I'm looking for an ASP.net webhost, to run my site with an SQL Server database.

I've found a good host, but like all of them, adding on SQL Server costs a fortune for some reason, or I can just use SQL Server 2008 R2 Express for free on them.

  • Is SQL Server 2008 R2 Express good enough for a medium size website?
  • What are the limitations with SQL Server 2008 R2 Express?
  • I'm wondering if StackOverflow might be a better place for this question
    – John Conde
    Mar 30, 2011 at 13:51
  • Or serverfault. Mar 30, 2011 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


Express is still SQL Server, has the same primary abilities and can easily be backed up and restored to Standard, Enterprise, etc when the growth requires it.

You can compare express with other editions at http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/product-info/compare.aspx

The primary difference is resource limitations.

Express can only use a single CPU, 1 GB of memory and the database cannot be over 10 GB.

Those numbers jump up fast on the other editions:

            CPUs        Memory      Storage
Express     1           1 GB        10 GB  
Workgroup   2           4 GB        524 PB  
Web         4           64 GB       524 PB  
Standard    4           64 GB       524 PB  
Enterprise  8           2 TB        524 PB  
Datacenter  OS Limit    OS Limit    524 PB  

The other differences are related to more advanced features like High Availability, Replication, etc.

The reason why SQL Hosting jumps the hosting package price up so much, is they are paying the SQL Server licensing. MySQL, SQL Server Express, PostgreSQL aren't costing them money.

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