Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft SQL Server
We use Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 in our environment for all of our .NET applications. We have also found that most any enterprise level software will provide a means to store their database within SQL Server. With one database server for all of our applications it is very easy to backup and create disaster recovery points for the future.
- Fast and efficient compression on backups. Typically we see about a 65% reduction in size compared to the data file.
- It just "works". We say this very little in IT but it really does just work. Almost every enterprise application out there works with it and the downtime is very minimal.
- You have the opportunity to cluster servers. You can easily create a cluster of SQL servers to share resources instead of buying all new equipment and scattering the database footprint.
- The patching has sometimes been an issue for us. It either doesn't work or the process isn't explained well for the different SQL instances on one engine.
- I wish they would design a way to allow SQL backups to go somewhere other than a local drive. A UNC path would be best. This would allow us to rotate off the backups to a longer term storage device.
- It takes up a huge amount of memory and space on a server.
- There is no benefit to running it in VMWare. We typically find that servers run better in VMWare for our use cases but SQL seems to run just the same and you don't save on licensing so there really is no benefit.
- We can very quickly and easily start up a new database.
- Active Directory integration has been a huge time saver for us.
- It changed the way we did our data backup strategy by giving us a backup 4-5 times a day instead of once at night.
Microsoft SQL is so much easier to use. Getting data in and out of the RDS was so difficult we stopped using it. Microsoft SQL Server was so much faster and user friendly that we exclusively move all new databases to these servers instead of using services like RDS. With RDS we had a familiar interface in that we could use Microsoft SQL Studio Manager to access it but there was just way too many restrictions that we don't have in Microsoft SQL Server.
If you have an organization with over 50 employees then you will benefit from Microsoft SQL. Anything less than that and you are going to need Microsoft SQL Express. The full licensing model gives you all features for that edition. Things like compressed backups, clustering, and anything to do with more than one server will require the heavier duty licensing. We use it for most everything except our websites. Our websites run on Python Django which does not work with Microsoft SQL Server. Other than the lack of support on that front we are 100% satisfied with it at the moment.