Software development is an expensive and time-consuming process, not just in terms of time and salaries but also in terms of software and hardware costs. It can be tempting to pick a widely available free solution with the intent of migrating to an enterprise solution in the future. However, it is important to consider potential issues before they arise. Will the free solution scale? Does the free solution have a support agreement? Will it be as easy as possible to continue to grow your systems beyond the original development server?
This whitepaper explains how SQL Server resolves these questions: it is available in a free edition that can easily scale to enterprise levels.
Acquisitions - Enstratius, RemoteScan, StatSoft