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SQL 2012 Ent Server+Cal to PER CORE - reinstall or SKU Upgrade?


SQL 2012 Ent Server+Cal to PER CORE - reinstall or SKU Upgrade?

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winston Smith
winston Smith
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In the near future I will have to upgrade an installation of SQL 2012 Ent.
Currnetly its under Server+Cal meaning we can only use a max of 20 cores.

We will be upgrading to PER CORE.

My question is:

Do I need to do a full uninstall and reinstall, or will a SKU Upgrade work here?
Greg Edwards-268690
Greg Edwards-268690
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Haven't done this before, but it looks like it is supported.
See TechNet for details.
Under Upgrade How to Topics, you will see more details.
EdVassie
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SQL 2012 Enterprise is only licensed by Core. If you think you are using CAL licenses with EE then you may not be correctly licensed.

SQL 2013 BI and SQL 2012 Standard can be licensed by CAL, but with Enterprise the only valid method is by Core. It may well be the same situation with SQL 2014.

If you are upgrading from Standard or BI to Enterprise then there is a simple process (see BOL) where you enter your new license key and restart SQL Server.

If you are already licensed by Core and have licences for fewer cores than are visible on Windows then you should use Processor Affinity within SQL Server to remain within your license terms. If you buy more core licences you only have to change your processor affinity to take advantage of the new licences.

If you are not certain of your license situation then my advice is to contact your license reseller.

Original author: SQL Server FineBuild 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005. 1 Dec 2016: now over 39,000 downloads.
Disclaimer: All information provided is a personal opinion that may not match reality.
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Greg Edwards-268690
Greg Edwards-268690
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EdVassie (2/17/2014)
SQL 2012 Enterprise is only licensed by Core. If you think you are using CAL licenses with EE then you may not be correctly licensed.

SQL 2013 BI and SQL 2012 Standard can be licensed by CAL, but with Enterprise the only valid method is by Core. It may well be the same situation with SQL 2014.

If you are upgrading from Standard or BI to Enterprise then there is a simple process (see BOL) where you enter your new license key and restart SQL Server.

If you are already licensed by Core and have licences for fewer cores than are visible on Windows then you should use Processor Affinity within SQL Server to remain within your license terms. If you buy more core licences you only have to change your processor affinity to take advantage of the new licences.

If you are not certain of your license situation then my advice is to contact your license reseller.


My assumption is they have SA and were running 2008 R2 EE previously.
There is a grandfathering that allows this.
Core assumes 4 cores per processor.
If you plan on using Processor Affinity - check out and verify licensing implications, especially in a virtual environment.
And also test the performance, especially on a machine with NUMA architecture.
winston Smith
winston Smith
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Spot on Greg, granfathering has allowed us to continue using Server+Cal.
EdVassie
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If your CAL licences are valid and you are changing to Core licensing, then you may not need to do anything within SQL Server.

If your core licenses are for less cores than shown in Windows, then you need to do is to set processor affinity within SQL Server for the number of core licenses you hold.

Original author: SQL Server FineBuild 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005. 1 Dec 2016: now over 39,000 downloads.
Disclaimer: All information provided is a personal opinion that may not match reality.
Quote: "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor they call me a communist." - Archbishop Hélder Câmara
Greg Edwards-268690
Greg Edwards-268690
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EdVassie (2/17/2014)
If your CAL licences are valid and you are changing to Core licensing, then you may not need to do anything within SQL Server.

If your core licenses are for less cores than shown in Windows, then you need to do is to set processor affinity within SQL Server for the number of core licenses you hold.


Maybe both of you might be interested in this.
I would be inclined to either true up on cores, or consider hardware to match the licensing if possible.
Even memory on NUMA architecture needs to be thought out.
Just tossing in RAM chips to hit a number may not work as expected.
Martin Graves
Martin Graves
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How do I determine what licensing scheme the KEY(s) valid for? Does MSft have a portal/page where I can enter my KEY, and it will let me know if CORE, CAL, STD, BI, ENT, etc.?
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