SQL Server 2014 Licensing

At what point should you think about using a different SQL Server 2014 licensing model.
 
The price indications below are in US$ without software insurance or discounts.

 

Licence Cost (US$) Notes
SQL Server 2014 208 1 x User or Device CAL
SQL Server 2014 Standard 894 1 x server*
SQL Server 2014 Standard Core 3,570 2 x cores**
SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Core 13,690 2 x cores
SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence 8,555 1 x server*

* You can have up to 50 instances on the server. User and/or Device CALs are also required to be purchased.
** A maximum of 16 cores is supported.

 

An absolute minimum of 4 cores is required to be purchased when using core licensing. This is either 4 cores per physical socket or 4 vCPUs in a virtual machine. Additional 2 core licences can be purchased after this initial charge. Therefore a starting point for the Standard and Enterprises editions with core licences would have to be:
 

Licence Cost (US$) Notes
SQL Server 2014 Standard Core 7,140 2 x (2 cores)
SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Core 27,380 2 x (2 cores)

 
Based on the above information, the thresholds between licences would be:
 
SQL Server 2014 Standard Cores vs SQL Server 2014 Standard with CALs
 

Cores Cost (US$) Server + CALs Cost (US$)
4 7,140 30 7,134
6 10,710 47 10,670
8 14,280 64 14,206
10 17,850 81 17,742
12 21,420 98 21,278
14 24,990 115 24,814
16 28,560 133 28,558

 
SQL Server 2014 Standard Cores vs SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Cores

Standard Cores Cost (US$) Enterprise Cores Cost (US$)
16 28,560 4 27,380

 
SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Cores vs SQL Server 2014 Business Intelligence with CALs

Cores Cost (US$) Server + CALs Cost (US$)
4 27,380 89 27,275

 
How does Azure fit into this.
 
Below is a screen shot from the Azure Pricing Calculator in US$. The selected machines have 4 vCPUs.
 
image_1
 
This is a real rough guide without software assurance considered, but for interest how many days would it take before purchasing your own licences would appear to make more sense?
 

Edition Azure Days Azure Cost (US$) Cost of 4 Cores (US$)
Standard 540 7,128 7,140
Enterprise 543 27,367 27,380

 
Software assurance has become a real consideration point when purchasing SQL Server 2014 licences as passive secondary SQL servers now require software assurance.
 
Software assurance has catches i.e. it only lasts for a certain term and results in continual payments to Microsoft. It does however have other benefits like software update rights, DR, extended support etc.
 

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