SQL Licencing and a move to Opensource RDBMS'

  • Good day

    Quite a number of our larger clients are contracting us to assist them with migrating from SQL Server to other opensource RDBMS'.

    Their motivation is simple: Microsoft licencing is becoming way too expensive and is corroding their bottom line.

    This is a very similar to what happened a few years ago when companies moved away from Oracle, also due to very high licensing costs.

    Has anyone else encountered this?

    Space, the final frontier? not any more...
    All limits henceforth are self-imposed.
    “libera tute vulgaris ex”

  • I see this a little, and Microsoft does. Hence their investment in some PostgreSQL tools with ADS and other Azure services.

    What I find often is that someone is short sighted. They got a big bill for some upgrades and see this as a huge cost. It is, but it's also amortized over 5-10 years. Most people upgrade about that often. They also don't think about the cost of conversion, the lack of staff knowledge, and other issues.

    My view is that from scratch, I'd be considering something else, but a conversion isn't likely save any money in the next 5 years, maybe longer. If you have a long term view, maybe this makes sense, but lots of things that SQL can do aren't in the other systems. I think that I've found other systems to require more labor, so that washes out some software cost.

    That being said, if you just need table storage, I'd seriously look at PostgreSQL as a solid database. Just be aware that your short term savings are gone in lost productivity from spending time on conversion and learning.

  • In my opinion, for most people's purposes any RDBMS will suffice and they won't miss those extra features of Microsoft.  If they have a new system they are evaluating what database to build it on then it's an easier decision.  If they are considering migrating an existing system from SQL Server to something else, then they might want to think about how similar the syntax is.  From what I've seen, MySQL is probably closer to MS SQL Server and PostgreSQL is probably closer to Oracle in syntactical conventions, but there are differences with them all.

  • MSSQL entered a negative spiral. Each month more clients are moving away from MSSQL. And less new clients chose MSSQL

    I can warrant the costs savings in developer time. But I cannot sell this anymore.

    When I abandoned Oracle 20 years ago it was because Oracle went into a negative spiral and the costs was to high.  Now unfortunately I must start adopting other databases or die.

    MSSQL Standard is expensive and with CALS falling away even more so.

    Enterprise addition is totally out of reach of most organisations.

    Microsoft please help us to ease clients into the Microsoft environment and to keep existing clients. Oracle was completely blindsided. Don`t fall in the same trap.

  • I think Microsoft could partly address this by increasing the max DB size of SQL Server express to say 50 GB

  • I doubt they will do that, but I was honestly surprised when they upped it to 10 GB.  The biggest problem I see with on-site software licensing these days from many of the software vendors is this concept that we have to pay more to use the same exact software on a more powerful machine (licensing by CPU cores).  That is even less likely to change though.

  • In general on premise solutions are going away when it comes to cheap solutions.  And in general the companies that really require an on prem database can likely also afford the licensing.  Now Microsoft does seem to have accepted that a lot more than oracle has with their cloud solutions.

  • Yes, the cost increased a lot from SQL 2008/R2 to SQL 2012+, not only per-core licensing model instead of per socket, software assurance(SA) is required on the standby node for a two-node cluster. For a small shop, using the software until it's out of support, buying a complete set of licenses is a better option than SA,

    Use Standard edition:

    SQL 2008/R2: $7,000 per socket, two-socket server is $14,000, two-node cluster: $14,000(license not required for standby node)

    SQL 2012+: $2,000 per core, 12-core server is $24,000, two-node cluster: $48,000(or $24,000 plus SA of $6,000 per year)(license or SA is required for standby node)

  • Licensing is always touchy. As with many companies, Microsoft moved to a model that favors larger organizations, not smaller ones. In the grand scheme of things, is that expensive for the benefit? Could be argued either way, but all in all, it's reality.

    I still think the costs of switching are pretty high, but if they work for you (or me), it's something to just do.


  • I will stay with Microsoft, not only it's much cheaper than Oracle, it's interlinked so heavily and I need all, SQL, SSIS(to Oracle on the other end), SSRS, PowerBI. SSAS could be on the way soon, so, no switch.

  • sterling3721 wrote:

    I will stay with Microsoft, not only it's much cheaper than Oracle, it's interlinked so heavily and I need all, SQL, SSIS(to Oracle on the other end), SSRS, PowerBI. SSAS could be on the way soon, so, no switch.


    The fact that MS offers a complete development stack as part of SQL, that also integrates well with AD is definitely another huge plus in favor of MS over oracle or a free RDBMS.

  • Whenever someone proposes such a massive change, I always ask them to show me their prototype and prove that it can actually do the job.  I'm sometimes overridden but my stance is... no prototype... no change.

    --Jeff Moden

    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply