mohanty
Senior Manager - RPA & Transition at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable with prompt technical support and capable of scaling

Pros and Cons

  • "The performance is reliable."
  • "You do need to have technical knowledge in order to install the solution. It's not something a layperson can do."

What is our primary use case?

Typically, the SQL Server is used in many, many ways. We primarily use SQL Server when there is a data requirement for our projects.

Typically there are uses around where you are creating a database. I've yet to store the data in our RPA server. We need MS Excel through Microsoft.

Any sort of  RPA process where you require data through housing data or using a database, you need an SQL Server.

What is most valuable?

The solution is extremely stable. The performance is reliable.

The scalability of the solution is very good.

Technical support is pretty good. they are prompt in their responses.

What needs improvement?

You do need to have technical knowledge in order to install the solution. It's not something a layperson can do.

The scalability can always be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for a number of years now. It's been a while. I have some experience with it. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is very good. It's reliable. There are no bugs or glitches. It does not crash or freeze. It doesn't give us any trouble.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very capable of scaling. A company should have no trouble expanding the solution as needed.

You can always add on to the server or make compartments into it.

We have a team of about 200 or more people using the solution.

We do plan to continue using the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with technical support in the past. We found that their responses have been prompt. Given their engagement to typical organizations, they do decent work. I would say that we are mostly satisfied with the level of support on offer.

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

We did not use any other databases prior to SQL. We only use SQL.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup does take some time. It depends upon how you are establishing the server in your environment and depends upon the firewall of your organization. It is a lengthy process, however, it is not that grueling. Depending upon the firewall of your organization, it does take time. That influences the time.

What about the implementation team?

I can handle the installation myself. I did not need the help of a consultant or integrator. However, whoever installs it must be somebody who has the technical knowledge. Not everybody can do it.

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

We have an organizational license.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users. We do not have a business relationship with SQL.

We are using the latest version of the solution. I cannot recall the exact version number.

I would recommend the solution to other users, companies, and organizations.

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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