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Oracle vs. SQLServer Argument Hits eDiscovery Market

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oracle vs. SQLServer Argument Hits eDiscovery Market

Having spent the last 20 years in the enterprise class software market I am very familiar with the age old argument about whether Oracle's DBMS or Microsoft's SQLServer is better. The Oracle bigots will tell you that SQLServer is slow, doesn't scale and just wasn't architected for true enterprise class use. SQLServer Biggots will tell you that Oracle is way too expensive. I will get in to some of the specifics later in this post. However, first I wanted to point out that the Oracle vs. SQLServer argument has now hit the eDiscovery market with CaseCentral's announcement that they have Migrated their On-Demand eDiscovery Platform to Oracle® Real Application Clusters.

Given the fact that Tom Thimot, CaseCentral President and CEO served as the vice president of central U.S. sales at Oracle, where his team grew license revenues from $50 million to more than $250 million in a two-year period and was also a key leader in the worldwide Oracle applications vertical organization that grew revenues by more than $100 million, it is no big surprise that he is an Oracle Biggot.

The Full Text of the Press Release is as follows:
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

-- CaseCentral, the leading secure SaaS platform for corporations looking to take control of eDiscovery, has migrated its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform to Oracle Database and Oracle Real Application Clusters to deliver better performance, scalability and availability, Oracle announced today.
-- CaseCentral's platform allows corporations to apply disciplined business process to litigation and regulatory matters, reducing risk and business disruption, boosting productivity, and controlling costs. CaseCentral has delivered its proven, SaaS platform to over 1,100 customers and more than 7,250 registered users.
-- CaseCentral actively manages several hundred terabytes of evidence -- 95 percent of which is unstructured data such as emails, office documents, and images -- and has hosted over 25,000 individual litigation matters.
-- San Francisco-based CaseCentral initially deployed its clustered database environment in 2007. Its purpose-built Java-based platform is deployed on a multi-node cluster of HP BladeSystem servers running Linux.
-- CaseCentral utilizes Oracle Enterprise Manager to help provide the monitoring and management necessary to meet the mission-critical needs of their clients. CaseCentral will migrate customers currently supported by Microsoft SQL Server to the clustered Oracle Database environment.

Supporting Quote
"CaseCentral offers a highly scalable, on demand software platform that allows companies to own the eDiscovery process and their law firms to own the execution," said Ted Sergott, Chief Technology Officer, CaseCentral. "At a moment's notice, a new or existing client can send us millions of documents and terabytes of data to support an eDiscovery matter and thanks to our architecture, we are fully prepared to accommodate that volume of mission-critical data. Running on Oracle Database and Oracle Real Application Clusters, CaseCentral offers customers a scaleable, secure and available platform to meet their eDiscovery needs."

Supporting Resources
About Oracle Database:
About Oracle Real Application Clusters:
About Oracle Enterprise Manager:
To download free, evaluation versions of Oracle software, go to:

About CaseCentral
CaseCentral is the leader in on-demand eDiscovery software for corporations looking to take control of eDiscovery. CaseCentral enables companies to efficiently and defensibly respond to today's legal and compliance challenges, consistently, accurately and faster, while delivering overall savings of 30-60 percent and increasing earnings per share (EPS) by up to 1.1 percent. The company's on-demand eDiscovery software platform, with its secure, multi-party architecture and configurable litigation workflow engine, includes best-practice solution templates that enable companies to be operational within hours. CaseCentral is the first to provide eDiscovery business intelligence dashboards giving customers real-time insight into review rates, quality rates and costs per document by case, firm or user. CaseCentral is used by more than 25 of the Fortune 100 and 81 of the AmLaw 100. Founded in 1994, CaseCentral is consistently chosen to handle many of the most complex and highly visible litigation projects in the nation. For more information, call 1.800.714.2727 or visit

About Oracle
Oracle (ORCL) is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, please visit our Web site at

Oracle vs. SQLServer
According to a recent whitepaper available on the Microsoft site title "Leaping Forward: SQL Server 2008 Compared to Oracle Database 11g", Microsoft SQL Server has steadily gained ground on other database systems and now surpasses the competition in terms of performance, scalability, security, developer productivity, business intelligence (BI), and compatibility with the 2007 Microsoft Office System. It achieves this at a considerably lower cost than does Oracle Database 11g.

So, Microsoft contends that Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 outperforms Oracle in the areas that matter to your business. The following summarizes some of the mission-critical areas in which SQL Server 2008 excels:

Performance and Scalability: SQL Server scales to some of the world’s largest workloads, evidenced by strong industry standard benchmark results. Customers such as Unilever, Citi, Barclays Capital, and Mediterranean Shipping Company support their most mission-critical applications on SQL Server. Customers running SQL Server 2008, including large ISVs such as Siemens and RedPrairie, report excellent experiences with the latest scalability enhancements. SQL Server is recognized as Best Seller and Top Growth Best Seller by CRN Magazine.

Security: The National Vulnerability Database (NIST) reports over 330 critical security vulnerabilities in Oracle database products over the last four years. During that same period, SQL Server 2005 experienced ZERO vulnerabilities. This result comes from secure engineering processes as part of the Trustworthy Computing Initiative, comprehensive security features, and a robust Microsoft Update infrastructure. This winning combination reduces both security risks and patching downtime for customers. According to one expert, Oracle is five years behind Microsoft in patch management. Computerworld reports that two-thirds of Oracle DBAs do not apply security patches.

Developer Productivity: SQL Server works with Microsoft Visual Studio® to help provide an integrated development experience, allowing developers to work in one environment across the client, mid-tier, and data-tier. SQL Server 2008 takes a step further with new development features. In contrast, Oracle’s array of tools and SDKs, assembled via acquisition, require developers to learn and work across numerous interfaces. In fact, IDC reports that Microsoft is the number one application technology platform of choice.

Business Intelligence: SQL Server is part of the Microsoft integrated Business Intelligence platform, which spans data warehousing, analytics and reporting, score carding, planning, and budgeting. SQL Server is in the Leader’s quadrant in both Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI Platforms and Magic Quadrant for Data Warehousing. SQL Server 2008 introduces more innovation with new data warehousing and business intelligence features. According to Oracle’s latest price list, the company currently charges up to an additional 800% or more on top of their base database fees for similar functionalities.

Microsoft Office System Integration: SQL Server helps customers gain better business insight and make faster decisions through the product's tight integration with the familiar Microsoft Office System user interface. For example, add-ins such as Data Mining for Excel uses both SQL Server and Microsoft Office to provide insight into customer data. IDC recognizes Microsoft as the fastest growing BI tool vendor. Oracle has Microsoft Office Plug In, which includes subset of the functionalities that SQL Server provides, but charges an additional $30,000 per processor.

Total Cost of Ownership: SQL Server has a simple tiered SKU licensing model. Oracle, on the other hand, has a complex array of options and add-ins that are required to develop, deploy, and manage most large-scale applications. The SQL Server integrated development environment and easy-to-use development tools lead to improved Time to Solution and Time to Value for applications and business insight. SQL Server is highly successful in the areas of self-tuning and automated administration, resulting in a much simpler deployment and management profile than Oracle Database 11g. SQL Server is designed to work seamlessly with the rest of the Microsoft software stack, which can help provide smoother development and deployment experience and higher performance than Oracle.

As I started this post, I grew up in the enterprise software market and therefore learned to tow the Oracle line and bash SQLServer as a nice little departmental database that would never have what it takes to play in the big leagues. However, I believe that Microsoft has come a long way and now that I am "playing" in the legal market, I would recommend that any technologies sitting on the SQLServer platform will have to be considered just as strong as the technologies sitting on Oracle.

And, I hope that someone out there in the litigation market challenges this position so that we can rekindle some of the debate that was so much fun for so many years in the general enterprise markets. And, it is arguments / debates such as these that will help to usher the litigation market into the world of leading edge technology.

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