SQL Server 2012 - Where is the Love?

published: 2013-07-17 00:00

If you have been following us you know, we support thousands of production SQL Server databases (over 11,000 at the time of writing) for many customers across all industries and markets. This gives us interesting insights into how SQL Server is being used.

Today we are looking at SQL Server 2012 and asking the question. Where is the love?

SQL Server 2012 is a good release. A particularly fine release. It has good new features relating to high availability and database management. However we had noticed auxiliary evidence that SQL Server 2012 was not being widely deployed, and the numbers we ran today seem to back this up – for our customer base at least.

The graph below shows the version of SQL Server installed, with the number of instances installed expressed as a percentage of total installs for that year. These numbers show that from 2010 onwards, SQL Server 2008 R2 has been steadily growing as the preferred version of SQL Server to install. Even though SQL Server 2012 was released last year, in terms of install numbers in 2013 it accounts for only a small percentage of total installs.

SQL Server 2012 where is the love?

It could be argued that perhaps 2012 is still too new, but this is a hard explanation to swallow at this point. It should be pointed out that SQL Server 2008 R2 was released in 2010 and almost immediately gained 40% of new installs.

Instead, these numbers seem to indicate there isn’t enough in SQL Server 2012 to move customers forward from their comfort zone, which is currently SQL Server 2008 R2. The change in licensing from per socket to per core is also likely not helping.

So what does this mean? Well our guess is that SQL Server 2012 may largely be a skipped release. With SQL Server 2014 already on the horizon we think this will be the next hot version, assuming it is as rock solid as all the other recent releases.

The usual disclaimers about statistics and the margin of error etc when we extrapolate this out.

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