Cost-to-value ratio: Is it viable?
The first and probably most important thing to discuss is the cost-to-value ratio associated with getting your application running on a SQL Database. Do you still think it’s a good idea, or do you now think that there are better options out there? Let’s look at some of these factors from an entirely objective standpoint.
How much can I save by going this route?
There are several different ways in which someone might go about saving money through the use of a SQL Database rather than using another technology. Most commonly, people tend to make this decision because they simply don’t have the funds to deploy an Oracle database server or any other type of RDMBS solution. While this is a legitimate reason, it’s not a very sustainable one. For the most part, you’re going to have to eventually move from SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition or whatever free version of SQL server that your hosting company may offer. In other words, this isn’t a solution any more than renting an apartment is an ultimate long-term answer for housing security.
It’s natural for various stakeholders in any given project to want to find ways of reducing costs while still attaining desired goals. And while several different cost-saving measures can be taken by deploying a SQL database server rather than another type of DBMS platform, these measures don’t actually last forever. Costs will eventually become too much and should then be addressed somehow. Until then, they just pile up. For this reason alone, most companies are better off not being too eager to deploy SQL databases for small-scale tasks that are likely to be replaced or phased out in the near future anyway.
SQL database server instances aren’t free so long as you have to pay for hosting them somewhere outside of your office. If you can manage to get them hosted through your company’s network without being required to pay any monthly fees whatsoever, you’re doing pretty good. But what happens when the time comes that they need to be moved again? What will happen when it turns out that there wasn’t actually a need for SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition after all? That’s right – costs are going to rise again.
What are the benefits?
The point is that there are very few long-term cost savings when it comes to using a SQL database server in place of any other platform. All you’re doing is delaying the inevitable fate that’s awaiting all modern software platforms – replacement at some point in the future. Why not just keep this sort of thing in mind from the outset, rather than trying to find ways in which to save money only after having already committed to deploying a SQL database server? The truth is that there probably isn’t much cost-saving potential here unless you’ve got someone on your team who can get your hosting provider to agree to host your instance without charging too much (or anything) for doing so.