I always keep on eye on the evolution of SQL Server. As I was going through that article from Jeremiah Peschka at Brent Ozar Unlimited I got the sinking impression that Microsoft wants SMBs to move to Azure and stay there.
In short, here is how I see the changes from SQL Server 2012 to SQL Server 2014 (not everything is there, only what caught my attention):
|SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition||SQL Server 2014 Standard Edition|
|High Availability (HA)|
(Log shipping, mirroring and Failover clustering)
|1 Hot standby that can takeover unlicensed for 28 days||SA is required to have a hot standby|
|Core licensing||Not all core need to be licensed||All cores need to be licensed|
|Memory limitation||64GB||128GB(raised after protests)|
|Buffer pool Extensions(SSD speedup when RAM maxed-up)||N/A||Yes|
How I see it, by requiring SA to access HA features, Microsoft adds a significant cost to companies wanting to run business-critical apps on the Standard Edition (Yes, Software Assurance is not cheap). Another blow to SMBs: all CPU cores need to be licensed which puts more pressure on sizing the hardware correctly.
As a result, the Standard Edition is not really cost efficient for SMBs to run their business-critical apps. From there, the options are:
- Pay a premium for the Software Assurance, to renew every year
- Move to Azure, if possible. Probably the simplest solution and most cost efficient solution
- Move to another technology such as PostgreSQL or HBase if the skills are available.