You’ve probably noticed a number of SQL-licensing-related blog posts here on the Solutions Blog recently. That’s for good reason. As I mentioned in my last post, the majority of all Enrollment for Application Platform (EAP) contracts are set to expire at the end of this month (March 2015). I went on to discuss a potential “gotcha” in the form of “Deferred L” SKUs. 

This time around, I want to give a quick reminder of the natural transition from Processor-to-Core licensing. Here is a little background before we get into the transition.

Prior to the current model, licensing for SQL Standard and Enterprise was identical with two options. In one model, you could choose to license by the number of processor sockets in each server (virtual or physical), and in the other model you had to license each server AND each user (or device) that connected to those servers. In chart form, here is what it looked like:

Server/CAL

Processor

Enterprise

YES

YES

Standard

YES

YES

With the release of SQL Server 2012, Microsoft added another edition of SQL (Business Intelligence), changed from processors to cores and specialized how each edition could be licensed. So, now we’re sitting like this:

Server/CAL

Core

Enterprise

NO

YES

Business Intelligence

YES

NO

Standard

YES

YES

 

The conversion is important and is stated by Microsoft in this manner: Each processor license will be granted four cores (two licenses with two cores per license*) OR the number of cores currently running on the processor to which the license is assigned.

What that means is that if you have a four-processor machine, with eight cores per machine, you are able to renew 32 cores at Software Assurance Only prices. It’s a huge deal, and one that can save you a lot of money. Reach out to your CDW licensing specialist to discuss this if you haven’t already.

*People often ask why the license includes two cores and not one. That’s a good question, and it goes back to when processor licensing first came out. From the beginning, the minimum number of processors that could be licensed was two. However, many people were not aware of this restriction and accidentally found themselves mislicensing their servers. The current minimum is four cores and must be in multiples of two.

“Wait, Max!” you say to your computer screen, “Why have the license be two cores when the minimum is ACTUALLY four?” Well, the answer to that is twofold, but simple: First, very few two-core processors exist in the wild these days, and second, many processors of 6-, 10- and other numbers of cores – not divisible by four – DO exist. So they set the license as the lowest common denominator needed. There’s your licensing history lesson for the day.

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