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What Differentiates Enterprise? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:35 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item What Differentiates Enterprise?






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Post #1083729
Posted Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:48 PM
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Hi,

What a timely topic. Only yesterday I was reviewing licencing of SQL Server. I have many small clients (some of which only install SQL Server because our product requires it). A major issue of mine is to get these clients to upgrade (have clients still on SQL Standard 2000). All they see is that they have bought SQL Server (obviously several years ago) and now I am asking them to replace (not even upgrade) one working version with the new model for $5000+. Hard to get them to see the benefits (yes I tell them it faster etc) and to spend the money.

The databases (3 for each client) are from 100 MB to 20 GB (so not large with 5000000 rows in one of the tables). This table is also joined to other tables to return a report which can be quiet slow (30sec+) and partitioning of this table that SQL 2008 Enterprise allows would be fantastic for this as most of the queries only require information from the last few days/weeks.

I would really like to see a model where I could pay to run these small sites on a single or dual core and limited ram for a price that would entice my clients to upgrade.

SQL Express would nearly do the job for most of my small clients but I have found its performance is somehow "restricted" and does not return queried information as quickly as SQL Standard for whatever reason. Anyone got any comments on that issue?

Simplifying the licencing within a VM environment would also be appreciated.

Milton
Post #1083732
Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 1:04 AM


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Hi Milton,

Perhaps you should look into the feasibility of "hosting" the application yourself, Software As A Service(SAAS) in the Cloud using SQLAzure for example. This way you have the option to control the hardware environment specifications/performance across the board or specifically on a per client basis should you choose. Your clients can subscribe to a "level" of your service that is appropriate for them.



John Sansom (@sqlBrit) | www.johnsansom.com
Post #1083772
Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 1:20 AM


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It is all a little arbitrary; log shipping was particularly silly since you could either write the scripts yourself or just copy them from an EE installation. Compression was also an odd one - think this might be more use to small customers than big ones, but it was (is?) an EE only feature.

I agree that a simple per-core model would be simpler - we are presently facing tradeoff between buying Datacenter Edition so we can run a bunch of VMs on the box, or individual licences for all of our smaller VMs e.g. SSRS only instances.

On this, it might also be an idea to licence SSRS, SSAS, etc. separately, though I realise this is proceeding down the Oracle path.
Post #1083778
Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 2:30 AM
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I disagree here. Licensing per core is all well and good, but you might well end up paying to license a feature you don't want and never use! I'd rather see some sort of system where, rather than have fixed "editions" of the product, you just pay for the bits you need.
Post #1083805
Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 4:01 AM
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Hmmm... I don't think this is going to resolve anything, is it?

My main gripe is one of chickens and eggs, for prototyping a months trial is not long enough to test and demonstrate features only available in the enterprise edition, so we learn to live without them.

When the business arguments for these features become fully apparent it can be at the expense of the project itself (why throw more money at this, it's useless).

So to my mind Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot a little, certainly a full feature set on the basic edition linked to some kind of scalable licencing would make adoption of enterprise features far more likely in our organisation.
Post #1083852
Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 5:50 AM
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FYI - Compression is now available in Standard Edition in R2 - yay!

One thing that annoys me is that SSRS consumes a whole license if you put it on it's own box. I consider it a best practice to isolate SSRS from the core engine for performance reasons. I think licensing SSRS separately would make sense. Also, I have been burned many times where I install Standard and then 6 months later go to use some feature and it's not allowed because you are running Standard.

We are heavy users of async mirroring so we typically install Enterprise most of the time.



Post #1083917
Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 6:16 AM


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I think you gave the best answer to the general question right in your editorial...

"In my mind, I'd like to see SQL Server priced on scale, and not on features..."

What differentiates an Enterprise IS scale! Hence, it seems silly to arrange pricing and licensing any other way. This should be the case not only for SQL Server, but for all products that want to approach the market this way. As it is right now, we run into many clients who not only don't understand the differences between versions, but even those who do can't figure out why this is done as it is.

SQL Server is kind of unique in this way because, more than any other MS product, scale is highly important - but we are seeing Windows 7 cause a great deal of confusion in the marketplace due to these different versions. The same was true with Vista although thankfully, it had very low business market penetration.

Scale seems to me to be the most obvious factor in differentiating versions, especially in the case of any RDBMS. Unfortunately, I think the differing versions in other products (OS's, Office, etc.) is simply a gimmick - and its a gimmick we don't really need in the marketplace.


There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
Post #1083934
Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 7:03 AM
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I think it would be in Microsoft's best interest to provide all the features and change the levels to limit on number of CPU or amount of memory. This would allow the skill level and pool of talent to grow around the product. If there are more people who know the product, Microsoft will sell more product. It becomes a feedback loop that will continue to grow.
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Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 7:24 AM
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paul.knibbs (3/25/2011)
I disagree here. Licensing per core is all well and good, but you might well end up paying to license a feature you don't want and never use! I'd rather see some sort of system where, rather than have fixed "editions" of the product, you just pay for the bits you need.


This then becomes fighting for any feature that's useful which I'm sure can be a very painful process. Right now the argument could be that clustering is needed and partition is very useful so by going to a higher edition we get both. If you had to pay for each feature you're more likely not to get partitioning because only clustering is really needed so management shoots down one.
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