New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. is against this unjust law - help us

A Space for All Things .NET Related

Preparing a Business Case Upgrade to present to the Boss

By James Hippolite, in , posted: 6-Dec-2008 16:14

Preparing a Business Case Upgrade to present to the Boss
  • Darryl Burling
  • Product Manager, SQL Server
  • Microsoft
  • Fake Company
  • Fake Scenario requirements
  • 8 Business Drivers
  • Justifying an upgrade
 Company Overview
  • Supplies, sells and maintains farm equipment for rural customers (farmers, etc)
  • Customers across New Zealand
  • 400 staff
  • Sales reps based in North and South Islands
  • Annual Revenue $125m
  • Customers on 3 year supply agreements and some on no agreements (cash basis)
 Scenario Requirements
  • Customer Management
  • Used by 350 of 400 staff in the company
  • Must be highly available
  • Deployment config.
    • Dual CPU Primary Server
    • Single CPU Mirror Server
    • Single CPU DR Server
  • Requires support
  • Features required
    • Snapshots
    • Partitioning
    • Reporting
    • OLAP
    • Geographic data
    • Photo storage
    • Compression
    • Encryption (incl. backup)
 The Contenders
  • MySQL (by Sun)
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  1. Tangible Costs
    1. MySQL
                                                              i.      $0 upfront costs                                                             ii.      $53,910 for 3 years                                                           iii.      Support and maintenance                                                          iv.      NZ$101,835.99
    1. Oracle 11g Enterprise Edition
                                                              i.      Enterprise license $47,500 per processor                                                             ii.      Snapshots $5,800                                                           iii.      Partitioning $11,500                                                          iv.      Reporting $23,000                                                            v.      OLAP $23,000                                                          vi.      Geographic data (locator now built in)                                                         vii.      Etc…                                                       viii.      Total product $244,600                                                          ix.      Maintenance $53,912 per annum                                                            x.      Total over 3 years $406,036                                                          xi.      NZ$767,002
    1. SQL Server 2008 Enterprises
                                                              i.      Total product $113,275                                                             ii.      Software Assurance $28,318                                                           iii.      Total over 3 years NZ$198,232.27 
  1. Skills Availability
    1. How easy is it to get people to work on it?  Available workforce.
    2. How much do these people costs?
    3. How easy is it to solve short term skills shortages?
    4. Do people want to work with the product?
    5. What are the up-skill requirements if someone leaves?
 Salary Comparison ( – results based on a search in Wellington for a DBA by keyword)
  • Oracle
    • Median Base Salary $93,250
    • Upper quartile $99,500
    • Lower quartile $85,000
  • SQL Server
    • Median $78,000
    • Upper quartile $110,500
    • Lower quartile $70,500
  • MySQL/Open Source DBA
    • Median $0
  1. Customer requirements
    1. Will it meet the customer requirements?
    2. Watch out for unspoken requirements
    3. If it doesn’t fit, what will it cost to make it meet the requirements?
 Customer requirements
  • MySQL doesn’t meeting requirements
  1. Third party products and services
    1. How many companies are extending this product?
    2. Are there any specialist partners…?
  1. Standards Compliance
    1. ANSI
    2. WS*
 Considerations for business methodology
  • Microsoft shop or heterogeneous?
  • Existing skills or hire in new ones?
  • Existing installations or green fields?
  • Interoperability – will it work with existing systems?
  1. User functionality requirements
    1. User friendliness
    2. Discoverability
    3. Consistent user experience
    4. Think users – not necessarily customer
    5. Users should not hate the product!
                                                              i.      Should be easier to use, faster to get results
    1. Ease of administration
 Functionality issues – Oracle
  • Growth by acquisition
  • Add on products
  • Add hoc user experience
  • Add hoc management tools
  • Some management tools are poor quality (apparently)
 Functionality issues – SQL Server
  • Integration at each version
  • Included in product
  • Integrates with other products
  1. Timeliness
    1. If I order it today, how long until users can be productive on it?
    2. If I need to extend it – how much ability do I have to modify the solution?
    3. How quickly can problems be solved?
    4. It may not be a good fit if: it looks complex; it suffers from poor quality.
  1. Life expectancy
    1. How long will the vendor be around
    2. How long will they support the product for?
    3. When is the next version likely to be out?
    4. Is there a migration path for the next version?
    5. How easy is it to upgrade to the next version?
  1. Tangible costs: $622k vs 200k
  2. Skills availability: Good vs great
  3. Customer requirements: met – complex vs simple
  4. Third party products and services: good
  5. Standards and methodology fit: Good vs great
  6. User Functionality requirements: YMMV
  7. Timeliness: Ok vs good
  8. Life expectancy: OK vs good
 Why move from SQL 2000 to 2008?
  • Reporting
    • Out of the box
    • Rich controls
    • End user report builder
    • Scale out capabilities
  • Security
    • Encryption (column and database)
    • External Key management
    • SDLC
  • Storage efficiency
    • Filestream
    • Sparse columns
    • Compression
  • Integration server
    • High performance
    • Large scale ETL
    • Scheduled jobs
  • Performance
    • 20-35% improvement
  • Management
    • Policy based management
    • Configuration servers
    • SCOM (system centre operations manager) monitoring
    • Powershell
    • Online indexing
  • Auditing
    • Compliance management
  • Partitioning
    • Table partitioning (05)
    • Index and view partitioning (08)
  • Analysis Server
    • You get it

Other related posts:
GeekPost Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 7
MSDN Unplugged Roadshow Wellington
Right Sizing Agile Development - MSDN Magazine Webinar

Add a comment

Please note: comments that are inappropriate or promotional in nature will be deleted. E-mail addresses are not displayed, but you must enter a valid e-mail address to confirm your comments.

Are you a registered Geekzone user? Login to have the fields below automatically filled in for you and to enable links in comments. If you have (or qualify to have) a Geekzone Blog then your comment will be automatically confirmed and shown in this blog post.

Your name:

Your e-mail:

Your webpage:

JamesHip's profile

James Hippolite
New Zealand

Welcome to my technical blog. 

Here, I attempt to distill the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer knowledge I have accumulated since first qualifying MCP in 1996.  This blog started on 13 September 2007 as an off-shoot from my mixed up personal blog.  But it took a shot in the arm from Scott Hanselman's talk at TechEd New Zealand 08 "32 Ways To Make Your Blog Suck Less".