I've started researching the whole matter of choosing a database
server for my company, and the scope of this investigation is
At this company, there is already a strong pro-MicroSoft
predisposition; they want to use NT SQL Server. A PB consultant has
shown up, telling them that NT SQL/Server will do everything they
I have reason to be circumspect: within a year, they will be faced
with processing 3 million _NEW_ call detail records (they are a
nascent long-distance reselling phone company) PER DAY, but sending
out _MONTHLY_ bills to roughly 100 different customers (other phone
companies) -- easily 5 billing cycles per month.
I think you can see why I am concerned about commiting them to a MSFT
course of action.
The basis of my concerns are 2-fold: performance & portability:
Since they are going to have _LARGE_ transactional requirements within
a year or two, I am worried that MSFT SQL Server WON'T be able to take
the pounding. Sure, a Quad-Pentium SMP NT box is cool, but can NT
actually get the job done? My suspicion is their req's indicate a
UNIX-based/RISC-based system _NOW_ (an RS6000 or SPARC). I'm not
aware, at least yet, that there is a NT SQL Server for anything other
Since MSFT database server offerings are strictly NT or Novell; there
are no other OS platforms to migrate to. I understand NT runs on Alpha
& MIPs and that SMP provides an awesome boost in power, but I'm
concerned that even with MIPs or Alpha hardware, NT won't provide the
requisite power they'll need in 2 years. By then they couold be faced
with the transition cost of migrating away from NT SQL Server to the
nearest relative, Sybase - or worse, a massive re-write over to
Oracle. Perhaps this transition from SQL Server to Sybase used to be
easy, but Sybase & MSFT are going off in different directions these
Then there's the whole issue of data wharehousing....
First of all, there's an existing Xbase culture (FoxPro) that's
well-developed, but unhappy with the requirements of Visual FoxPro,
hence, they're leaning towards Vis. dBase 5.5 / Delphi. They are
accustomed to working stand-alone and taking care of themselves,
hence, I'd like to give them an easy-to-use inexpensive database
server for the wharehousing (mostly aggregates and lookup tables).
I've looked at MSFT SQL Server, WatcomSQL (now Sybase SQL Anywhere) &
Borland's Interbase (The aforementioned PB consultant told me it
crashes 4 times more often than MSFT SQL Server). Any comments?