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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Licensing For Everyone

I used to really try not to over-license in the small companies I worked at. It seems I’d spend a few days every quarter or two counting up usage, asking people what they did, looking at logs, and eventually calculating our needs. Then compare the needs to what we’d purchased and I’d price out software. Typically I came to this conclusion.

License everyone.

It didn’t make sense to try and manage Office applications or SQL Server CALs. It was work, and it distracted me from other things I could be doing to make the company more productive. If we were over-licensed by a few hundred dollars a person, it was a waste of my time. And what I found was that we were rarely overlicensed, and as soon as I didn’t give someone Powerpoint or a SQL Server CAL, they’d request it.

I know that licensing is expensive, and not everyone needs all software, but there is a core set of software, and this likely includes SQL Server CALs, that should just be purchased for everyone and then ignored. It’s too hard to do anything else, and it’s likely a waste of time.

I do think that you ought to try and combine SQL Servers where possible, and share the instance with multiple databases, but I don’t think that it’s the same with clients. Get ‘em and forget ‘em.

Comments

Posted by Meredith Ryan-Smith on 19 November 2009

I couldn't agree more.  One of the best decisions I made long ago regarding licensing was to license 1 for 1 with my pc's for Office and CAL's.  The only CAL's that aren't 1 for 1 are my Exchange Enterprise CAL's but those take a matter of minutes to reconcile.  

Posted by Steve Jones on 19 November 2009

I did that at one point as well. We just factored in costs with each PC purchase and while it seemed our computers were a touch more expensive (maybe $1k more), we never had this big bill to explain to the boss either.

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