Re: I wish I could feel sorry for all those companies that bought the Big Red Story
"SQL Server is usually a superior and cheaper replacement."
From too many years of becoming involved in application support issues, my experience is:
- Oracle is overly complex to install well and difficult to get set up "just right" to run day in and day out without too much care and attention.
- Oracle solutions are often much more expensive than the customer requires. And even if the customer requires the expensive bits, they usually pay more than they need to to get the functionality they require.
- SQL Server is much easier to install and installations are generally pretty good without too much effort, including maintenance tasks and backups.
- generally SQL Server is cheaper than an equivalent Oracle solution
- if you are supporting small-to-medium databases on either product, you will find cheaping out on the hardware to be the biggest performance issue, rather than the solution.
- if you are supporting big databases with a lot of transactions or heavy reporting requirements, Oracles locking solutions are superior to SQL Servers. If you support the same application on both platforms, get used to identifying and resolving deadlocks on the SQL Server platform...
- if it's a really big environment, the hardware you run doesn't support SQL Server...
- never underestimate the ability for a developer to bring a well maintained, well specced, well developed environment to a crawl by doing something special. Oracle gets bonus points for avoiding deadlocks here.
Having said all that, the environments that need and benefit form Oracle rarely have SQL Server (it's usually only due to rapid growth and the rapid increase in x86 power that have allowed them to keep up). For environments that don't require Oracle, I frequently see very expensive solutions implemented poorly, often without a DBA or at least a competent DBA to ensure the environment runs smoothly - usually those environments would benefit from SQL Server given the skills they have. If an environment doesn't have a DBA or someone who can at least spot obvious issues, it doesn't really matter what they use...
I agree with you on cost, I'm less convinced about superiority.
A disgruntled network person, because it's always a network issue