Licensing SQL Server 2012

Following the release of SQL 2012 a couple of months ago plus the price increases that have taken place recently it is worth taking some time to consider how a company licences SQL.

The main change with SQL 2012 as opposed to 2009 is that there is no longer a 'per processor' model. This has now been replaced by a 'per core' model although in reality it is purchased per 2 cores. What this will mean is that moving forward the more powerful servers with 6 cores or more are going to be more expensive to licence. While this is frustrating it reflects the shift from the more traditional server infrastructure to the increase in virtualisation and more virtual servers per physical box.

If we then look at the traditional licensing models then we can start to examine which option is going to be the best fit:

 Server plus CAL Model

Via this route we licence each server that SQL will be running on and each person/device that will be using SQL either directly or indirectly. It is worth remembering that it a user if accessing a system that relies on SQL then they will also need a licence.

Per Core Model

In this scenario we need to make sure there is a licence in place for each core that SQL is using. If a processor has 6 cores then three licences will be needed as they are purchased in pairs. If a server has 2 processors then the price is potentially doubled! It is worth bearing in mind though that technically it is possible to restrict the amount of resources that SQL uses so just because there are 12 cores in a server you will not necessarily have to be licensed for all of them.

Small Business ServerPremium

If you have purchased this software then it comes with anadditional licence for Windows Server as well as incorporating SQL. There are additional price implications per user and for the server licence so the more users that require SQL the less economical this model will become.

NAV Licence

If you have Dynamics NAV or are potentially looking at moving ahead with the solution then you have an additional option. As you would add a module normally there is also the ability to add SQL for the amount of users you will require to use NAV. This makes it quite easy to stay compliant as whenever a new user is added you will automatically gain an additional SQL licence. In addition as long as your Enhancement Fee is up to date then you will automatically have the rights to the latest version which makes upgrading NAV much easier. It will then add the 'peace of mind' that if you require more up to date functionality you will not have to repurchase any licences.

One important fact to consider is if you choose this route the SQL licence can only be used for NAV or potentially SharePoint. Any other system that accesses SQL would need to be licenced separately which could add additional unexpected costs at a later date.

Ultimately the choice will come down to price and business requirements however if you need some help and advice on the way feel free to contact us.

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