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SQL Server 2008 Enterprise vs Std

Posted on 2009-04-29
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We are a company with 5000 users across 3 sites in the US.  We want to stand up Sharpoint 'Services' only on based on the CALs we purchased with Windows 2003 Server licenses.  We will be standing it up with SQL Server 2008.  What is the 'real deal'?  Do we really need Enterprise or can we realistically get away with Standard?

The full break-down that MS has me looking at is here http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/editions-compare.aspx

I greatly appreciate any advice on this subject.
Question by:rtod2

Expert Comment

ID: 24264918
You're asking about the licencing for MOSS or MSSQL2008?

If you're asking about MSSQL2008 you only need standard.  Only 1 user makes updates to the back end.

If you're asking about MOSS -- you only need standard as well -- but I would suggest that you use enterprise, since it has all those pretty things, like KPIs, Excell webparts, and BDC.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24265105
Consider what features you actually need and your budget. SQL Enterprise costs about 5x more per processor than Standard. Based on that number of users I suggest you go for 64bit so you can support more RAM.

SQL Server Standard supports up to 4 processors (ie, up to 8 or 16 cores). I would expect that to be more than enough to support MOSS with 5K users but obviously that depends what you are doing.

LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24265754
Something else to consider carefuly is that many (read that as "most") of the new features that are being touted as being available from SS2008 are available only if you get the SS2008 Enterprise version.  (For instance, the goegraphic datatypes are really only useful in SS2008E.)  
I would advise going to the MS website and comparing the features in the Standard and Enterprise versions before making your decision.  If what you want to do is available in the Standard version, then go for it if it handles your load.  (However, I suspect that you will find that at least some of what you want is only available in the Enterprise version.)  Look carefully at all aspects of what you want to do.  It is not just datatypes and such that are only available in the Enterprise version.  Many of the utilities and other capabilities aren't available in other versions.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24267193
>> For instance, the goegraphic datatypes are really only useful in SS2008E

Why do you say that? What spatial feature is not possible or useful in Standard Edition?


Accepted Solution

reswobslc earned 2000 total points
ID: 24267431
I write as somebody who ultimately bought Enterprise, because I wanted to use Database Mirroring, and Standard's restriction on using only the "Full Safety" mode caused too much of a performance degradation.

However, if it were me in your shoes, I'd just go buy Standard.  If you ever had second thoughts, you can always go back and pay several times as much for Enterprise, and incur a minimal loss selling your Standard license second hand.  Maybe you negotiate that sort of deal with your software vendor, where they can absorb some of this risk.

If I recall correctly, since Enterprise costs some 4 times as much, your total risk if you choose the "wrong" edition is just what you'd eat in reselling Standard (and no more than 25% of the cost of Enterprise if somehow it were a total loss), versus eating 75% of the cost by buying features you don't need.

If upgrading to Enterprise ever became an "emergency" (i.e. can't wait for the installation media), I believe there's a 120-day evaluation edition you can download and use to tie you over.

Buy a server with just 1 processor and as many cores as possible, if you are licensing per processor.  They are charging by the processor "package", not by the core.  So we did this - we have servers with empty processor sockets just for the sake of saving on SQL Server licenses.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24271375
Why do you say that? What spatial feature is not possible or useful in Standard Edition?

I checked back with the guy who did the demo osf some really cool stuff using the spatial data and pointed ot his statement in his slide show.  The answer I got was, basically, "Oh, I'm sorry, that statement was on the wrong slide and actually refers to another feature."
Sorry about any confusion.  (I know that has now influenced a couple of decisions that I have coming up. ;-)

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