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MS SQL Server licensing

Posted on 2014-01-15
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I am trying to understand how MS SQL Server licensing works. We are planning to purchase SQL Server 2012. The question is how many licenses do we need. How can I determine that?

We have 3 public facing web applications and 10 windows applications. All of these access the SQL Server database. The SQL connection string used in all these applications use the same SQL credentials (user sa). There are 4 more user accounts created in the SQL server for the developers.

Now on what does the number of licenses required depends? Does it depend on how many end-users access the application or on how many user-accounts are created in the SQL Server? Or is it something else. Please advise.
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Question by:Angel02
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Red-King earned 2000 total points
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I believe SQL Server 2014 is due out this year. I've heard it mentioned in some MS training videos.

There are 3 main editions of SQL Server
1: Enterprise
2: Business Inteligence (BI)
3: Standard

There are 2 main licensing models
1: Server + CALs
2: Per Core

The BI and Standard editions can be licensed with the Server + CAL model
The Enterprise and Standard editions can be licensed with the Per Core model

For the Server + CAL model you buy a single license for the server and as many Client Access Licenses for your internal users (note: thats the users who access the SQL server indirectly through an application and not the user accounts defined in the applications i.e. you license Joe Bloggs and not the sa user)
You need to check up about the public users but I don't think you need to license for these.

The Per Core model you buy a Server license which allows unlimited clients access the server.
A single Per Core SQL license covers 1 processor Core and you must license a minimum of 4 Cores so you need to purchase a minimum of 4 Per Core licenses.

The following applies to the Standard and BI editions:
When assigning the license to a server you can only assign the license to one physical host or virtual server. You cannot assign the server license to a Virtual Host and create multiple VMs that have SQL server installed.
The MS term for this is that a license is assigned to a single Operating System Environment (OSE) whether physical or virtual.

The following applies to the Enterprise Edition:
You license all the Physical Cores on the server with and Enterprise Edition Core license and Software Assurance.
Once you are licensed in this way you can deploy an unlimited number of VMs (depending on your OS licensing of course) with SQL Server installed

To get the detailed requirements straight from Microsoft you need to download this Word document:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/F/7/4F74E127-827E-420D-971F-53CECB6778BD/SQL_Server_2012_Licensing_Datasheet_and_FAQ_Mar2012.docx
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