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SQL licensing options

Posted on 2011-02-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I'm looking into making an SQL lic purchase.  
We already own a 2 proc sql lic for sql 2008 Std R2
We are thinking of buying an enterprise Lic for sql 2008 R2

I understand the products are downgradable  to 2008 standard (R1), and, that  would do us fine for anything we need to do here.

Would we be in compliance if we had 8 or 10  SQLStandard instances running in VMs on the same 2 processor ESX box?  If not what would be our best bet without breaking the bank.  I've been through the licensing docs quite a few time and am thoroughly confused.

I attached one of the docs , "2008 SQL licensing overview final"

 2008-SQL-Licensin-overview-final.docx
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Question by:imherson
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ChopperCentury earned 84 total points
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Under per proc licensing you can run as many VM instances of SQL as you like as long as they stay on the same Proc and do not move between machines (VMotion, etc..)
Standard licensing is 1:1 ratio, install it where you want it but only once for each license.
Yes, Microsoft intentionally makes the licensing difficult to understand so you will buy more of the wrong thing and spend more money.
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by:lundnak
lundnak earned 250 total points
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I don't believe that Enterprise edition will downgrade to standard edition.  You would need to purchase an additional 2 processor license for Standard edition.  Don't quote me on this, but this sounds logical.

Or better...save money and upgrade the Standard edition instances to Enterprise Edition, because you will be supported.

I'm not a license expert either, but I believe the SQL processor licenses are licensed to the physical CPUs.  So any enterprise edition instances running on VMs on the ESX host will be covered by the processor license.
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by:sneakanddestroy
sneakanddestroy earned 166 total points
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You can have as many VM's as you want as long as you stay with the same 2 Procs.  I have attached the license doc so maybe it will be more helpful in the future.
SQLServer2008-LicensingGuide.pdf
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by:imherson
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Does the enterprise version require the "input of CALs" to make connections?  In other words is there a hard stop when a the licenced number of CALs are reached?
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by:sneakanddestroy
sneakanddestroy earned 166 total points
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When you use the proc licensing there is no CAL limit or need for them because CAL is a completely different  type of licensing scheme.  As long as you are using Proc Licensing theoretically you could have an unlimited amount of users as long as the licensed processors can handle them.
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Author Comment

by:imherson
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Server/ Cal is the the purchase we are considering
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by:lundnak
lundnak earned 250 total points
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Server with CAL only licenses the installed instance.  You will need to purchase a server license for all VMs.

CALs may be cheaper.  How many clients will be accessing any of the SQL Server instances.  At my last company we went with CALs for our internal databases because we only had 200 employees.  For our web database we had to go with processor licensing.
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Author Comment

by:imherson
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If I downgrade to plain 2008 ent (not R2) then don't I have unlimited virtualization rights?  I'm getting this from the VIRTUALIZATION AND MULTI-INSTANCING section in the doc
"SQL Server 2008 Pricing and Licensing"
http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/e/6/1e68f92c-f334-4517-b610-e4dee946ef91/2008%20SQL%20Licensing%20overview%20final.docx

About Server/ CAL licensing, it says, "For Enterprise edition, for each server to which you assign a software license, you may run, at any one time, any number of instances of the server software in one physical and any number of virtual operating system environments on that server. "
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by:lundnak
lundnak earned 250 total points
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You are correct.  They changed the server/cal # of instances licensing with SQL 2008.
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Author Comment

by:imherson
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Your comments and those of a ms sales rep confirm ms lic is as clear as mud
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Author Closing Comment

by:imherson
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In some case we are just making best guesses
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