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We have a website running on ActionScript.
The target audience of that website is like, say, 50,000 - 200,000.

We have set the site up on cloud server and we are purchasing a Microsoft SQL server for that.
Which is the most cheaper version of Microsoft SQL server that we can get?
We are using the SQL just for querying the data(indexing also should be there)
Other than that, we are not using any features like SSIS and all.
So we feel its a waste to buy SQL server Enterprise Edition since we are not using most of the features in it

So, the bottom line is, which Microsoft SQL Server to buy?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

SQL Server 2008 Web Edition may be the best fit for your needs.

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SQL Server Express is the lowest cost version of SQL Server, but it's limited to something like a maximum user database of 4GB with other limitations relating to max memory, CPUs, and tools. The good thing is that you can start with SQL Server Express, and migration to a bigger version is relatively straightforward when you become more successful!

SQL Server Standard Edition may well be a close fit, but it's still not that cheap depending on whether you licence it by users or CPUs.

Many ISPs/hosting providers offer shared SQL Server instances - if the security and latency doesn't worry you, this may be a low cost option.

Incidentally, does it have to be SQL Server?

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> yes, it have to the MS SQL – naveen Jul 6 '10 at 10:28
SQL Server Express 2008 R2 expand the limit to 10GB – Eduardo Molteni Jul 6 '10 at 14:57
"We are using the SQL just for querying the data(indexing also should be there)" How much data do anticipate needing to store to be able to satisfy your query requirements? – jl. Jul 6 '10 at 15:00

Start with SQL Server Express 2008 R2 (free). The limit of the databases are 10GB and you can upgrade to any other edition when you need (if you do)

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wow!! didn't know that r2 express raised the limit from 4GB to 10GB. Over 2x the free limit from previous versions! Now that's innovation! – Nick Kavadias Jul 6 '10 at 15:12

Here are the options for SQL Server 2008:

  • Enterprise: 2TB memory, 64CPU, unlimited db size, and every feature possible; approx. 25K per processor
  • Standard: 2TB memory, 16CPU, unlimited db size, missing some scalability and high availability features, but has the tools; approx. 6K per processor
  • Workgroup: 4GB memory, 2CPU, unlimited db size, has SSRS and SQL Agent; approx. 6K per processor
  • Web: 2TB memory, 4CPU, unlimited DB size, and SSRS. Only for web hosting, web services, etc. Specifically not for in-house work like CRM; $15 per month per processor
  • Express: 1GB memory, 1CPU, 4GB DB size (for 2008, 10GB for 2008 R2); free

For what you're doing, I agree with CT, you would be an excellent candidate for the Web Edition. It seems to be cheapest out of all of them and offers all the things you'll need.

Reference: SQL Server Magazine, Michael Otey, 10/30/2008

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