"The SQL Server 2012 release will simplify customer options with three main editions that are closely aligned with how customers use SQL Server across workloads. SQL Server 2012 will also deliver licensing which enables customers to more easily take advantage of the benefits of public and private cloud through virtualization and license mobility. Our new model will provide:
SQL Server 2012 will offer two licensing options – one that is based on computing power, and one that is based on users or devices (see table below for the mapping of the new licensing options per edition).
Flexibility and Innovation
Cloud-optimized licensing with the ability to license a single Virtual Machine (VM) or license a server for maximum virtualization as well as the flexibility to move your VMs from server to server, or to hosters or the cloud.
SQL Server 2012 Licensing Options
SQL Server 2012 will continue to offer two licensing options – one that is based on computing power, and one that is based on users or devices. In the computing power-based license model, however, the way we measure power will shift from processors to cores. Core-based licensing provides a more precise measure of computing power given high core-density server hardware. It also provides a more consistent licensing metric regardless of where the solution is deployed across on-premises to cloud.
· Enterprise Edition (EE) will be licensed based on compute capacity measured in cores
· Business Intelligence (BI) Edition will be available in the Server + CAL model, licensed by the number of users or devices
· Standard Edition (SE) will have the option of both license models to address a wide variety of basic database workloads
And a couple related posts from the field...
"So you may have heard earlier today about the license changes that are coming out for SQL Server 2012. I know that the official announcement can be a little hard to get through and the changes can be a little confusing at first (or even second or third) glance. The SQL Server licensing team was kind enough to spend some time sitting down with me to try and work through how the license changes will be effecting customers. Please note that any prices that I quote in here are list (retail) prices and are shown in US dollars. If you have an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft you will probably be paying less
"The only thing more controversial than new Federal Tax plans is new Licensing plans from Microsoft. In both cases, everyone calculates several numbers.
- First, will I pay more or less under this plan?
- Second, will my competition pay more or less than now?
- Third, will <insert interesting person/company here> pay more or less?
Not that items 2 and 3 are meaningful, that is just how people think.
Much like tax plans, the devil is in the details, so lets see how this looks. Microsoft shows it here: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/future-editions/sql2012-licensing.aspx
First up is a switch from per-socket to per-core licensing. Anyone who didn’t see something like this coming should rapidly search for a new line of work because you are not paying attention. The explosion of multi-core processors has made SQL Server a bargain. Microsoft is in business to make money and the old per-socket model was not going to do that going forward.
Per-core licensing also simplifies virtualization licensing. Physical Core = Virtual Core, at least for licensing. Oversubscribe your processors, that’s your lookout. You still pay for what is exposed to the VM. The cool part is you can seamlessly move physical and virtual workloads around and the licenses follow. The catch is you have to have Software Assurance to make the licenses mobile. Nice touch there.
Let’s have a moment of silence for the late, unlamented, largely ignored Workgroup Edition. To quote the Microsoft FAQ: “Standard becomes our sole edition for basic database needs”. Considering I haven’t encountered a singe instance of SQL Server Workgroup Edition in the wild, I don’t think this will be all that controversial.
As for pricing, it looks like a wash with current per-socket pricing based on four core sockets ...
Not sure how I feel about this. I like the simplifying of the SKU's a great deal. I wish more Enterprise features had made it into Standard, namely the TDE, ColumnStore and compression features ["Advanced Security (Advanced auditing, transparent data encryption)" and "Data Warehousing (ColumnStore, compression, partitioning)"] So I'm still stuck pushing for Enterprise. As for the cost, I think "selling" Enterprise is always going to be a up hill battle.
Still, all in all I think this is an okay move and isn't going to make me to crazy...