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Rick Heiges

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Comparing Standard Editions of SQL Server

Recently, I've been speaking with customers about upgrading SQL Server.  At times, some customers have a lot of Standard Edition  SQL Server 2005 / 2008 / 2008R2 in their organization and they want to see the features they get when upgrading to SQL Server 2012.  Last week, I sent out some tweets to the #sqlhelp hashtag to see if someone has already put together a document or blog post about comparing the Standard Editions.  I was unable to discover anything out there that really focuses just on Standard Edition. So I decided to put together a small table comparing the features based on the offical Edition features links like this: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc645993(v=sql.100).aspx

Category / Feature

2008

2008R2

2012

Comments

CPU / Cores

4 CPUs

4 CPUs

16 cores

Based on the assumption of 4 cores per CPU

RAM

64 GB

64 GB

64 GB

 

Max DB Size

524 PB

524 PB

524 PB

 

Server Core Support

No

No

Yes

Significantly Reduce Patching

DB Recovery Advisor

No

No

Yes

New Feature in 2012

Failover Clustering

2-node

2-node

2-node

 

Backup Compression

No

Yes

Yes

New in 2008 R2

Automatic Corruption Recovery from Mirror

Yes

Yes

Yes

New Feature in 2008

Multi-Instance Support

16

50

50

Stand-Alone

Security – Basic Auditing

No

No

Yes

Still no Fine-Grained Auditing

Security – User Defined Server Roles

No

No

Yes

New Feature in 2012

Contained Databases

No

No

Yes

New Feature in 2012

Distributed Replay

No

No

Yes (1 client)

New Feature in 2012

SQL Server Data Tools

No

No

Yes

New Feature in 2012

DTS Runtime

Yes

Yes

No

Removed in 2012

Enhanced Gauges  / Charting / Maps in SSRS

Yes

Yes

Yes

New Feature in 2008

Enhanced Extended Events

No

No

Yes

New in 2012

Most of the things that you hear about when a new version of SQL Server is released is in Enterprise (or Data Center) Edition.  Standard Edition is very solid.  Upgrading from SQL 2005 Standard Edition to SQL 2012 Standard Edition yields a lot of nice features.  As you would expect, upgrading to SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition from 2008/2008R2 does not yield as many benefits.  Currently, most of the customers that I deal with have approximately half of their installed base on SQL Server 2005.  They can capitalize on some nice features by upgrading to SQL Server 2012.

I know that there are probably even more things that I did not cover as benefits of upgrading from earlier Standard Editions to SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition.  If so, please leave a comment and I will update the blog post. 

 

Published Tuesday, July 10, 2012 9:00 AM by RickHeiges

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Comments

 

Jack said:

Great post - could you add 2005 Standard to the chart?

July 10, 2012 9:43 AM
 

jerryhung said:

Thanks for the post

Although I'd say upgrading from SQL 2008 Std to 2012 Std is not a big leap, especially the leap in licensing $$ (per socket to per core)

July 10, 2012 10:57 AM
 

RickHeiges said:

@Jack - I actually started down that road but found the list of features immense.  Think about the chart this way - the major diffenecea obtained from upgrading from SQL Server 2005 to 2008/2008R2/2012.

@jerryhung - I agree.  And there are plenty of other posts out there already concerning the licensing changes.  :-)

July 10, 2012 11:32 AM
 

AaronBertrand said:

@jerryhung it is only a big leap if you have > 4-core processors. For most users, the "leap" is horizontal, since a core license in 2012 is about 1/4 the price of a processor license in 2008. In 2012 it is $1,793 per core; in 2008 it was $7,499 per processor. So if you have processors with <= 4 cores, your cost has actually gone down a bit, by my math.

July 10, 2012 11:36 AM
 

AaronBertrand said:

Also as for whether or not it is a "leap" I point out several of the enhancements you get even in Standard Edition here:

http://dba.stackexchange.com/questions/14730/what-are-objective-business-reasons-to-prefer-sql-server-2012-over-2008-r2/14731#14731

July 10, 2012 11:38 AM
 

Ola Hallengren said:

Database Mirroring (synchronous mode) is available in Standard Edition from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2012.

Database Mirroring is going away and the future is AlwaysOn Availability Groups. AlwaysOn Availability Groups is only available in Enterprise Edition.

"AlwaysOn Availability Groups"

"If your edition of SQL Server does not support AlwaysOn Availability Groups, use log shipping."

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143729.aspx

July 10, 2012 3:08 PM
 

Ian Yates said:

It is annoying that, as a Microsoft partner, we get offered all sorts of training that we can attend, but all of that training seems to focus on features only in the Enterprise Edition.  We're an ISV who sometimes have trouble getting standard edition purchased by our clients.  Only one runs the Enterprise Edition and that's because they're government.  Thank you for talking about standard edition :)

Part of our software now requires at least SQL 2008 R2 becuase of the nice changes to reporting services there - specifically shared datasets, cross-dataset lookups and the "sync data across groups" functionality which makes time-series graphs down the page, one per group, a doddle.  That alone is worth the price of upgrading for me as a developer / report writer.

The gee-whiz reporting stuff, such as PowerPivot/PowerViewer, need SharePoint and Enterprise Edition (or BI edition I suppose).  I can convince client IT to let us set up and manage an instance of SQL but SharePoint, apart from its cost, is a battle I'd lose due to stubborn IT :P

July 13, 2012 1:22 AM
 

noeldr said:

@Aaron: In my _home_ computer I have 4 cores!

Imagine you have any of the new intel procs with 10 Cores and two processors server... Welcome To License price HELL and if you need more than 64GB of RAM you will simply be out of luck.

--> Enterprise Edition is simply too expensive.

You could spend $25K on a new HW and your license could be $140K,

go figure ( http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2012/06/i-learned-at-msteched-north-america-last-week/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BrentOzar-SqlServerDba+%28Brent+Ozar+PLF%29 )

@RickHeiges:

Standard Edition in SQL 2008 Had _no_ memory limits, that was introduced in R2

July 16, 2012 3:21 PM
 

Justin Dearing said:

I find it interesting that you find the key benifit of core server "reduced patching".

Yes, regardless of automation, patches take time, but for me the reduced vulnerability footprint of less code, which is the cause of less patching and less ability to waste server resources through things like RDP sessions are the real wins.

Then again, maybe because I'm a developer, not a DBA. I don't have to apply the patches.

September 13, 2012 5:30 PM
 

Ben said:

SQL 2008 Standard was limited in the number of CPUs and the amount of memory to that of the Host operating system.

I am currently running SQL 2008 Standard with 24 cores and 136 gig of ram.

September 14, 2012 12:19 AM
 

tcstl said:

Disappointed by the memory limit on standard edition MS states to better align features, time to look at mysql

June 5, 2013 10:33 AM
 

marienne said:

Great post - found it very useful, Thanks a bunch!

July 31, 2013 4:07 PM
 

Ahmad Elayyan said:

Great Post. really it's very useful.

November 12, 2013 6:31 AM

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