Differences in SQL 2008 Versions?

I am getting two dedicated servers setup for web hosting.  One for the web server and one for the SQL server.  I am trying to figure out the cost difference between leasing a license from the provider and buying my own license.  Obviously everyone would like to get the Enterprise version, but will the workgroup or other version have most of the needed features?  Will I be regretting not have features of standard or enterprise as the databases grow?  I am not creating a site like eBay where i will be storing billions of records.  I just want to see if I can control costs at the beginning of the life cycle.

Any input would be appreciated if the base versions will do the job and not lack in major needed features.

Thanks
theideabulbAsked:
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Kevin CrossConnect With a Mentor Chief Technology OfficerCommented:
It really depends on what you need to do.

SQL 2008 Express is limited to 1 CPU, 1GB RAM and 10GB DB size, which may or may not be sufficient for you for example.  Between standard and enterprise, you lose features like partitioning.

Here is an overview of the limitations:
http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/editions.aspx

Here is the comparison of features for each edition:
http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/editions-compare.aspx

For most needs, the new robust SQL Express likely works.  For large, e-commerce style applications I previously supported, I had always had SQL Enterprise; however, for my current applications, we use SQL Standard as they are critical, but not for us the cost savings outweighted not being able to use the advanced features that as a small organization would have been overkill for us anyway.

Hope that helps!
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geek_vjConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It all depends on which features you would like to use. If you need high availability and performance features, then you need to go for high end version (like enterprise).

If you are not sure about which features you might need in future, the best thing is to go for Standard edition (if it is a prod environment) as it contains most of the common features for a prod database. In future, if you feel like having advanced features, you can always upgrade to the high end version.
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theideabulbAuthor Commented:
What about the Web edition? It seems like it has alot of the features needed, is there anything there that would be bad for me to use that.  Also, I see a big price difference between 2008 server and the R2 version?  Is there a major difference there?
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Kevin CrossChief Technology OfficerCommented:
I have not used the Web Edition to verify pricing differences between it and Standard, but if provided by your hosting provider and meets your needs it should be a good alternative to SQL Express as it appears to be tailored to high availability in web environments.  Having this optimized to your exact needs is never a bad thing.
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