Posted by
Member since Sep 2011
1450 posts

SQL Enterprise vs Standard Editions
Any SQL DBAs/experts can provide info on the main differences in those versions? I have looked online but can get confusing somewhat. Is the SQL engines the same say if you have the same amount of cores on the server so is it just a matter of more functionality in Enterprise then Standard? I know the cost of Enterprise is a lot more.

Googolplex Posts
Member since Aug 2004
69149 posts

re: SQL Enterprise vs Standard Editions
It is HIGHLY unlikely that you would need SQL Enterprise.

Engine is the same. Standard has a 128GB RAM limit.

Most of the extra functionality in Enterprise revolves around scalability and availability.
This post was edited on 7/31 at 12:03 pm

Burrowing through a pile o MikePoop
Member since Jan 2008
3011 posts

re: SQL Enterprise vs Standard Editions
Yeah it's basically one of those if you're asking if you need it you probably don't kinda things.

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Tier Five is Alive
Member since Feb 2013
14055 posts

re: SQL Enterprise vs Standard Editions
There are a lot of questions you need to fill in first to make the decision.

Installing Enterprise is always better if you can get away with it.

1. Hardware - Is this installing on physical or virtual. If physical and you have no more than 4 sockets or 24 cores, standard is an option. You can install standard on a server with any number of cores, will actually only use up to 24. Seen it, it is capped. If virtual standard will not let you hot add cpu/memory. Not a big deal, take an outage just know that. Enterprise will let you hot add.

2. High Availability/Disaster Recovery - If this is important to you, go Enterprise. The amount of potential downtime cost for your company could justify the added cost of Enterprise. Worth noting though in an HA world you looking to at minimum double the license cost though. Standard will allow you to keep business continuity practices in place, just not as robust.

3. Database size and activity - If you are looking at large databases with lots of concurrent activity, go Enterprise. The online index rebuilds and performance tweaks of Enterprise are nice. If you are looking at database less than 500GB and low usage Standard is solid.

4. Memory - Yes standard is capped at 128GB, but IMO that is plenty of RAM for any OLTP system. Any SQL Server needing more than that for standard OLTP activity is a piece of un-optimized crap and the developers should be fired .

5. Cost - Database licensing can become a huge cost of the IT budget and in some cases be the largest line-item. If your company cares do the pros and cons, if they do not just push Enterprise through and save the head-ache.

In a previous life when I did this stuff I spent way too much time dealing with licensing. My last gig with this though I consolidated a company from about 200 Enterprise cores for SQL to 120.

Of course that brings us to the next scenario. You going on-prem server or cloud? If cloud, you want Infrascture As A Service or Platform As A Service. If you looking at basic needs, an Azure PAAS offering might be a cheaper route.

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