SQL Server 2014 to be skipped for 2016?

Real world data from the field

published: 2015-11-06 11:10

It is time to report on this year’s SQL Server version usage statistics. In case you haven’t been following the series, each year we report on what versions of SQL Server are being used across our customer base and how that has changed from last year.

Below are the results as at 1-Nov-2015.

SQL Server Version Usage - 1 Nov 2015

Our analysis from this includes:

  • SQL Server 2000's and SQL Server 2005's share has held firm at 5 and 18% respectively. To us this indicates these are likely legacy systems, probably at end of life and customers are not motivated to upgrade. These are going to stick around, continuing to tread water for a while and will eventually start to disappear. Regardless, if you were part of the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 team all those years ago, you should be pleased as punch that this version still has such sizable usage 15+ years later.

  • SQL Server 2008's share has decreased from 14% to 7% and SQL Server 2008 R2's share has decreased from 45% to 38%. This is where we feel the bulk of existing applications that customers “care about” sat last year, with the decrease indicating that customers are proactively upgrading. We have seen upgrades being driven predominately from site wide consolidation projects, or a requirement to upgrade applications which in turn require later versions of SQL Server.

  • SQL Server 2012's share has increased from 17% to 25% and SQL Server 2014's share has increased from 1% to 5%. These versions are the target versions from the above upgrades as well as new deployments. Interestingly, we have seen most new deployments being SQL Server 2012 rather than SQL Server 2014.

  • With SQL Server 2016 on the horizon, based on the pattern of version usage the future usage share of SQL Server 2014 may never be high. Those applications stuck on SQL Server 2008 R2 or 2012 for at least the next 12-18 months may skip SQL Server 2014 and, when migrated, go striaght to either SQL Server 2016 or the version after that.

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 really was a stellar release that we probably didn’t appreciate at the time. It has been good enough for most core RDBMS requirements and the new features of SQL Server 2012 and 2014 haven’t been highly motivating for customers to upgrade. Instead end of life concerns, and pending lack of vendor support combined with a desire to consolidate has been driving the upgrade process, which by nature is slow going.

NOTE: This post includes statistics and analysis which are based on high level observation rather than scientific process. The actual deployment of SQL Server across the entire market may vary significantly. These results and any drawn conclusions therefore may be inaccurate and should be treated as such. Please see the RockSolid web site disclaimer for more information.

About RockSolid: RockSolid SQL is an innovative software and services company. We are the makers of the RockSolid SQL Server management solution and providers of SQL Server DBA support services. Their RockSolid technology manages an estimated 60,000 SQL Server databases.

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