This isn’t nearly as common a myth as some of the others I’ve described so far in this series. Compared to most of the big players in this space, SQL Server is very low priced. The list prices for our competitors in this space tend to be about 10x that of SQL. The difficulty comes when those other companies offer massive license discounts to try and get customers to go with their offering.

When that happens, it’s worth doing the sums. There are other costs to consider beyond just the licenses. There are support costs to consider. Some companies make more money from support contracts than they do from licenses. In those cases, that’s where your wallet will be hit. You should also think about the number of DBAs you’ll need and the costs associated with them. Then there’s the cost of integration.

Microsoft’s solutions tend to be built alongside one another, and designed with integration in mind. So if you have other Microsoft products, your integration headache could be substantially reduced.

But then there’s always open source. Some customers make the mistake of believing that open source equals free. For many open source providers, it’s true that there aren’t license costs. But that’s not true for all of the open source companies and you have to remember that all businesses have to make money somewhere. Look at the costs of support and services and you may find that the costs are much higher than you anticipated.

In the most recent magic quadrant from Gartner about Data Warehouse Database Management, they said: “[Microsoft’s] license cost profile is comparable to or less than open source BI vendors and considerably less than its commercial competitors.”

So the analysts think that SQL is comparable in cost even to open source providers. Then there’s the fact that SQL Server set a world record for price/performance in databases.

Myth: busted!

If you want to know more about the SQL Server Myths, I'm running a short sales training webinar on June 6th at 4pm GMT. You can register here.