I just looked a the pricing structure of Microsoft's SQL Server platform. Some versions mimic the Oracle cost. There is a free express version of SQL Server. The developer edition also has no cost. The minimal web version of the database costs $3k. Workgroup goes for $7k. Enterprise comes in at $27k. And the Datacenter edition is a whopping $54k.
There are other fees that might bring the total cost a lot higher. If you install a separate copy on a virtual machine, you might need another license. Here is one good way to save costs. Use multi instancing. This is similar to Oracle database instances. They all have their own CPU, memory, and disk allocated. However the SQL Server instances all share the same operating system and physcial machine. There is no extra cost for an additional instance in terms of licensing.
Here is a final tip that I learned at a seminar I watched today. Do not keep the default install options for Microsoft's SQL Server. This is especially important if you are installing the production database. I wonder if the same holds true for Oracle.
Good-fast-cheap. Pick two. - I got invited to a meeting with the customer today. There was a problem in production. And the customer wanted answers. When it came time, I explained wha...