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DennisMCSE

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So bought a new Dell PE R730 server with 2 processors (Intel Xeon E5-2690 v4 processors ) for our manufacturing floor. So now need to buy SQL Server 2016 Standard for the server. We usually buy the ISV version of SQL Server, which is directly from the vendor and licensed to be used only by their application, since buying the full software from Microsoft is way more expensive.

Our corporate standard for production is to purchase licensing by the core. So did a search on the Intel website and found out that the processors in the server are 14 core processors (so 28 cores on the server). So that means I need to buy 28 core licenses for SQL Server? Is there any limit to the number of cores that need to be licensed? Or no maximum core licenses and I need to buy the full 28 core licenses?

Based on the cost of a core license, that's going to be expensive.

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cj_berlin

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi,

as far as I understand it, you can

- either install SQL on bare metal, in which case you have to license all cores. Seeing as you have 28 cores in that box, the number of the cores you license would be exceeding the compute capacity limit of the Standard Edition which is the lesser of 24 cores or 4 sockets
- or install SQL on bare metal and license per Server + CAL
- or install a hypervisor on that box and license a SQL VM (having less vCPUs than the host has cores) per core with the minimum of four.

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DennisMCSE

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Reply with quote  #3 
Evgenij, thanks for the info. But since I have 28 cores on the server, if the Standard Edition limit is 24 cores, does that mean I can't get Standard Edition on the server? Or that I only need to buy licenses for 24 cores? Or do I still need to buy licenses for all 28 cores, even though only 24 cores will be used?

I always get confused on the licensing for Microsoft products (although Oracle is just as messy as well). But always need to make sure I'm licensed properly.



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cj_berlin

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Dennis,

frankly, I have no idea. The licensing guide simply states 'all cores need to be licensed'. I think you would be OK with 24 but you should take this up with MSFT or with your licensing reseller.

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wobble_wobble

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Reply with quote  #5 

Dennis

Technically you need DC SQL for that box.
As the cloud becomes the way they want you to go- the licensing is based (un-transparently) on the cores you have deployed. (personal rant there)

Your only real option to comply with MS licensing is:
1. Replace the server with one with less cores to use less expensive standard licensing.
2. Pull a processor out (no you can't more the other socket licenses to another server)
3. But Data Centre SQL Licensing (nope)
4. Install ESXi/ Hyper-V and virtualise the SQL to the number of cores you have a license for.
5. Remember, you also need CALs for each and every unique device or user that directly or indirectly instructs edits to the database. ( so any device or user, that in or by itself directly or thru web services, adds or edits an existing entry in the SQL DB - they need a user CAL)




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cj_berlin

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wobble_wobble

1. Replace the server with one with less cores to use less expensive standard licensing.
2. Pull a processor out (no you can't more the other socket licenses to another server)
3. But Data Centre SQL Licensing (nope)
4. Install ESXi/ Hyper-V and virtualise the SQL to the number of cores you have a license for.
5. Remember, you also need CALs for each and every unique device or user that directly or indirectly instructs edits to the database. ( so any device or user, that in or by itself directly or thru web services, adds or edits an existing entry in the SQL DB - they need a user CAL)

Joe,

re 1: can you point us to a paragraph that states this? I looked because that's something I would expect from MSFT but I don't think the licensing guide really touches this scenario.

re 3: There is no DC licensing for SQL, only Enterprise ;-) But this is expensive enough as it is.

re 5: No, you don't need any CALs if you license per core, that's the whole point of the per-core licensing in SQL.
You only need CALs if you license per server. Depending on the number of users, this may or may not work out, price-wise. If we assume having to license all the cores, we are looking at $52,038 OPEN NL list price for Standard on that box. MSFT is somewhat more vague about Server and CAL prices but from what I gathered, the server license is about $930 with CALs at about $180. In this example, you could license 284 users for roughly the same price.


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wobble_wobble

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Reply with quote  #7 
Don't have a paragraph on it, but experience of license assessments and what MS tell us.
Sorry the letters tend to have NDA's on them.

Enterprise/ DC apologies, its still damn expensive.

MS Licensing Blog on SQL

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cj_berlin

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobble_wobble
Don't have a paragraph on it, but experience of license assessments and what MS tell us.
Sorry the letters tend to have NDA's on them.

Been in a number of those talks myself, can't remember anyone installing a SQL Standard on a box with more than 16 cores. But you are still right about having to license all physical cores. Here's why:
There is no hard limit on the number of SQL Server instances you can run on a licensed box. The limit of 24 cores is PER INSTANCE, so that you can in fact utilize as many cores as you have in there by running multiple instances (source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/sql-server/compute-capacity-limits-by-edition-of-sql-server ). So the assumption that all 28 cores will have to be licensed is definitely valid.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wobble_wobble
MS Licensing Blog on SQL

That post does not really cover or indeed touch SQL licensing. Getting off-topic here, but I did find one sentence there that really scares me:
Quote:
It is also worth pointing out that RDS CALs are required in a VDI deployment when any of the RDS components are used to support it (e.g.Remote Desktop Web Access, Remote Desktop Gateway, Remote Desktop Connection Broker, Remote Desktop Session Host, or the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host.

So apparently, if you do a VDI deployment using a desktop OS as worker but MS Server as broker you need SA, VDA *and* RDS CAL for each session whereas if you use Citrix XenDesktop or VMware View you do not need an RDS CAL even if you do need the other two? This is confirmed at the end of the post in Q7. Ah well.

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DennisMCSE

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Reply with quote  #9 
Just to make this easier, I lowered the number of cores to match what SQL Server Standard requires. That way the number of cores  matches what is licensed. I don't want to pay for 28 cores when SQL Server will only use 16 cores or 24 cores. I don't want to be stuck in a Microsoft audit and not be licensed properly. The application will work either way.

What I got back from Microsoft, other than having them tell me to verify with a Microsoft Licensing specialist, is:

"Yes, you can install SQL Server Standard on the server, but the maximum number of cores it can use depends on which SQL version you’ll install. For example, SQL Server 2012 Standard is limited to lesser of 4 sockets or 16 cores whereas SQL Server 2016 Standard lesser of 4 sockets or 24 cores."

So if I install SQL Server 2012 Standard, the SQL server would use only 16 cores, but I'd still have to purchase licenses for the number of cores on the server. Not very cost effective.


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