Microsoft SQL Server Licensing

SQL Server Licensing By
Microsoft

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SQL Server 2016 editions–what’s new

SQL Server 2016 is the biggest leap forward in Microsoft data platform history. Utilize real-time business analytics, built-in data analysis and advanced security technology. Supports mobile devices & hybrid cloud scenarios.

  • Enterprise

    SQL Server Enterprise delivers full datacenter power for mission-critical databases. Run business intelligence and advanced analytics workloads.

  • Standard

    SQL Server Standard provides core data management and business intelligence features. Ideal for non-critical workloads with minimal IT resources.

  • Express

    SQL Server Express is a free edition of SQL Server. Ideal for development and production for desktop, web and small server applications.

  • Developer

    SQL Server Developer is a free edition providing the full feature set of SQL Server Enterprise. For development and testing. Not for production environments or use with production data.

Mission critical performanceSecurityData warehousingAdvanced analyticsHybrid cloud
  • Operating system max cores and memory
  • Enhanced in-memory OLTP performance
  • Real time analytics
  • Enhanced Always On with no domain join (WS 2016)
  • Query Store
  • Temporal
  • Advanced Encryption
  • Row-level security
  • Dynamic data masking
  • Enhanced separation of duties
  • Enhanced SQL Server auditing
  • Transparent data encryption
  • Policy-based management
  • Enhanced in-memory ColumnStore
  • PolyBase in scale-out setup (head and compute nodes)
  • License rights to (the APS) MPP appliance”
  • Distributed query processing
  • Support for JSON
  • In database advanced analytics
  • R integration with massive parallel processing for performance and scale
  • Works with in-memory technology
  • Run in database or standalone
  • Links to R Open
  • Stretch Database
  • Enhanced backup to Azure
  • Enhanced HA and DR with Azure – ease of use, no domain join (Windows Server 2016)
  • SSIS integration with Azure Data Factory and Azure SQL Data Warehouse
  • Disk-based OLTP
  • 24 cores max and 128 GB max memory
  • 2-node single database failover (non-readable secondary)
  • Query Store
  • Temporal
  • Row-level security
  • Dynamic data masking
  • Basic auditing
  • Separation of duties
  • Policy-based management
  • Enhanced in-memory ColumnStore
  • PolyBase in scale-out setup (head and compute nodes)
  • License rights to (the APS) MPP appliance”
  • Distributed query processing
  • Support for JSON
  • In database advanced analytics
  • R integration with massive parallel processing for performance and scale
  • Works with in-memory technology
  • Run in database or standalone
  • Links to R Open
  • Stretch Database
  • Enhanced backup to Azure
  • Enhanced HA and DR with Azure – ease of use, no domain join (Windows Server 2016)
  • SSIS integration with Azure Data Factory and Azure SQL Data Warehouse
  • 1 GB memory, max 10 GB memory
  • Basic OLTP
  • Query Store
  • Temporal
  • Policy-based managemen
  • Support for JSON
 
  • Stretch Database
  • Backup to Azure

Server Editions & Plan Comparisons

 DeveloperExpressStandardEnterprise
Mission critical performance Maximum number of cores New Unlimited 4 cores 24 cores Unlimited
Maximum memory utilized per instance OS Max 1 GB 128 GB OS Max
Maximum size 524 PB 10 GB 524 PB 524 PB
Production use rights  
 
 
 
Basic OLTP
 
 
 
 
Management (Management Studio, Policy-Based Management)
 
 
 
 
Basic high availability (2-node single database failover, non-readable secondary)
 
 
 
 
Enterprise data management (Master Data Services, Data Quality Services)
 
   
 
Advanced OLTP (In-memory OLTP Analytics)
 
   
 
Advanced HA (Always On - multi-node, multi-db failover, readable secondaries)
 
   
 
Security Basic security (Row-level security, data masking, basic auditing, separation of duties)
 
 
 
 
Advanced security (Transparent Data Encryption, Always Encrypted)
 
   
 
Date warehousing Advanced data integration (Fuzzy grouping and look ups, change data capture)
 
   
 
Data warehousing (In-Memory ColumnStore, Partitioning)
 
   
 
PolyBase2
 
 
 
 
Advanced analytics Basic “R” integration (Links to R Open, Limited parallelism for RRE)
 
 
 
 
Advanced “R” integration (Full parallelism for RRE)
 
   
 
Hybrid cloud Stretch Database
 
 
 
 

Did You Know?

88% of instances of SQL Server are not licensed correctly

SQL Server 2016 Licensing Models

SQL Server 2016 offers customers a variety of licensing options. These options align with how businesses typically host specific workloads. There are two main licensing models that apply to SQL Server:

SERVER + CAL: Provides the option to license users and/or devices. Low cost access to incremental SQL Server instances.

  • Each server running SQL Server software requires a server license.
  • Each user or device accessing a licensed SQL Server requires a SQL Server CAL. The CAL must be the same version or newer. To access a SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition server, a user would need a SQL Server 2012 or 2016 CAL.
  • Each SQL Server CAL allows access to multiple licensed SQL Servers. This includes Standard Edition, Business Intelligence and Enterprise Edition Servers.

PER CORE: Gives customers a precise measure of computing power. Provides a more consistent licensing metric regardless of setup. Per core works for physical servers on-premises, or in virtual or cloud environments.

  • Core based licensing is appropriate for customers who are unable to count users or devices. Core licensing is used for Internet/Extranet workloads or systems that integrate with web facing databases.

SQL Server 2016 Pricing & Licensing Models

SQL Server 2016 EditionsLicensing Options
Server + CALPer Core
Enterprise  
 
Standard
 
 
Developer Free edition
Express Free edition

Licensing for Virtualization

SQL Server 2016 offers virtualization rights to provide flexibility for customers with virtual environments. There are two primary virtualization licensing options in SQL Server 2016. The ability to license single virtual machines and the ability to license for maximum virtualization. This applies to large scale setups and private cloud environments.

INDIVIDUAL VIRTUAL MACHINES:

As hardware continues grow, databases will use less computing power. Save on low-usage Virtual Machine Databases by licensing individual VMs.

  • To license a VM with core licenses, purchase a core license for each virtual core (virtual thread) allocated to the VM (with a minimum of 4 core licenses per VM).
  • To license a single VM with a server license (for Standard Edition only), purchase a server license and matching SQL Server CALs for each user or device. Standard Edition and legacy Business Intelligence and Enterprise Edition Servers.
  • Each licensed VM covered with SA can move within a server farm, or to a third-party hoster. This includes cloud services providers. Software Assurance prevents the need to purchase additional SQL Server licenses.

Server + CAL Licensing

Licensing SQL Server software under the Server + CAL model. Customers need to buy a server license for each server. Customers also typically need to purchase client access licenses and device CALs. CALs are used when accessing SQL Server or any of its components. A CAL is a license granting users and devices access to the SQL Server software.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Is your version still supported?

    A: Versions 2014 and above are supported.

  • Q: Which licensing model is right for me? / How do I license SQL server?

    A: Most SQL server instances are sold using the CAL model. The CORE licensing model applies if you have 30+ users. If you have an unknown number of users. Or if the server is part of a web facing database. Have questions? Give us a call, 1-877-292-7712.

  • Q: Do I have to buy new CALs during an upgrade?

    A: Yes - unless you have purchased software assurance within the last 2 years.