Close this search box.

SQL Server 2014 Standard and Enterprise Licensing

Sometimes customer is confused about the latest core based license for SQL Server 2014 Enterprise or Standard Version because previously it was Processor based license till SQL Server 2008. Many queries came to me on how to calculate actually sizing for SQL Server licenses. This article will guide you how to calculate licensing before you purchase SQL Server for your Database Server.  

About SQL Server 2014:

SQL Server 2014 delivers mission critical performance across all workloads with in-memory built-in, faster insights from any data with familiar tools, and a platform for hybrid cloud enabling organizations to easily build, deploy, and manage solutions that span on-premises and cloud.

The SQL Server 2014 editions align with how customers are deploying applications and solutions:

There are two main licensing models that apply to SQL Server:

Server + CAL Based Licensing: It provides the option to license users and/or devices, with low cost access to incremental SQL Server deployments. Only SQL Server Standard and Business Intelligence versions are available under this model.

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.

Core-Based Licensing: It 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. To license a physical server, customers must license all the cores in the server. Determining the number of licenses needed is done by multiplying the total number of physical cores by the appropriate core factor found in the core factor table. A minimum of 4 core licenses is required for each physical processor on the server.

Both SQL Server Enterprise and Standard versions are available under this model.

How actually SQL Server 2014 Using the Per Core Licensing Model Works?

When running SQL Server in a physical OSE, all physical cores on the server must be licensed. Count the total number of physical cores in the server.

Let say, If you need 2 SQL Server Enterprise Physical Machine and “16 core (8-core processor) Server” each of them, You need 16 SQL Enterprise core license for 32 core (16 core each X 2).

Licensing for High Availability

For each server licensed with SQL Server 2014 and covered by active SA, customers can run up to the same number of passive failover instances in a separate, on-premises OSE to support failover events. A passive SQL Server instance is one that is not serving SQL Server data to clients or running active SQL Server workloads. The passive failover instances can run on a separate server. These may only be used to synchronize with the primary server and otherwise maintain the passive database instance in a warm standby state in order to minimize downtime due to hardware or software failure.

1. The secondary server used for failover support does not need to be separately licensed for SQL Server as long as it is truly passive, and the primary SQL Server is covered with active Software Assurance (SA).

2. But if Passive server hosted in cloud for failover, You need additional Licenses

3. Primary server licenses covered with SA include support for one secondary server only, and any additional secondary servers must be licensed for SQL Server. Note: The rights to run a passive instance of SQL Server for failover support are not transferable to other licensed servers for purposes of providing multiple passive secondary servers to a single primary server.

Reference Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Licensing Guide (Page 14)

Hope this is clear now when you need license for Passive Node.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ):

1. Question: How SQL Server CAL license works with Multiple SQL Server (Same Version) instance? Does Multiple CALs required for same user to access multiple SQL Server Instances?

Answer: Each SQL Server 2014 CAL provides access to any number of current and/or prior version licensed SQL Server instances in a customer’s organization, regardless of the platform (32-bit, 64-bit or IA64) or product edition, including legacy SQL Server Workgroup and SQL Server for Small Business edition servers.

2. Question: How SQL Server Downgrade Version right works?

Answer: Cross Edition Rights are currently available for certain SQL Server products only and allow customers to deploy an alternate (usually lower) edition in place of the currently licensed edition. SQL Server cross edition rights can be combined with the version downgrade rights (available for all products offered under a Volume Licensing Agreement) that allow customers to deploy prior versions of the software in place of the currently licensed version. In some cases, rights to deploy prior versions of product editions other than the edition currently licensed may also be allowed.

Reference Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Licensing Guide (Page 21) for Downgrade rights.

3. Question: How many minimum license required for core based licensed?

Answer: A minimum of 4 core licenses is required for each physical processor on the server.

For SQL minimum should be 2 Licenses (4 Cores) to be compliant as per SQL Licensing policy, please find the attached file for SQL Server 2014 Licensing Datasheet. Also screen shot:

Thank you for reading this article and give your feedback to improve the article.

MJ Ferdous

Technical Specialist | Microsoft


Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 12:11 PM | Back to top

This article is part of the GWB Archives. Original Author: MJ FERDOUS

Related Posts