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SQL 2014 licensing core vs server and cal

Posted on 2014-10-28
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Last Modified: 2014-11-25
I read the multiple articles for SQL, still not clear.

I have a HP server with 2 six core  E5-2650 2.5Ghz processors.
So I have;
 two processors,
12 cores,
24 cores(?)

And 60 concurrent client workstations accessing this database server.

And I have to purchase licenses for SQL 2014 which will be installed as a VM in the HP box.

Core licensing;
1. If I configure 4 virtual processors for the new SQL VM in Hyper-V manager, how many core licenses do I have to purchase? (When I configure 4 virtual processors, in Task Manager of  the VM, it shows 4 cores, so I assume Hyper threading is not involved in the licensing).


2. What is the cheaper way, core or cal?

Current market price for SQL 2014 STD;
sql 2014 server $900
sql 2014 server core $3600 (2 cores)
sql 2014 device cal $200

To serve 60 concurrent client accesses, I guess 3-4 virtual processor assignments seem reasonable power it needs, so if I go with core licensing model, which  pricing is correct?

a. Needs 4 core SQL licenses: 2 X $3600 = $7200
b. 12 core SQL licenses: 6 X $3600= $21600

3. When License violation happens..
Let's say I purchased 2 core SQL licenses, but then later I found, it's not sufficient, so I increased the number of vcores from 2 to 4 in Hyper-v Manager. If then, what happens, will that make my SQL go down or give grace period or there's no any enforcement of licensing to operation?

4. Licensing for live migrartion.
And also I have to figure how Hyper-v live migration or clustering will affect SQL licensing. If I move the SQL server to a different Hyper-v host, does it require any additional license?

What happens when I move the SQL server to a server which has more cores but the number of vcore of the SQL VM remains the same? If licensing follows only number of vcore, I guess it doesn't matter, does it?




I
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Question by:crcsupport
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lcohan earned 500 total points
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3. "And also I have to figure how Hyper-v live migration or clustering will affect SQL licensing. If I move the SQL server to a different Hyper-v host, does it require any additional license? "

As far as I'm aware and as per Microsoft data sheet "Each licensed VM that is covered with Software Assurance can be moved frequently within your server farm, or to a third-party hoster or cloud services provider." (and that's what we use - core based Enterprise edition license).

2. Core in my opinion would be cheaper than CAL in the 4 cores VS. 60 CALs scenario.

1. "What happens when I move the SQL server to a server which has more cores but the number of vcore of the SQL VM remains the same? If licensing follows only number of vcore, I guess it doesn't matter, does it?"
it doesn't indeed as per same data sheet they say:

<<•To license a VM with core-based licenses, simply pay for the virtual cores allocated within the virtual machine (minimum of four core licenses per VM).>>

so as long as you don't allocate more CPU's to an image that was moved to different host you're fine.

Please search and download their data sheet called SQL_Server_2014_Licensing_Datasheet.pdf for more details.
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by:crcsupport
ID: 40409172
That's something I missed, 'minmum of 4 cores' for core licensing. I thought I could save money running only 2 cores for backup SQL server.

Also, if I put more vcores to the VM which has only 4 core SQL licenses, what happens? will it lock down the VM and clients cannot access it? As far as I know licensing is not enforced on operation, but agreement.
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by:lcohan
lcohan earned 500 total points
ID: 40409322
I don't think it "...will lock down the VM and clients cannot access it" - worst case you may not be able to use more cores than there are licenced if you manage them from Microsoft Key Management Server -however I never heard such thing and I believe you are right by saying that "licensing is not enforced on operation, but agreement".
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Expert Comment

by:Robert Tow
ID: 40465172
Little useless babble, but may help ease some of your concerns.

You will not go down, Microsoft's new SQL licensing is so confusing even their sales reps have issues with it. We have an Enterprise Agreement. The nice thing about that is, use what you need and true up as you go. Before that, we had an open license agreement that was a pain to track and make sure I was compliant. At the end of the day Microsoft is not going to come beating on your door claiming you are in violations over a few core license. They will work with you. The last thing they want to do is aggravate a paying customer who is trying to do the right thing. Its the guy who has a pirated copy of SQL server running it on 10 HP DL980 servers and refuses to buy even one licensing. I have been in situation where I have told our Microsoft rep that I was out of compliancy but can't afford to buy the upgrade until next year. They always find a way to apply just the right amount of discounts to make sure we succeed so that we can afford the correct package in the future.
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