SQL Server 2012 Licensing

This blog is an attempt to provide key SQL Server 2012 licensing information to be aware of.

 

The pricing as a guide is Retail without Software Assurance in US$.

 

Ref Licence Virtual Env. Notes
1 Core-Based No All physical cores must be licensed with a minimum purchase of 4 cores.
2 Core-Based No Hyper-threading does not impact licences required e.g. a 4 core CPU with hyper-threading enabled only requires 4 core licences. This is not the case when virtualization is used.
3 Core-Based Yes and No Single and Dual Core Processors are classified as 4 core processors for licensing.
4 Core-Based No When some AMD processors have 6 or more cores, each core is classified as 0.75 of an Intel core e.g. 8 of these AMD cores would only require 6 core licences.
5 Core-Based Yes An unlimited number of VMs running any version or edition of Windows and SQL Server on a physical server can be achieved by licensing all available cores on the physical server with SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance and Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition
6 Core-Based Yes All virtual cores in a VM must be licensed with a minimum of 4 core licences. The exception is if you are using the licensing mentioned in Ref 5.
7 Core-Based Yes Virtual cores require licences for each physical core they access e.g. if a VM has 1 virtual core assigned and that virtual core uses 8 physical cores then 8 core licences are required for the VM.
8 Core-Based Yes If all physical cores are licensed with SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition without Software Assurance then you are entitled to have the same number of VMs as physical cores on the server e.g. licensing all 8 physical cores with SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition allows use of 8 VMs with unlimited SQL Server instances in the 8 VMs. If more VMs are required then extra core licences must be purchased.
This is not available for non-SQL Server Enterprise editions.
9 Server+ CAL Yes 1 Server licence allows unlimited instances in a single VM.
10 Server+ CAL No 1 Server licence allows unlimited instances on the physical server.
11 Server+ CAL Yes and No 1 SQL Server 2012 CAL licence is required for each user or device which connects to the SQL Server instance. This includes multiplexing where connections are made indirectly via either hardware or software.
12 Server+ CAL Yes and No 1 SQL Server 2012 CAL licence allows the user or device to access any 2012, or earlier, licensed instances in your organisation e.g. a user only ever requires 1 SQL Server CAL to access all licensed SQL Servers.
13 Server+ CAL Yes and No The SQL Server instances can use the maximum cores/memory and is only limited by the SQL Server edition and OS edition.
14 Core-Based and Server+ CAL Yes and No Each licensed instance of SQL Server is entitled to have 1 passive instance on a separate physical server or VM within a server farm. This 1 passive instance can be used for DR and does not require a SQL Server licence. If you require a second passive server for the same instance, then an extra licence is required. Passive is defined as ‘not serving SQL Server data to clients or running active SQL Server workloads’. If core licensing is being used, the Passive instance must not have more cores. If Software Assurance is not in use for the licensed instance, the passive server can only be used actively once every 90 days and the passive instance cannot be in another server farm, a third party web hoster or non-private cloud. If Software Assurance is in use for the licensed instance the passive instance can be used as often as needed, and another server farm, third party web hoster or non-private cloud can be used once every 90 days.
15 Core-Based and Server+ CAL Yes and No If AlwaysOn Availability Groups use secondary instances for non-passive activities i.e. for backups, users queries etc, then these instances require SQL Server licences.

 

SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition:
Key points to be aware of for this edition include:

  • Uses Core-Based and Server+CAL licensing.
  • Cored-Based licences allow for an unlimited number of users or devices to connect to the SQL Server.
  • Server+CAL licensing requires a SQL Server CAL for each user or device which connects to the SQL Server.
  • Database Engine can only use 16 cores, cannot exceed 4 physical sockets and max memory is 64GB.
  • Analysis Services can only use 16 cores, cannot exceed 4 physical sockets and max memory is 64GB.
  • Reporting Services can only use 16 cores, cannot exceed 4 physical sockets and max memory is 64GB.

 

Licence Number Cost Comment
Core-Based 1 1,793 The minimum number of core licences for each physical processor is 4.
Core-Based 2 3,586 Core licences are sold in packs of 2 and therefore if you have 5 cores you have to purchase 6 licences.
Core-Based 4 7,172 This the minimum number of licences you can purchase for each physical processor.
Core-Based 6 10,758
Core-Based 8 14,344
Core-Based 10 17,930
Core-Based 12 21,516
Core-Based 14 25,102
Core-Based 16 28,688 Maximum number of cores.
Server 1 898 1 Server licence allows unlimited instances on a physical server or unlimited instances in a single VM.
CAL 1 209 1 SQL Server 2012 CAL licence allows the user or device to access any 2012, or earlier, licensed instances in your organisation e.g. a user only ever requires 1 SQL Server CAL to access all licenced SQL Servers.
Server+CAL 30 7,168 CAL threshold 4 core licences.
Server+CAL 47 10,721 CAL threshold  6 core licences.
Server+CAL 64 14,274 CAL threshold  8 core licences.
Server+CAL 81 17,827 CAL threshold  10 core licences.
Server+CAL 98 21,380 CAL threshold 12 core licences.
Server+CAL 115 24,933 CAL threshold 14 core licences.
Server+CAL 132 28,486 CAL threshold 16 core licences.

SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence Edition:

Key points to be aware of for this edition include:

  • Uses Server+CAL licensing.
  • Server+CAL licensing requires a SQL Server CAL for each user or device which connects to the SQL Server.
  • Database Engine can only use 16 cores, cannot exceed 4 physical sockets and max memory is 64GB
  • Analysis Services is only limited by the OS for the number of cores, sockets and memory it can use.
  • Reporting Services is only limited by the OS for the number of cores, sockets and memory it can use.

 

Licence Number Cost Comment
Server 1 8,592 1 Server licence allows unlimited instances on a physical server or unlimited instances in a single VM.
CAL 1 209 1 SQL Server 2012 CAL licence allows the user or device to access any 2012, or earlier, licensed instances in your organisation e.g. a user only ever requires 1 SQL Server CAL to access all licensed SQL Servers.
Server+CAL 5 9,637
Server+CAL 10 10,682
Server+CAL 25 13,817
Server+CAL 50 19,042
Server+CAL 100 29,492

SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition:

Key points to be aware of for this edition include:

  • Uses Core-Based* licensing.
  • Cored-Based licences allow for an unlimited number of users or devices to connect to the SQL Server.
  • Database Engine is only limited by the OS for the number of cores, sockets and memory it can use.
  • Analysis Services is only limited by the OS for the number of cores, sockets and memory it can use.
  • Reporting Services is only limited by the OS for the number of cores, sockets and memory it can use.
  • A single SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition processor licence with Software Assurance is usually upgraded to 8 SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition core licences.

*SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition server licences with Software Assurance are usually upgraded to SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition server licences with a 20-core limit. SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition server licences allow unlimited instances in up to 4 VMs on the licensed server and these 4 VMs are restricted to 20 threads between them all e.g. if the physical server has 24 cores, only 20 will ever be used.

Licence Number Cost Comment
Core-Based 1 6,874 The minimum number of core licences for each physical processor is 4.
Core-Based 2 13,748 Core licences are sold in packs of 2 and therefore if you have 5 cores you have to purchase 6 licences.
Core-Based 4 27,496 This the minimum number of licences you can purchase for each physical processor.
Core-Based 6 41,244
Core-Based 8 54,992
Core-Based 10 68,740
Core-Based 12 82,488
Core-Based 14 96,236
Core-Based 16 109,984
Core-Based 20 137,480 *Core limit for SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition server licences.
Core-Based 24 164,976
Core-Based 32 219,968
Core-Based 40 274,960
Core-Based 48 329,952
Core-Based 64 439,936
Core-Based 128 879,872

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