SQL Server 2008 R2 Licensing Quick Reference Guide
SQL Server 2008 R2 – What’s New in this Version
Initially published April 28, 2010, this guide is intended to be used as a supplement to the more detailed SQL Server
Licensing Guide (last published June 17, 2009) and summarizes the key product and licensing changes introduced with the general availability of SQL Server 2008 R2.
This updated version includes licensing details for the new SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse edition, including frequently asked questions and a new resources section for more detailed SQL Server licensing information.
New SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse Edition
The new SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse is a highly scalable data warehouse appliance that delivers performance at low cost through massively parallel processing (MPP).
SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse appliances are pre-tuned and pre-configured to enable distributed query processing for the highest levels of performance, and are being offered under the new Microsoft Critical Advantage Program (MCAP) to provide appliance customers with an end-to-end suite of pre-tested hardware and software configurations, services and support.
The table below provides a summary of the editions of SQL Server 2008 R2 and the sales channels through which they are available.
How it is Sold: Licensing Models for SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008 R2 editions are licensed through Microsoft Volume Licensing using either the Per Processor software
licensing model or the Server/Client Access License (CAL) software licensing model. With the exception of SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Web, and Parallel Data Warehouse editions (which are only licensed using the Per Processor model), you may choose which model to use based on which one best fits your specific scenario. SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer and Parallel Data Warehouse for Developers are restricted to development and test use and are licensed on a Per User basis.
Per Processor Licensing
Microsoft offers a Per Processor licensing model to help alleviate complexity. When licensing SQL Server software 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. Per Processor Licenses for SQL Server 2008 R2 are available for Datacenter, Enterprise, Standard, Workgroup, Web, and Parallel Data Warehouse editions.
• A Per 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 all physical processors.
• Per Processor License costs are the same regardless of number of cores in the processor.
The Per Processor model is appropriate when:
• You cannot or do not want to count users/devices
• The number of users/devices is high enough that the Per Processor model is more cost-effective than the
• SQL Server is being used for external-facing Web sites or applications
When licensing SQL Server software under the Server/CAL model, you purchase a Server License for the server and a Client Access License (CAL) for each device (Device CAL) and/or user (User CAL) accessing or using the services or functionality of SQL Server or any of its components (e.g. Reporting Services). A CAL is not software; it is a legal document granting access.
• SQL Server 2008 R2 CALs (or SQL Server 2008 CALs with SA) are required.
• A given user or device only needs one SQL Server CAL to access any number of SQL Server instances in the
• SQL Server CALs can also be used against any SQL Server regardless of the platform (32 bit, 64 bit, and IA64) or edition (Workgroups, Standard, and Enterprise).
• 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.
• Separate partitions or blades are considered to be separate servers for licensing purposes.
The Server/CAL model is appropriate when:
• You can count your users/devices
• The number of users/devices is low enough that the cost is lower than using the Per Processor model
• You plan to scale out your use of SQL Server by adding new servers over time. (Once you have purchased the necessary
CALs, you only need additional Server Licenses for new servers.)
• Users are accessing many SQL Server databases
Developer Tools (Per User) Licensing
SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer and Parallel Data Warehouse for Developers editions are licensed using the Developer Tools model, which is a “per user” model. One license is required for each person that accesses or uses the software. As long as only licensed users have access to the software, you can install as many copies of the software on as many devices as you like. This is significant, because it allows the developers and testers to run the software on multiple devices (such as for testing purposes) without having to license each device.
• Before you use the software under a license, you must assign that license to one user. That user is the “licensed user”
for that particular license. You may assign other licenses to other users.
• You may install the software and permit your licensed users to use copies to design, develop, test and demonstrate
your programs. You may not use the software in a production environment.
• For SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer, in addition to the licensed user, any person that has access to your internal network may install and use copies of the software to demonstrate use of your programs with the software.
• You may reassign a license, but not on a short-term basis (i.e., not within 90 days of the last assignment). If you reassign a license, the user to which you reassign the license becomes the new licensed user for that license.
Licensing SQL Server 2008 R2 for Appliances
SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse
Parallel Data Warehouse appliances are being sold through preferred hardware partners, who will pre-install and configure the software prior to delivery. Each SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) appliance consists of a control rack, plus a minimum of one data rack. Additional data racks can be added for a maximum configuration of up to 40 total compute nodes per appliance.
Each control rack includes a control node with two (2) CPUs, with each CPU requiring a SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse Per Processor License. Data rack compute nodes also include two (2) CPUs per node and like control nodes, each compute node in the configuration will similarly require two (2) SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse Per Processor Licenses.
OEM software licenses for Windows Server 2008 are included with the appliance hardware, but customers must acquire
licenses through a Microsoft Volume Licensing program for the SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse and required Windows HPC Server Pack 2008 R2 Enterprise software components.
• SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse is licensed under the Per Processor model only.
• Each data rack contains 8-10 compute nodes, depending on IHV, and all compute nodes in the appliance must be
• All Parallel Data Warehouse licenses must be covered by Software Assurance.
• Parallel Data Warehouse appliances used for development, test and/or demonstration purposes only can be licensed
under the Per User model with the SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse for Developers edition.
Other SQL Server Editions
In addition to the new Parallel Data Warehouse edition — which is only available as an appliance-based offering — Microsoft is also partnering with leading hardware vendors to offer additional appliance-based solutions optimized for other editions, such as SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise.
As with Parallel Data Warehouse appliances above, all Microsoft software will be pre-installed and configured prior to
customer delivery. OEM software licenses for Windows Server 2008 are included with the appliance hardware, but the SQL Server 2008 R2 software components, as well as any additional Microsoft software products needed to support the appliance solution, will need to be licensed separately.
• When licensed for use on special-purpose appliance systems, SQL Server software can be licensed under the Server/
CAL or Per Processor licensing models, as applicable for each SQL Server edition.
• Standard SQL Server 2008 R2 product use terms for the specific edition deployed will generally apply, including the
ability to reassign existing SQL Server licenses for use with appliance systems.
Licensing SQL Server 2008 R2 for Virtualization Scenarios
If you license all of the physical processors on the server (one license per physical processor), you may run unlimited
instances of the SQL Server software in the following number of OSEs (either physical or virtual):
In the case of SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard, SQL Server 2008 R2 Workgroup, and SQL Server 2008 R2 Web, if you license all of the physical processors you may run the software in the physical OSE only. In order to run the software in virtual OSEs, you will need to license each virtual processor individually as described below.
Licensing a Portion of the Physical Processors
If you choose not to license all of the physical processors, you will need to know the number of virtual processors
supporting each virtual OSE (data point A) and the number of cores per physical processor/socket (data point B). Typically, each virtual processor is the equivalent of one core:
With those numbers, you can refer to the table or formula below to determine how many Per Processors Licenses you need for each virtual OSE.
Licensing Virtual Machines Under the Server/CAL Model
Standard and Workgroup Editions
Each Server License for SQL Server Standard or Workgroup permits you to run the software in one (1) OSE
(physical or virtual). Additional OSEs require one (1) Server License each.
Each Server License for SQL Server Enterprise permits you to run the software in up to four (4) OSEs (physical and/ or virtual).
SQL Server 2008 R2 CALs are required for any user or device accessing the SQL Server functionality or data, regardless of whether SQL Server or any of its components are running in the physical or virtual OSE.
A SQL Server CAL and Windows Server CAL are required for each distinct device or user that is connected to the
multiplexing or pooling software or hardware front end:
The number of tiers of hardware or software between the SQL Server and the user or devices that ultimately use its data, services, or functionality does not affect the number of CALs required:
Manual transfer of data from employee to employee does not require a CAL for the receiving employee. For example, if an employee sends a Microsoft Office Excel® version of a report to another employee, the receiving employee does not require a CAL (as long as the report does not access a server running SQL Server in some way):
Reassigning Licenses and Moving Running Instances
You may move running instances of SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise or Datacenter as needed across servers within a server farm, including appliance devices where applicable. (There is no 90 day minimum period before reassignment.)
Server Farm Definition
A server farm may consist of up to two data centers located:
• In time zones that are within four hours of one another, and/or
• Within the European Union (EU) and/or European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
Note: A given data center may only be part of one server farm.
Moving Running Instances of SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Under Server/CAL Model
You may move licensed instances as needed across the server farm as long as the number of servers on which you are
running instances of the software does not exceed the number of licenses assigned to the server farm.
Moving Running Instances Under Per Processor Model
• SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter: You may run unlimited instances of the software in an unlimited number of OSEs
within the server farm, and move those instances as needed, as long as the number of physical processors supporting
or used by the OSEs in which the software is running at any one time does not exceed the number of licenses assigned
to the server farm.
• SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise: You may run unlimited instances of the software in up to four (4) OSEs per license
within the server farm, and move those instances freely, as long as the number of physical processors supporting or
used by the OSEs in which the software is running at any one time does not exceed the number of licenses assigned to
the server farm.
Upgrades, Downgrades, and Step-ups
Processor, Virtualization, and Memory Support Limits
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.
• With the introduction of SQL Server 2008 R2, the processor, virtualization and memory limits for the SQL Server Standard
and Enterprise editions have been recalibrated from the previous 2008 version offerings.
• The following is considered a single processor for purposes of this table:
• A single-core, hyper-threaded processor with two logical CPUs per socket
• A dual-core processor with two logical CPUs
• A quad-core processor with four logical CPUs
License Grant for Customers with SQL Server Enterprise Licenses with Software Assurance
If you have active Software Assurance coverage for SQL Server Enterprise, Microsoft is granting you the following additionaluse rights until the release of the SQL Server version that follows SQL Server 2008 R2:
Note: Details on product use rights and migration paths for the release of the SQL Server version that follows SQL Server 2008 R2 will be made available closer to the release date of that version.
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