SQL 2008 R2 Licensing - Virtualization

Mike Kline
Mike Kline used Ask the Experts™
Seems like licensing for SQL Server 2008 R2 is not totally clear and I've called Microsoft and gotten several answers.  Trying to see if any of the SQL experts/MVPs here may be able to shed some light.

Here is the setup:

16 blade servers - 2 processors per blade.

We are going to have 4 SQL Servers (all virtual).  Each server will have two virtual processors assigned.

The confusing part about SQL Server 2008 R2 Licensing is if we want to be able to run these 4 SQL servers on any of these blade servers would we need to buy a licenses for every processor (32).  By the way that is one of the answers I received during the calls which doesn't seem right.

From the Licensing Quick Reference Guide


For 2008 R2 Enterprise it says:

SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise: You may run unlimited instances of the software in up to four (4) OSEs per license within the server farm, and move those instances freely, as long as the number of physical processors supporting or used by the OSEs in which the software is running at any one time does not exceed the number of licenses assigned to the server farm.

So with four Virtual SQL servers if we have them possibly spread across 4 blades that could mean a total of 8 virtual processors which would mean 8 per processor licenses.

Does that sound right?   Seemed easier to track on physical boxes.



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Not sure if this helps but we went through this earlier this year and did server/cal licensing for each vm even though the vm's can freely move between hosts.  You're doing the proc licensing because of web hosting?
Top Expert 2013


No not doing any web hosting.  I'm not really into SQL, sort of asked by some coworkers about this.  I thought it was licensed per proc...looks like I need to do more research on that aspect of things :)

Yeah, we license a couple per processor for a web site but it is much more expensive.

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