SQL Server Licensing Just Got Way More Expensive … Or Did It ???

Before we kick off, June 30 2012  will have been and gone and you would have missed the opportunity to purchase SQL Server 2012 Enterprise in the Server plus CAL license model – after which will be core only.

Some other notes when working out SQL 2012 licensing :

• The price of the SQL Server CAL goes up about 25%
• The per server license for Standard edition is about the same
• The per server license for Business Intelligence edition is about the same as Enterprise 2008 R2
• The per core price for SQL 2012 standard and enterprise is a quarter the per proc licence as the equivalent editions in Enterprise 2008 R2, hence if you have more than 4 cores per proc in your servers, your price goes up from there.

But my SQL Server 2008 R2 works just fine thank you….why do I need to upgrade ?   For starters, if you have software assurance it won’t cost you anything (only shore-ups from the licensing differentials).   Otherwise, you won’t need much prompting…your business people will be begging you for the 2012 release as there are a host of much needed improvements for more productive and more colourful Business Intelligence championed by PowerView and PowerPivot.  For Sharepoint folk there is now even more Business Intelligence capability. Easier, tighter integration, new tools and features to lower the cost of information delivery, to get your message to an even broader audience, and to give the business what they want – “to build their own B.I. solutions without engaging I.T.”! 

For the DBA’s SQL Server 2012 sports a host of high availability options with the gem being shared nothing multi site high availability (particularly when you combine contained databases with “Always On” for seamless application database failover), better support for data tier applications, and better support alround for cloud and portability basically.  Those with VSphere might want to compare VSphere’s HA functions with SQL Server 2012 Always On. 

If you have drafted some basic calculations by now, you may be seeing the cost of upgrading your current infrastructure going up up up.    The only real way to save money is to create a private SQL Server cloud, using consolidation as the vehicle to drive down costs. Your savings will come from the ability to run as many copies of SQL Server (SQL Server instances or Virtual machines) as your farm will allow (licensed on the number of cores in the physical hardware).  

I personally think the licensing changes will provide a more colourful business case for consolidation as the SQL 2012 licensing changes now truly reward those who consolidate and punish those who don’t.

For more info, you may find the Microsoft Assessment Planning toolkit for SQL Server 2012 useful. It has licence info plus discovery capabilities MAP Planning Tool 2012.

And just for gags – you could price the new Microsoft HP Consolidation Appliance for SQL Server Private Cloud SQL Server Private Cloud Appliance.

One thought on “SQL Server Licensing Just Got Way More Expensive … Or Did It ???”

  1. Some say that this licensing method will help DBAs an consultants, but for how long.
    Its clear that this price will blow up many projects budgets as I already seen. And thinking in a long term SQL Server installations will decrease drastically.

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