SQL Server with Mr. Denny

Mar 15 2010   11:00AM GMT

SQL 2008 R2 is pricy, but so is that other database.



Posted by: Denny Cherry
Tags:
SQL Server

There’s a lot of talk about the new SQL Server 2008 R2 pricing.  To give you an idea of why people are complaining…
(Keep in mind that all prices on this page a CPU licensing.)

Version Standard Enterprise Data Center
SQL 2005/2008 $5,999 $24,999 N/A
SQL 2008 R2 $7,499 $28,479 $57,498
Difference $1,500 $3,480 N/A

Now you are getting a lot of new features in SQL 2008 R2 over what was included in SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008. However these prices are quite high, especially on the lower end when you compare them to the other database, you know, Oracle.

Standard One Standard Enterprise
Oracle 11g $4,995 $15,000 $47,500
Difference from SQL 2008 $7,501 $22,501

Now you’ll notice that I didn’t compare Oracle’s Standard Edition One to a SQL Server edition. There isn’t really a SQL Server edition that compares with this edition as it falls somewhere between the Workgroup and Standard editions. It is lower than the SQL Server Standard edition as it only supports two CPUs, but it is better that the SQL Server Workgroup edition as it supports as much RAM as the SQL Server supports.

Now when it comes to features SQL Server is going to be the clear winner. SQL Server includes things like Replication, Auditing, and so on. As best I can tell (god knows I’m not an Oracle expert) these features aren’t available as part of the non-Enterprise editions of Oracle. And if you want them on Oracle you had better be able to pay for them.

A few of the extras that you can buy for your Enterprise edition Oracle server include:
Advanced Data Compression – $10,000 per CPU
Advanced Security – $10,000 per CPU
OLAP – $20,000 per CPU

If you want to connect your Oracle database to another database platform, that’ll cost you as well. As best as I can figure this is basically Oracle’s version of linked servers. (These prices are per database server not CPU.)
SQL Server access – $15,000
Sybase access – $15,000
Informix access – $15,000
Teradata access – $95,000
Websphere MQ – $40,000

Now Oracle doesn’t have a data center edition or a Parallel Data Warehouse Edition so there’s really no way to directly compare Oracle to SQL Server Datacenter edition or Parallel Data Warehouse Editio. To get close we have to take the Oracle Enterprise Edition at $40,000, add in Partitioning at $10,000, and add in RAC (Real Application Clusters) at $20,000 for $70,000.

Now when dealing with the Oracle Enterprise edition you have to keep in mind that you aren’t paying per socket (Oracle licenses the Standard and Standard One editions per socket) but you are paying per CPU core. According with the Oracle Pricing Book if you are using SPARC multi-core processors then each core is charged at .75 CPUs for each CPU core, and if you are using x86 or x64 multi-core processors then each core is charged at .5 CPUs for each CPU cores.

So if you have a quad chip quad core server, which is a pretty standard database server these days, that’s 16 cores, so you are paying for a total of 8 CPU licenses. Assuming that you have Enterprise Edition with no optional features that is a $320,000 in license fees. SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition comes out at $229,992 which makes SQL Server 2008 R2 $90,008 less for that server.

Now, on the lower end database server side Oracle is going to start to win on price. If you need a dual chip SQL Server you’ll probably want the Standard Edition (otherwise you are limited to 4 Gigs of RAM). SQL Standard for two CPUs will come out to $14,998 for the server, but the Oracle Standard One comes out to $9,990 making Oracle $5,008 less that SQL Server. Now if your database server needs four CPUs then Oracle Standard Edition will come in at $60,000 where the SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition will come in at $29,996 making the SQL Server license $30,004 less expensive. Apparently Oracle standard doesn’t support more than 2 CPUs based on the information put in the comments below. But with the 6 core CPUs out and the 8 core CPUs coming out soon having a 2 socket server is probably going to become a more and more popular option.

I think that if Microsoft is going to keep the Standard edition pricing where it is, they should increase, or remove the memory limit of the Workgroup edition so that it is a better competitor with the Oracle Standard Edition One product. With the memory limit removed from the Workgroup edition the Workgroup edition would be superior than the Oracle Standard Edition One as the SQL Server Workgroup edition would will on features.

Denny

P.S. All prices are based on posted list prices as announced by Microsoft as the SQL PASS summit, or from the Oracle Pricing Book. These should be considered list prices and if you pay these prices for either product you aren’t trying hard enough to get a discount.

UPDATE: I’ve corrected the Oracle pricing and commented out the information about the quad chip Standard Oracle Server as apparently a quad chip Oracle server requires Enterprise Edition.

7  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Jdanton
    Denny--you are greatly underestimating Oracle's cost. Enterprise Edition is now 47,500 a proc. And don't forget support costs are higher (20% of total spend) on the Oracle side, and are basically non-negotiable (driven by list price). I really like some of the things that Oracle does, but most shops just can't afford them.
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  • Cmille19
    Denny--Your scenario: "if your database server needs four CPUs then Oracle Standard Edition will come in at $60,000 where the SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition will come in at $29,996" does not comply with the licensing terms for Oracle Standard Edition.There are restrictions on the number of CPUs you can use with Oracle Standard Edition. You cannot install on a server with more than two CPU sockets. Each CPU, however, can have multiple cores. You are only charged by the socket, or physical CPU, with Standard. In addition it should be noted, there are differences in licensing terms in a virtualized environment for Oracle vs. SQL Server. Oracle requires you to license all physical CPUs that are part of a virtual cluster whereas SQL Server you have the option of either licensing all CPUs or licensing the virtual CPUs for each install. So, for Oracle in virtualized envrionment Standard Edition isn't even an option.
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  • Denny Cherry
    I've updated the blog post with the information provided by people in the comments.
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  • Meltons
    Good article... Apparently Oracle is also like Microsoft in that they have all kinds of "editions" of their product. I found Oracle has a "Standard Edition One" and then "Standard Edition"???? http://www.oracle.com/database/product_editions.html The Edition One maxed at 2 sockets but the Standard Edition maxed at 4 sockets. I like on this link how "In-Memory Database Cache" is an option only for Enterprise Edition where it states "By bringing data closer to the application and processing queries in an in-memory database, your applications are able to access, capture, or update information many times faster." Doesn't SQL do that without having to buy an "option"? Anyway, I do believe there are applications that work better in Oracle and apps that work better in SQL Server. Even though a vendor says we "support" this or that DBMS, you know they developed that application around one or the other.
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  • Yumay
    Interesting blog – the fact that Oracle charges separately for OLAP, security, compressions etc. really adds to the costs fast. [I]I noticed an error the author made, which is in this sentence below: So if you have a quad chip quad core server, which is a pretty standard database server these days, that’s 16 cores, so you are paying for a total of 8 CPU licenses. Assuming that you have Enterprise Edition with no optional features that is a $320,000 in license fees. SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition comes out at $229,992 which makes SQL Server 2008 R2 $90,008 less for that server.[/I] SQL R2 price is $28.8k/Proc or $9.9K/Svr + $162/CAL. In the calculation above, since Microsoft charges per processor socket only (and doesn’t charge per core for any edition), a quad chip box would require just 4 processor of EE R2 at $28.8k a piece for a total of $115.2k (retail list price). Now just imagine the cost difference when the DL980 G7 comes out in the summer. This server will have 8 CPUs, 64 cores (8 CPUs x 8 cores/CPU) and 128 threads (8 CPUs x 16 threads/CPU) so the price difference between Oracle (which charges per core) vs. MS (which charges per socket only) will be even more stark.
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  • Toycanon
    The thing you must always remember about Oracle is that there is the public price that Oracle "charges" and there are the prices you get from third parties which in my experience are lower and Oracle always matches. Oracle pricing is often mitigated by negotiation particularly if you are a larger customer which is of course where all the big revenue comes from. You should also keep in my mind that they generally supply everything with no need to turn to third parties for backup software that has had compression for many years or scheduling software that can schedule any job that runs on a server or full monitoring software without having to pay for SCOM etc... In my experience a lot of sql server folks and I am one now although I used to work on Oracle can not understand how Oracle is thriving despite the apparent price difference. Markets work! There is more to it than the public price. You should also consider how cheap it becomes to run Oracle on Linux and the advantages presented by a GRID. Again this is primarily for large shops.
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  • Denny Cherry
    Toycanon, Everything in the post is done off of list prices. Microsoft also has lots of discount programs available which can reduce the price anywhere from a few percent to 20+ percent. Yes, Oracle does provide everything you need for things like backup compression. However what has been included in the products for years doesn't really mean much to anyone who is looking at purchasing today. 5 years ago the fact that Oracle had compression in backups without needing a third party would have been a selling point. Today it isn't. As for job scheduling, SQL Agent can handle running any job be it T/SQL, SSIS, or a command line application. What Monitoring software does Oracle include for free? I can gather all sorts of performance stats from SQL Server for free just by firing up perfmon which will get me all the stats that any of the third party tools can provide. They simply provide a nicer looking interface to the data.
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