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 the Microsoft data platform history with real-time operational analytics, rich visualizations on mobile devices, built-in advanced analytics, new advanced security technology, and new hybrid cloud scenarios.

  • Enterprise

    SQL Server Enterprise delivers comprehensive datacenter capabilities for mission-critical database, business intelligence, and advanced analytics workloads.

  • Standard

    SQL Server Standard provides core data management and business intelligence capabilities 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 now a free edition providing the full feature set of SQL Server Enterprise. For development and test only, and 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
  • Operational analytics
  • Enhanced AlwaysOn with no domain join (WS 2016)
  • Query Store
  • Temporal
  • Always Encrypted
  • 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 configuration (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
  • Connectivity 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 configuration (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
  • Connectivity 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
 
 
 
 
Manageability (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, Operational 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 (Connectivity 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 aligned with how customers typically purchase specific workloads. There are two main licensing models that apply to SQL Server:

SERVER + CAL: Provides the option to license users and/or devices, with low cost access to incremental SQL Server deployments.

  • Each server running SQL Server software requires a server license.
  • Each user and/or device accessing a licensed SQL Server requires a SQL Server CAL that is the same version or newer – for example, 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, including Standard Edition and legacy Business Intelligence and Enterprise Edition Servers.

PER CORE: Gives customers a more precise measure of computing power and a more consistent licensing metric, regardless of whether solutions are deployed on physical servers on-premises, or in virtual or cloud environments.

  • Core based licensing is appropriate when customers are unable to count users/devices, have Internet/Extranet workloads or systems that integrate with external facing workloads.

SQL Server 2016 Editions availability by licensing

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, options and benefits to provide flexibility for customers deploying in virtual environments. There are two primary virtualization licensing options in SQL Server 2016 – the ability to license individual virtual machines and the ability to license for maximum virtualization in highly virtualized and private cloud environments.

INDIVIDUAL VIRTUAL MACHINES:

As hardware capabilities grow, it continues to be more common for each database to use a fraction of its server’s computing power. When deploying databases on Virtual Machines (VMs) that use just a fraction of a physical server, savings can be achieved 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 be moved frequently within a server farm, or to a third-party hoster or cloud services provider, without the need to purchase additional SQL Server licenses.

Server + CAL Licensing

When licensing SQL Server software under the Server + CAL model, customers purchase a server license for each server, and a client access license (CAL) for each device (DEVICE CAL) and/or user (User CAL) accessing SQL Server or any of its components. A CAL is not software; it 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 being 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 priced using the CAL model. The CORE licensing model only applies if there are over 30 users, an unknown number of users, or the server is part of a web facing database. Have more questions? Give us a call, 1-877-292-7712.

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

    A: Unfortunately, yes - unless you have purchased software assurance within the last 2 years.