Ever wonder how fast people are adopting new versions of SQL Server, or what’s “normal” out there for SQL Server adoption rates, hardware sizes, or numbers of databases? Let’s find out in the summer 2020 version of our SQL ConstantCare® population report.
Out of the 3,650 servers sending in data recently, the most popular version of SQL Server is still 2016. The combination of 2014, 2016, and 2017 make up 74% of market share right now:
On a percentage basis, SQL Server 2008, 2008R2, and 2012 all lost some share this month – but they didn’t lose it to SQL Server 2016 or 2017, both of which actually went down too. They lost it to 2019 and Azure, which went up a combined 5%. The newer products are at the top of this chart, and the new data’s at the right, so you can see the new stuff gradually pushing down the old stuff over time:
I love that with a year’s worth of data, we’re able to start seeing clear trends.
- SQL Server 2016 is still the juggernaut, with 1 in 3 instances overall.
- This marks the first quarter where SQL Server 2019 has more adoption than SQL Server 2008R2! That’s awesome. It’s also up to 1/2 of the market share of SQL Server 2012, which doesn’t sound like much, but looking at its speed of growth, I’m hoping to see 2019 beat 2012 by mid-2021.
- Azure SQL DB is getting close to the market share of 2008R2 too, also, which is good. I’m sure Azure SQL DB is underrepresented in these metrics, though, because we haven’t been marketing specifically to Azure SQL DB users.
In last quarter’s survey, I asked readers to respond in the comments why they weren’t adopting Azure SQL DB. They said things like:
- We use cross-database queries, filestream, filetable
- Lack of control over backups, inability to restore your own data
- Lack of feature parity: xp_cmdshell, CLR, Service Broker
- Size challenges, like a 14TB database
- Cost predictability
None of these are permanent showstoppers: it’s all fixable over time as Microsoft continues to invest more in Azure SQL DB. It’s just a question of, “when are they going to ship enough improvements that a good chunk of users will be able to adopt it?”
Right now, we’re in a bit of a holding pattern. Microsoft hasn’t announced much around those above problems recently. However, I gotta think there’s gonna come a point where, BAM, they’re gonna remove several of those barriers, and suddenly companies are going to be much more interested in SQL-as-a-Service instead of SQL-in-a-VM.
As a consultant & trainer, I have to keep my finger on the pulse of the real market (not the marketing market) too. We all have to figure out where the right place is to invest our learning time and which skills to learn: we just can’t afford to pick ’em all up. I look at the calendar for 2021 and ask myself, “Alright, given this adoption curve, what stuff do I want to learn next year? What skills will I need to pick up in the spring that will pay off by the time fall rolls around?”
This is where it gets so tricky: the features just aren’t out yet, and the adoption isn’t there yet either. With those two things in mind, looking at the calendar, I think I can continue to punt on learning Azure SQL DB specifics for another 6-12 months, and focus on where 96% of the market is: good ol’ SQL Server.
That new Babelfish sure does look interesting, though….