SQL Server 2008 Licensing Guide
SQL Server 2008 Versions and Editions
The table below provides a summary of the versions and editions for Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008, SQL Server 2005, and SQL Server 2000.
Note: The information and examples used in this guide generally apply to SQL Server 2008. Licensing rules for prior versions are the same except where noted.
Restrictions on Deployment
Depending upon the edition of SQL Server, certain limits may apply to how the product may be deployed. Below is an
overview of the primary limits.
Note: This is a summary only. See Chapter 2 for more information about where to find the applicable terms and conditions. Additionally, limits on memory are affected by the specific configuration.
Overview of Sales Channels for SQL Server
Microsoft sells Microsoft® SQL Server® licenses through channels designed to meet the unique needs of customers. The channel the licenses are sold through determines which document(s) details the use rights for the licensed products.
Software Assurance Overview
The table below shows the Software Assurance benefits applicable to SQL Server that are available to commercial and
government Volume Licensing customers.
Options At the End of the SA Term
When you wants SA coverage on a new license, the L/SA SKU is used. If you choose to extend the SA coverage when it
expires, you purchase just the SA SKU. If you do not extend your SA coverage, you can continue to use the most current version of the software (or a downgrade version), but will not be entitled to further upgrades. To upgrade in the future, you would need to acquire a new License (L) or L/SA.
Note: The term of the SA coverage depends upon the licensing agreement under which it was acquired and the timing of the purchase.
Enrolling OEM or FPP Licenses in Software Assurance
If you purchase SQL Server though the retail FPP or OEM channels, you have 90 days to enroll the license in SA. To do so, you purchase the SA SKU through a Volume Licensing program.
Licensing Models for SQL Server
When licensing SQL Server under the Server/CAL model, you purchase a Server license for the server and Client Access
Licenses (CALs) for each device (Device CALs) and/or users (User CALs) accessing or using the services or functionality of SQL Server. A CAL is not software; it is a legal document granting access. Note: Separate partitions or blades are considered to be separate servers for licensing purposes.
• A given user or device only needs one SQL Server CAL to access any number of SQL Server instances in your organization.
• SQL Server Workgroup and SQL Server Standard for Small Business editions have their own CALs that can only be used with those respective editions.
• SQL Server CALs can be used with any edition of SQL Server, including SQL Server Workgroup and SQL Server Standard for Small Business editions.
• Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 CAL Suite for Premium Users or Devices may be used instead of SQL Server 2008 CALs to access instances of the server software within an SBS domain.
• Servers running SQL Server instances that connect to other servers running SQL Server instances require Server licenses, but do not require SQL Server CALs
• Manual data-transfer to/from SQL Server does not require CALs. For instance, if User A sends data to User B, who in turn enters data into SQL Server, User A does not need a CAL.
• SQL Server CALs can also be used against any SQL Server regardless of the platform (32 bit, 64 bit, and IA64).
• If enrolled in Software Assurance (SA) or Enterprise Agreement (EA), you can switch from Device CALs to User CALs, or from User CALs to Device CALs, upon renewal of SA or EA.
• Users or Devices accessing SQL Server components (e.g. Reporting Services) require CALs
• Use of hardware and/or software that reduces the number of devices or users that directly access or use the software (multiplexing/pooling) does not reduce the number of CALs required. See Multiplexing section in Chapter 5 for more information.
• If a user or device is accessing an application that connects to SQL Server (directly or indirectly), a CAL is required—even the application and SQL Server are running on different physical hardware systems. See Multiplexing section in Chapter 5 for more information.
Per Processor Licensing
Microsoft offers a Per Processor licensing model to help alleviate complexity. When licensing SQL Server under the Per
Processor model, you do not need to purchase additional CALs; it includes access for an unlimited number of users or
devices to connect from either inside or outside the firewall. Processor licenses for SQL Server 2008 are available for
Enterprise, Standard, Web, and Workgroup editions.
Per Processor Licensing
• A Processor license is required for each processor installed on each operating system environment (OSE) running
SQL Server or any of its components (for example, Analysis Services).
• For SQL Server running in physical operating system environments (POSEs), you must license each physical
✎ For more information about how to calculate the required number of Processor licenses for SQL Server running on a
virtual machine (VM).
Multi-core processors, which consist of multiple processing execution units or “cores” on one chip, are seen as a promising way to boost computing power. For Processor licenses, Microsoft charges by the processor, not by the core.
Virtualization and License Mobility
Microsoft® SQL Server® is increasingly being deployed in settings that incorporate virtualization, which enables running instances of SQL Server concurrently in separate virtual operating system environments (VOSEs). Examples of server virtualization technologies include Microsoft Windows Server® 2008 with Hyper-V and VMWare.
How to determine the number of Server licenses or Processor licenses required for SQL Server running in the physical
operating system environment (POSE) is explained in Chapter 3. Here we’ll look at how to calculate the license requirement when SQL Server is running on a virtual machine (VM).
When you are deploying SQL Server on a VM, the license requirements depend upon:
• The licensing model (Server/CAL or Per Processor)
• The edition of SQL Server
• The characteristics of the physical server and VM(s) on which SQL Server will run
• Whether hyper-threading is enabled
Multi-core Processors and Hyper-threading
When using multi-core processors, each core in the processor essentially acts as a separate processor. Further, Intel’s
hyper-threading technology (officially called Hyper-Threading Technology or HTT) allows each core to divide the execution of a computer program into two or more concurrently running tasks, called “threads of execution” or just “threads”. In these cases, the individual thread essentially acts as a separate processor.
When creating VMs, typically each virtual processor is the equivalent of:
• one core (when hyper-threading is off)
• one thread (when hyper-threading is on)
Counting Licenses for VMs (Server/CAL Model)
Count separate blades and partitions on which SQL Server will run as separate servers.
Standard and Workgroup Editions
When licensing SQL Server Standard or Workgroup for virtualization under the Server/Client Access License (CAL) model, each virtual machine (VM) on which SQL Server will run is licensed as if it were a separate physical server. That means…
Each physical server licensed for SQL Server Enterprise under the Server/CAL model is also licensed to run SQL Server
Enterprise in as many VMs as the hardware will support. So there is no difference between licensing Enterprise edition for physical and virtual environments.
When licensing SQL Server under the Server/CAL model, the CAL requirements are the same for virtual operating system environments (VOSEs) as they are for physical operating system environments (POSEs).
Counting Licenses for VMs (Per Processor Model)
Determining the number of Processor licenses required under the Per Processor model depends not only upon the SQL
Server edition, but upon how resources in the server are allocated in support of SQL Server.
There are three data points you will want to gather for each VM on which SQL Server will run and the underlying physical machine(s):
A. Number of virtual processors supporting the VM
B. Number of cores per physical processor (if hyper-threading is off) OR number of threads per physical processor (if
hyper-threading is on)
C. Number of physical processors
With these data points, you can calculate the required number of Processor licenses for a given SQL Server edition by
following a simple formula.
Note: The instructions provided in this guide assume that:
• The number of cores or threads in each processor is the same; and
• If hyper-threading is on, each virtual processor maps to one complete thread.
Most scenarios fit these assumptions. For assistance with determining license requirements in rare scenarios that do not fit these assumptions, gather all of the data about the configuration you can, and then contact your Microsoft reseller or account manager.
Below you will find instructions on how to use the data points and formulas to calculate the required Processor licenses for:
- SQL Server running on a single virtual machine (VM)
- SQL Server running on multiple VMs
- SQL Server running on one or more VMs and the physical OS environment (POSE)
Server Application License Mobility: Reassigning Licenses and Moving SQL Server Instances within a Server Farm
For load balancing and dynamic allocation of resources within a server farm, you may want to move instances of SQL Server across servers. Effective September 1, 2008, Microsoft introduced changes to the license rules for moving instances of server software products across server in a server farm. For SQL Server, these rule changes apply to SQL Server 2008 Enterprise only.
For other editions, once a SQL Server license is assigned to a specific server, you cannot reassign it to another server and move the running instance of SQL Server within 90 days. To move running instances of SQL Server more often than that, each server would need to have a license assigned to it.
Reassigning Licenses and Moving Running Instances of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise
When properly licensed, running instances of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise may be moved freely across servers within a
server farm. (There is no 90 day minimum period before reassignment.)
• A server farm can consist of up to two data centers each physically located:
• In time zones that are within four hours of one another (UTC is Coordinated Universal Time), and/or
• Within the European Union (EU) and/or European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
• Each data center may be part of only one server farm. You may reassign a data center from one server farm to
another, but not on a short-term basis (that is, not within 90 days of the last assignment).
Moving Instances of SQL Server Enterprise in Server Farms
• Under the Server/CAL model, you may run unlimited instances of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise within the server farm,
and move those instances freely, as long as those instances are not running on more servers than the number of
licenses assigned to the server farm.
• Under the Per Processor model, you effectively count the greatest number of physical processors that may support
running instances of SQL Server 2008 Enterprise at any one time across the server farm and assign that number of
Processor licenses (see Diagram 4.7).
• Once a SQL Server 2008 Enterprise license is assigned to a specific server, you cannot be reassign it to another server
outside of the server farm and move the running instance of SQL Server instance within 90 days.
High Availability, Multiplexing, and Components
High Availability/Failover Support
Microsoft® SQL Server® can be configured so that if one server fails, its processing will be picked-up, recovered, and
continued by the other server. SQL Server 2008 Enterprise, Standard, Web, and Workgroup editions provide three types of failover support:
• Backup log-shipping
• Database mirroring
• Failover clustering
Log-shipping and database mirroring take place at the database level, whereas failover clustering takes place at the SQL Server instance level.
Each failover type and the licensing requirements are described further below. Regardless of which type of failover support is being used, keep the following rules in mind:
The server being used for failover does not need to be licensed for SQL Server as long as it is truly “passive” (not serving SQL Server data to clients or running active SQL Server workloads). If it is serving SQL Server data to clients (such as reports) or running active SQL Server workloads, then it must be licensed for SQL Server.
For any operating system environment in which you run
For any operating system environment in which you run instances of the server software, you may run up to the same number of passive failover instances in a separate operating system environment.
When licensing SQL Server under the Per Processor model, the number of Processor licenses must be based on the server that requires the higher number of licenses. This way, when the failover server takes over, it is adequately licensed.
Failover clustering provides high-availability support for an entire instance of SQL Server. A failover cluster is a combination of one or more nodes, or servers, with two or more shared disks. SQL Server 2008 Enterprise supports failover clusters with up to 16 nodes. SQL Server 2008 Standard supports 2-node failover clusters.
Note: SQL Server Reporting Services reporting components cannot provide failover support when they are clustered.
Sometimes organizations develop network scenarios that use various forms of hardware and/or software that reduce the number of devices or users that directly access or use the software on a particular server, often called “multiplexing” or “pooling” hardware or software. Use of multiplexing or pooling hardware and/or software does not reduce the number of CALs required. Remember: If licensing under the Per Processor model, CALs are not required.
Other Microsoft Products that Run on SQL Server
Dynamics ERP—which includes Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, and Dynamics SL—relies upon SQL Server as an enabling technology.
Options for Licensing SQL Server for Use With Dynamics ERP
If you already have SQL Server licensed, you do not need to acquire additional SQL Server licenses for use with Dynamics ERP.
If you do not have SQL Server licensed, you have the following options for licensing SQL Server with Dynamics ERP:
Forefront Client Security Management Console
Forefront Client Security Management Console is available on a per server subscription basis through Microsoft Volume Licensing, SQL Server is required.
Options for Licensing SQL Server for Use With Forefront Client Security Management Console
If you already have SQL Server licensed, you should choose Forefront Client Security Management Console without SQL Server.
If you do not have SQL Server licensed, you have the following options for licensing SQL Server with Forefront Client
Security Management Console:
Windows SBS and EBS
Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008 are available in two editions:
Standard and Premium. The Premium editions include everything in the Standard edition, plus SQL Server 2008 Standard for Small Business1 and Windows Server® 2008 Standard.
1SQL Server 2005 may be used in place of or in addition to SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition for Small Business subject to the use rights for SBS/EBS 2008 Premium. (All running instances should be in one Microsoft Active Directory® domain).
Options for Licensing SQL Server for Use With SBS or EBS
If you who already have SQL Server and Windows Server licensed appropriately, you should choose the Standard Edition of SBS or EBS.
If your do not have SQL Server licensed, you have the following options for licensing SQL Server with SBS:
If you do not have SQL Server licensed, you have the following options for licensing SQL Server with EBS:
SQL Server technology is offered with the following Microsoft System Center products:
• System Center Configuration Manager
• System Center Essentials
• System Center Mobile Device Manager
• System Center Operations Manager
• System Center Data Protection Manager (always includes SQL Server)
Options for Licensing SQL Server for Use With System Center
If you already have SQL Server licensed, you should choose the System Center product offering that does not include SQL Server.
If you do not have SQL Server licensed, you have the following options for licensing SQL Server with System Center
Upgrades, Downgrades, and Step-ups
With a version upgrades, you move from a previous version of the software (e.g. Microsoft® SQL Server® 2005) to a newer version of the software (e.g. SQL Server 2008). The diagram below shows the acceptable paths for upgrading from SQL Server 2005 editions to SQL Server 2008 editions.
! Rules 7.1: Version Upgrades
• Cross-version upgrades: Cross-version instances of SQL Server 2008 are not supported. Version numbers of the
Database Engine, Analysis Services, and Reporting Services components must be the same in an instance of SQL
• Cross-platform upgrades: Cross-platform upgrade is not supported. You cannot upgrade a 32-bit instance of
SQL Server to native 64-bit. However, you can upgrade a 32-bit instance of SQL Server to the WOW64: the 32-bit
subsystem on a 64-bit server as noted in the diagram above. You can also back up or detach databases from a 32-
bit instance of SQL Server, and then restore or attach them to an instance of SQL Server (64-bit) if the databases are
not published in replication. In this case, you must also re-create any logins and other user objects in master, msdb,
and model system databases.
• Failover upgrades: To upgrade an instance of SQL Server to a SQL Server failover cluster, the instance being
upgraded must be a failover cluster.
• Upgrading on Windows Server 2008 machines: To upgrade SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2008 on a computer
that is running Windows Server 2008, you must be running SQL Server 2005 SP2. SQL Server 2005 SP1 is not a
supported upgrade scenario.
You can acquire SQL Server licenses and run prior versions of SQL Server per the downgrade rights outlined in the Software License Terms and/or Product Use Rights (PUR). In other words, if you are licensed for a SQL Server 2008 edition, you may choose to deploy a corresponding SQL Server 2005 edition in its place.
! Rules 7.2: Version Downgrades
• If the earlier version includes different components, any terms for those components in the agreement that comes
with the earlier version apply.
• Microsoft is not obligated to supply earlier versions.
• At any time, you may replace an earlier version with your licensed newer version of the software.
With edition step-ups, you move from a lower edition of the product to a higher edition. For SQL Server, Step-up licenses are available to migrate from:
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