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Which Package To Buy?

Posted on 2011-10-24
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As you read this, please keep your cringe reflexes to a minimum.  :)

I'm not a DBA, although I am an application developer that have had several years of experience in working with SQL Server.

The company I am currently with has an installation of SQL Server that came with an accounting/business (CRM) package.  I've been using it to write reports based on the data within.  The bosses have been adequately impressed to the point where they want to expand the data capabilities beyond what the accounting package allows.  To that end, they want to buy a SQL Server Package license, since what they currently have is, technically, only to be used with the package noted above (even though I can create new databases).

So, since I'm not a DBA, I'll be pretty much faking it (ala "SQL Server For Dummies").  But I need to know which package I will need.  There are so many different options, I'm not sure if what I'm thinking, is the correct option.

What I'm thinking about is sold by CRW as "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard - complete package (~$2500.00)".  It is described as "Complete package - 1 server, 10 CALs - DVD - Win - English - 32/64-bit"

Where I have a question is the 10 CALs.  I will be the only one creating/modifying the databases (and the tables within), all others will only view/add/modify/delete data.  So, are the 10 CALs for just the developers (me and potentially a future staff) and the users are clear to use, or do the 10 CALs mean that only 10 people can have user "Logins"?

So I guess, ultimately, what are your suggestions (be nice), and why you suggest what you do.

TIA
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Question by:Clif
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by:Brian Chan
ID: 37020999
SQL server itself has a few edition as well. it is depends on what feature of it you are interested in.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 edition comparsion chart

The more high end the SQL server, the more feature on it of course. Usually, it depends on how you position your business. For example, one thing catch a lot of people is that if you have a large database, you can use backup compression to save space on backup. it is only available from Enterprice Ed. 1 step up from Standard Edition. Standard ed only allow upto 4CPUs. 32Gbof RAMs. of course Enterprise ed has a higher upper limit. looks like Reporting service is included in both ed.




About the package you mentioned above, from what it sound like, I believe it is a WIndows server with SQL server bundle (2 software items here, an OS and app). because when people talking about CALs, it usually refer to licencing for multi user enviornment in Windows environments. To what I can recall SQL server doesn't count against CALs (or if not, I am just too updated from my sysadmin trade then)
 
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by:Feridun Kadir
ID: 37021154
I think you should read the document at this link, http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/8/E/48E9A4EB-125A-49CB-9644-169B82C45611/SQL2008R2_QRG_2011.pdf

It's called a licensing quick reference guide but runs to 14 pages!

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Author Comment

by:Clif
ID: 37023968
bpnchan,
The package (HERE is definitely just the SQL Server (not bundled with the OS)

All the information y'all have provided is very valuable, I'm sure.  But I've already gone through it and came out confused to the point where I decided to ask here on EE.

It simply comes down to two questions, really.  First, is the package from CRW (linked above) the actual SQL Server package?  That is, if I buy that can I install it and have a SQL Server database (I can create one or more databases, add tables, add data to the tables, etc)?

Second, there are 100 employees at my company.  If half of them all hit the database at the same time (though either Crystal Reports, and Excel "window to the table" or an app I write), will we be in violation of any licensing agreements?
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by:Feridun Kadir
ID: 37024154
The part number listed at the link you include is for SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition with 10 client access licenses included. I wouldn't get too hung up on the phrase "complete package". It doesn't really mean anything as far as licensing is concerned. I also agree that it does not include any Windows licenses.

With this part you can install SQL Server on a server and create as many databases/tables as you like. However, you need one user CAL for each person that uses SQL Server. That means that if all 100 employees use the SQL Server then you will need 100 CALs - regardless of whether the access is concurrent or not.

If you have fewer computers than users, you could instead acquire device CALs instead. I believe user and devices CALs are the same price. So, for example, if you company has 75 computers shared between 100 users then it is cheaper for you to buy 75 device CALs. On ther other hand if you have 100 users and 150 computers then it is cheaper to buy 100 user CALs.  In either case you also need a server license. The package you refer to you includes a server license and 10 CALs (though it doesn't say whether they are user or device). You will need to buy more CALs.

Another approach is to forget CALs altogether and instead buy a per processor license. This costs a lot more but it means that you buy one processor license for each physical processor in the server. The advantage is that for larger number of users is that it is cheaper than going with CALs. I forget the exact breakeven point but I'm fairly sure that it was less than 100 when I last checked - so this may be better for your scenario.

Hope this helps.
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by:Brian Chan
ID: 37024279
@Clif & feridun, I think I really need to update myself in licensing knowledge. learn a lot about it  from feridun's explanation.

Agree with feridun's point on how the advertisement was scripted. the main point is that it is a retail package and it mentions that it is a Microsoft SQL server 2008 R2 Standard Edition. and not upgrade version or other edition.

   
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by:Clif
ID: 37026563
So, what you're suggesting is actually THIS package.

$7K+  Ouch!

Much easier going to my manager with a bill for $2500 than pushing $7000 her way.  :)

I wasn't focusing on the "complete" part, except to make sure that it was the actual software and not just an agreement to buy software (ie, licenses).

According to what I think I'm reading at the CRW site, is that CALs cost (from them) about $40 each (Hopefully cheaper when bought in blocks).

Once again, just so I understand, CALs count toward the "login" users that are added to the databases?  In other words, with the package as described (10 CALs), I can only add 10 users to the Security/Logins?  Or how does that work?
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Feridun Kadir earned 2000 total points
ID: 37027120
Yes, that is the package that includes a processor licence.

I'd be surprised if the CALs are $40 each, more like $245 each, see this link http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/Microsoft-Business-License-MS-SQL-license-software-assurance/525751.aspx

You need a CAL for any user that accesses any database on the SQL server. With the original package that you referenced you can indeed only add 10 users to Security/Logins but those 10 users can access multiple databases on the SQL Server. The management console, SQL Server Management Studio will allow you to add more than 10 users but you will be unlicensed for the additional users. Technically it will work but should you get audited by Microsoft you will be in trouble. A CAL is not something that needs to be installed - it is simply a licence that confers an entitlement.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Clif
ID: 37030463
Ok, so I'll propose it to the manager.

Thanks for your help.  :)
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