When a project demands the production environment using SQL Server as the database engine, it is essential to decide the most suitable SQL server for the production. SQL server has different editions and features, so it is critical to know production environment requirements matching the SQL server edition. Furthermore, an appropriate choice of database server cuts the considerable cost in the production as core license is a way costlier than the standard edition of SQL Server.
SQL Server Editions:
It is the most fundamental, entry-level SQL Server edition and can be used freely in the production environment. It is ideal while learning and building small server data-driven applications. Express edition is the best choice for independent developers, vendors and hobbyists to vendor client applications and independent software. It has versions that can be upgraded as per requirements of advanced features of the database, such as SQL Server Express LocalDB.
When the application runs fine with the lesser of 1 socket or four cores capped, Express edition should be used for the production environment. When the database does not exceed 10 GB, needs a buffer pool of less than 1410 MB, the memory of less than 351 MB, then SQL Server Express Edition should be decided to use for the production environment.
The middle of the editions Express and Standard is the ‘web’ and is a low total cost-of-ownership choice for web Virtual Access Points (VAPs) and web hosting companies. It helps them provide customers affordability, manageability and scalability for all small to larger-scale web functions and properties. The web edition is suitable for applications with a lesser of 4 socket or 16 cores, buffer pool less than 64 GB and memory less than 16 GB.
SQL Server Web Edition provides high availability through log shipping and enables users to set the lowest replica number to commit a transaction before primary commitment. SQL Server upgrades are assessed using the distributed replay feature of the web edition that also helps assess the impact of operating system upgrades, hardware and SQL Server tuning. It also provides agent service, database tuning advisor (DTA), performance data collector, standard performance reports, plan guides, database mail, automatic indexed views maintenance and Streamlight standard edition useful in a production environment. Moreover, SQL Server instances are monitored and administered using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Management Pack with Web edition of SQL server.
It delivers a business intelligence database and essential data management for departments and small companies that run their applications with minimal IT resources. Organisations can support common development tools for cloud-enabled as well as on-premise effective database management using SQL Server Standard Edition.
When an application needs a buffer pool of fewer than 128 GB, memory less than 32 GB and runs fine with capped to a lesser of 24 cores or four sockets, evaluate then SQL Server Standard Edition is the best choice for the application production environment. It provides backup compressions, supports two nodes, a primary and clusterless availability group. Additionally, it offers hybrid backups and encryption for backups for the production database. Buffer pool extension, SQL profiler, MDX edit, debug and design tools help improve the production of the application.
It is an almost perfect edition of all and offers high service levels and unlimited virtualisation for the mission-critical workload. SQL Server Enterprise Edition provides premium services and delivers comprehensive high-end data centre capabilities with unlimited virtualisation, end-to-end business intelligence and fast performance. In addition, it enables a high service level for critical workloads and data insights through user access.
SQL Server Enterprise Edition has no limit on computing capacity, columnstore segment cache, buffer pool size and memory-optimised data. In addition, it offers availability groups, online indexing, online non-clustered columnstore index rebuild options in the production environment. Governance of resource, automatic tuning, extensible key management (EKM), oracle publishing, batch mode adaptive joins, and transactional replication updatable subscription benefit from using SQL Server Enterprise Edition. Other advantages include parallel index operations, distributed partitioned views, SQL server utility control point, advanced R & Python integration and parallel consistency check.
It has all the functionality of SQL Server Enterprise edition but is limited to the development and testing of the system. It allows developers to build any type of application on top of the SQL server. Though it has all features, it is not suitable for production environments.