SQL Server 2012 (“Denali”) Licensing

Microsoft has posted the licensing for SQL Server 2012.  It has simplified licensing: SQL Server 2012 will offer two licensing options – one that is based on computing power (“core based”), and one that is based on users or devices (“Server + Client Access License (CAL)”).  Note that the licensing previously was per socket.  The explosion of multi-core processors is behind that change.  Per-core licensing also simplifies virtualization licensing, since a physical core equals a virtual core.

It also has a new edition called Business Intelligence, and no longer has the Datacenter edition or Workgroup Edition.  So the three editions are: Standard, Business Intelligence, and Enterprise (actually four editions if you count the free Express edition).  Here are the differences:

And here is the retail pricing for new purchases:

More info:


SQL Server 2012 Licensing Changes

SQL Server 2012 High Availability and Editions: Basic vs. Advanced

SQL Server 2012 Licensing and Hardware Considerations

Editorial: Microsoft SQL Server 2012’s Editions and Licensing

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Licensing Showdown—Core versus Server + CAL

SQL Server 2012 Editions

SQL Server 2012–Understanding the Pricing Changes

A cautionary tale about grandfathering CAL licenses in SQL Server 2012 Enterprise

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.
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