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SQL 2008 R2 Standard Edition license requirements for a Virtual Server Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:27 AM
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Hi All,

I've read several things on the web today and got myself totally confused.
Can someone explain to me how I should license the following:

We have a VMWare ESX 2 node cluster and each physical server has 2 x 12 core CPUs.
We've been given a Virtual Server on this which has 2 virtual CPUs and we've installed SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition.
In order to be correctly licensed, how many CPU licenses would we need to buy?

If I understand the last MS doc I read correctly, the formula is # of OSE virtual CPUs divided by the # of physical cores per processor and round up.
So 2 / 12 = 1 CPU license.

Is this correct ?

The document I read also states "You may move running instances of SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise or Datacenter as needed across servers within a server farm. (There is no 90 day minimum period before reassignment.)"

What about Standard Edition ?
If there's a problem with one of the nodes and vMotion decides to shift SQL to the other node in the server farm are we still covered with Standard Edition ?



Post #1371536
Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 4:35 AM
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Bump.


Post #1372644
Posted Monday, October 15, 2012 8:02 AM


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Your best bet to get the best answer, is going to be to contact a Microsoft Licensing specialist. I'm presuming your using Volume Licensing, in which case here's the contact page: http://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/contact-us.aspx

Yes, MS Licensing is at least as difficult to understand the rules as SQL Server (maybe harder) which is why most everyone will shy away from providing an answer other than "call MS." It's way to easy to get the answer wrong...

Jason
Post #1372744
Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2012 5:24 AM
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My understanding is that for a virtual server, you only need a licence for the number of cores that will be running SQL Server.

By default, SQL Server is set to use all the cores visible to Windows, but you can set processor affinity to use fewer cores. You only need to license the cores you are using.

Some examples:

If you have a host server with 8 cores and define 8 guests each of which are allocated use of 2 cores and you install SQL Server on all these guests and allow them to use all cores visible in Windows, and you license each guest separately, you need to license for 16 cores. However, if you get a SQL Server Data Centre license for this host, then you only need to license for 8 cores.

If you have a host server with 8 cores and you define one guest which is allocated use of all 8 cores and you install SQL Server and allow it to only use 4 cores, you only need to license for 4 cores.

If you have a physical server with 8 cores and you install SQL Server and allow it to only use 4 cores, because this is a physical server you must license for all 8 cores.

If you want your management to sleep well at night knowing they have a valid license for all the SQL Server cores you are using, then follow jasona's advice and get help from a Microsoft Licensing specialist.


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