As SQL server became a world-class database system over the past two decades, setting a trap for many organizations.
Twenty years ago, mission-critical applications were generally only served by enterprise-level database systems (think Oracle and DB2) . SQL Server was reserved for less critical applications because it was not robust enough to handle the throughput, data integrity, security, and disaster recovery requirements of mission-critical systems.
Over the years, SQL server has indeed become a world-class database management system. Still not quite as robust in some areas as Oracle, but definitely able to handle many if not most mission-critical workloads.
Fooled by the SQL Server Price Point
Here is the catch, when mission-critical workloads required expensive, enterprise-level RDMS, customers paid very high license fees for the software, and are therefore expected to make a significant investment in the administration, security, and monitoring of their database environments. It just made sense to protect the large investment in database licensing.
As SQL Server gained parity with Oracle, customers gradually moved mission-critical workloads over to this less expensive platform, and with that, came the expectation of lower administrative costs, and the unwillingness to make the investment in the administration, security, and monitoring of such systems.
As a result, there are now tens of thousands of fragile SQL server databases, created by developers or less experienced DBAs, running mission-critical workloads, that are not backed up properly, not secured properly, and not set up properly for rapid recovery in the event of hardware failure or user error.
SQL Server: What are we really investing in?
I said earlier that in the past it just made sense to protect the investment that the organization makes in the expensive database system. And I think that is how many organizations think of it. But in reality, the investment in proper administration, security, and monitoring is really an investment in the data that the database holds, not in the database software. It is an investment in the users of the applications that the database supports, it is an investment in the customers that the users of the application serve..
These assets, data, users and customers, are of equal value whether you paid $300k in oracle license fees, or 60k in SQL Server license fees.
Protect What Matters
It is folly to equate the cost and ease of implementation of the database system with the importance of having world-class administration, security, and disaster recovery to protect your critical business assets.
Take needed action today
If you have SQL Server databases in your environment without a professional database administrator looking after them (or think you might), call a professional to assess those environments to ensure that they are backed up and secured properly. (Hint — almost all of the databases that we assess that have not been actively managed by a professional DBA are not backed up the way the customer thinks they are!).
If you would like to talk about your environment, click here to schedule a consultation.