Tony Bain

Building products & teams that leverage data, analytics, AI & automation to do amazing things

SQL Server – The Low Cost Alternative to Open Source

July 22, 2008 | Tony Bain

An interesting situation that I have noticed quite in recent times is that enterprise organisations looking to save on their database costs have been changing their preferred platform from Oracle, Sybase and DB2 not to Open Source but to SQL Server.  There are a number of reasons for this, but predominately:

  • SQL Server has shown to require a significantly lower TCO than Oracle.
  • Almost all vendors that create databases applications have an Oracle or SQL Server option. Application compatibility / availability will be one of the key criteria’s behind such a decision.
  • The enterprise still has a large vendor behind the offering with account management and support escalation processes that can be engaged when really necessary.


At the moment, Microsoft has been providing a “best of both worlds” alternative to Open Source, which the enterprise has made the move to.  For example, most of the major banks in Australia have SQL Server as their preferred platform and only implement Oracle if there is no application compatibility with SQL Server.  If “SQL Server” wasn’t filling in this gap, it would be easy to see that MySQL or PostgreSQL in such a position.


But as we know, people are always looking for ways to save money.  So what will be interesting is what happens in 3 to 5 years when these enterprise sites look to reduce the TCO of their SQL Server database infrastructure.