Making the Case for SQL Server

Are you preparing to start a new project that requires massive database horsepower? Do you suspect that SQL Server 2000 and Windows 2000 will get the job done at a fraction of the cost of competing solutions? Are you getting push-back from the mainframe/UNIX gang in the IT glass house? Do you need ammunition to convince your peers that SQL Server is a safe, scalable, and reliable platform? If so, take a look at the following documents from the Microsoft Web site.

  1. SQL Server 2000 Scalability Project—Basic Capacity Scalability
  2. This 17-page document is a joint effort from Microsoft and Dell to demonstrate the scalability of Microsoft-Dell solutions. The document describes several tests that demonstrate scalability on Dell servers from 2 CPUs up through 8 CPUs and that put the Dell servers through their paces as they process a multiterabyte dataset for both online transaction processing (OLTP) and decision-support workloads.

    Man Xiong, who is part of a special Microsoft team focused on ensuring SQL Server's reliability and scalability, wrote the document. Microsoft formed the team to help bridge the gap between functional testing (testing by Microsoft in a lab setting) and customer deployment in the real world. The team's next white paper will deal with techniques and approaches to using SQL Server in an application service provider- (ASP-) hosted environment and will explore how to support thousands of databases on single and multiple instances of SQL Server.

  3. SQL Server 2000 Fast Facts
  4. I love this document and reference it whenever one of my customers needs to feel warm and fuzzy about making a strategic commitment to SQL Server. The document is only two pages long, but it includes excellent case studies and proof-points that address key technical issues (e.g., scalability and reliability) you might face when you choose a database.

Need facts that highlight SQL Server market share?

  • SQL Server is the fastest-growing relational database, with 45 percent revenue growth from 1999 to 2000—a growth rate that's more than three times faster than the overall relational-database market.
  • SQL Server is the most popular relational database on Windows, with 38 percent market share (Gartner, June 2001).

Need facts that demonstrate SQL Server's performance and scalability?

  • SQL Server 2000 has the world's fastest Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) TPC-C and TPC-W benchmark scores running on any platform.
  • supports more than 200,000 concurrent SQL Server 2000 users during peak times.
  • SQL Server 2000 has the world's fastest PeopleSoft Financials Online Benchmark running on any platform.
  • Verizon manages more than 9TB of data on SQL Server 2000 with 2.2TB of data in a single database.

Need facts that demonstrate SQL Server 2000's reliability and availability?

  •, running on SQL Server 2000, handles 20 million hits a day with 99.97 percent uptime.
  • maintained 99.98 percent availability even when sales surged to 500,000 books in two days.
  • experienced 99.99 percent availability during a 12-month period while selling more than $35 million worth of computers per day.

Is SQL Server the right solution for everyone? Can it scale to meet every possible need? Does it provide the highest levels of availability of any database on the market regardless of cost? Of course not. Remember that these Microsoft documents are also marketing tools. However, many customers for whom SQL Server would be a suitable solution choose other applications because they aren't aware of SQL Server's capabilities. If you're leery about committing to SQL Server, these documents can provide information that deserves your consideration.

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