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I noticed that SQL Server Web is vastly cheaper than SQL Server Standard on Amazon Web Services. Why is that? What am I missing if I use SQL Server Web instead of Standard?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Standard has more roles, like Domain Controller, File Server and all sorts of other enterprise roles. Web has only Web Server, DNS etc, which is good for web hosting. Web is much cheaper, because is designed for scale-up, were you dont need a CAL for each visitor accessing the server via internet, while for the File Server in standard, you pay for each domain user or domain PC.

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Oh perfect. My sites are just hobby sites, like a community forum and a blog. Would you say that I have no need for the extras in standard then? – Chev Jun 22 '12 at 20:54
Definitely not, web edition runs everything. There is also HPC, it has more roles and the price is as Web, but not sure if Amazon EC2 has it. – Andrew Smith Jun 22 '12 at 20:55
Great, thank you! My monthly hosting is going to be so much cheaper with AWS than with Windows Azure now! – Chev Jun 22 '12 at 21:06
I run myself few .NET apps in azure and I am very happy with the extra-small windows instances, however the micro instance at EC2 is not bad either, but on azure I have high availability out of the box with SQL Server. – Andrew Smith Jun 22 '12 at 21:25
I loved the cheap websites in their preview features but my big beef with them was custom domains. You have to upgrade your websites from shared to reserved mode and the price goes from about $10/mo to $60/mo. The inability to add custom hostnames to my websites in shared mode was a deal breaker for me. Amazon seems to do exactly what I want for cheaper than Azure did. – Chev Jun 22 '12 at 21:35

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