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Single SQL 2008 Processor License on dual processor server

Posted on 2010-08-31
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I need to migrate a SQL 2008 server to a new box. We have a single processor license.
The new server was ordered (not by me) with dual processors. I have been told we cannot order CALs or another license.
Virtualization is not an option as "we already bought a copy of server 2008" and out LOB app does not support virtualization.
Is there a way to install SQL 2008 on a dual processor server to only use one core and therefore stay within licensing? I am fairly certain that a single Quad Core processor can handle the processing needed for this server.
Server OS is Windows 2008 R2 and our license is SQL 2008.
Thanks.
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Question by:summit_pcguy
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by:Ryan McCauley
ID: 33570917
Yes - you can install it and then unbind SQL Server from the second processor. You can do this in SSMS, in the Server Properties, under "Processors"

It's also worth noting that SQL Server is licensed by socket, not by core, so if your new machine is dual-core, then you're fine with the default installation. If it's dual-socket, however, you'll need to unbind it from the second processor so it doesn't use it.
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by:summit_pcguy
ID: 33570962
Thanks for the quick response. Dual socket server with Quad core processors.
I assume if we end up needing the second socket I can buy a second processor license and then bind the processor?
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Ryan McCauley earned 500 total points
ID: 33570995
I'm mistaken - you'll need a processor license for every physical processor in the server, regardless of whether you've disabled any with the affinity mask (as I previous described). From http://www.microsoftvolumelicensing.com/userights/ProductPage.aspx?pid=362:

To run instances of the server software in the physical operating system environment on a server, you need a software license for each physical processor that the physical operating system environment uses.

However, this does leave you with another option - yank one of the physical processors from your server, leaving you with one occupied socket and one vacant socket. This configuration will only require a single processor licence, since only one socket is occupied, and you can use your existing license on the new server.
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by:Ryan McCauley
ID: 33571012
You're correct - if the second socket is currently vacant, than you're good to go. If you ever want to add a second processor, just buy another single-processor license of SQL Server (ensure it's the same version/edition), and install a second processor.
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by:summit_pcguy
ID: 33926303
Thanks for the help.
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