Microsoft Reveals SQL Server Pricing, Packages

Microsoft announced final features and pricing for
its
forthcoming SQL Server 2005 database, including a new edition of
software
priced between the developer and standard versions.


The software giant also deepened its partnership with Dell, inking a
formal
original equipment manufacturers (OEM) agreement with the systems
vendor to
provide customers better support.


Tom Rizzo, director of product management for SQL Server, said the news
is
the start of a busy few months for Microsoft as it speeds towards a
summer
release of SQL Server 2005.


Microsoft is announcing pricing and features in advance to help
customers
who buy software assurance licenses renew their contracts, Rizzo said.
A lot
of customers are renewing in the next couple of months, so the Redmond,
Wash., concern wants to let users know what’s on the menu for the
summer.


The company has added a Workgroup edition for SQL Server 2000 and in
the
pending SQL Server 2005 line to sit between Microsoft’s developer and
standard editions.


“Small and medium businesses really want a low-cost, entry-level
offering
that was between an MSDE [Microsoft Desktop Engine] and Standard
Edition,”
Rizzo said.


SQL Server 2000 Workgroup Edition will support 2 CPUs and 2 gigabytes
of
random access memory (RAM) for an unlimited database size.
At
$3,899 per processor or $739 per server, the software will feature all
of
the management tools associated with SQL Server.


SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition will be available with the rest of
the SQL
Server 2005 suites this summer for the same price as the 2000 version.
However, this product will have 3 GB of RAM, along with import/export,
limited replication publishing and back-up log-shipping, which Rizzo
said
helps customers get a “warm standby server for disaster recovery.”


The free Express Edition, which replaces the Microsoft Desktop Engine,
is
ideal for partners looking to poke around SQL Server 2005. It will have
1
CPU and 1 GB RAM for a database of 4 GB. The Standard Edition will
include 4
CPUs, unlimited RAM, database mirroring and reporting server for $5,999
per
processor, or $2,799 per server.


Built for heavy lifting applications, SQL Server 2005
Enterprise
Edition will boast unlimited scale and partitioning, advanced database
mirroring, database snapshot and a report builder tool integrated from
last
year’s acquisition of Active Views, Rizzo said.


Microsoft is confident it will be able to offer
functionality and
performance comparable to database software from rival products Oracle
10g
and IBM DB2 at a lower cost, he added. For example, he said Microsoft won’t
charge for
multi-core architectures, which means customers pay per processor
socket
instead of per chip.

Oracle and IBM charge
per
processor. Microsoft anticipates multi-core architectures will become
more
mainstream, effectively doubling the per-processor pricing of database
products from Oracle and IBM.


Moreover, Rizzo said Oracle and IBM force customers to buy costly add-ons
for
management, high availability and business intelligence.


In related Microsoft database news, Dell, already the top reseller of
SQL
Server 2000, will resell SQL Server 2000 Workgroup Edition, SQL Server
2005
Workgroup Edition and SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition along with its
PowerEdge servers.


Dell will also offer front-line customer support for Microsoft software
and
will embark on a sales and marketing initiative.

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