So the news is out – full-blown SQL Server is coming in the cloud – and it’s time to look back at history.
When I got started in IT, Novell was the dominant server platform. If you wanted a “real” server, you got a Netware box, and you managed it with a keyboard. None of this sissy mouse stuff.
Over the years, Windows took over as the default small business server platform. It wasn’t as stable, wasn’t as fast, wasn’t as robust, but it had a killer advantage. The people who wanted it could deploy it themselves without IT help. Granted, when they grew and needed help, then they still needed IT, but your average mid-level manager could pull a computer out of the box, install Windows, and have some basic file and print sharing without any scary, hairy command line stuff.
When you read about the ease of deployment for SQL Data Services, think back to the Novell and Windows battle. Sure, database administrators like us will beat our chests and brag about how our big, powerful, capital-intensive servers in the datacenter have all these cool features at our fingertips. We’ll say we’re more reliable, more secure, more complete, and like BetaMax and Al Gore, we should obviously win the war.
But out there – out in the real world, where developers build applications on their own, on their desktops, wishing they could go to market without any scary, hairy SQL stuff, they’re going to be able to do it.