An Introduction to SQL Server Containers

  • pauls 72822

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1041

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item An Introduction to SQL Server Containers

  • chudman

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2369

    Hi,

    How does this reduce the licensing cost? You still pay for each instance of SQL server, and unless I missed something in the licensing documentation, a minimum of 4 cores is still the lowest price point for an instance of SQL server. So 20 containers replacing 20 VM's would still cost the same. What did I miss?

    Thanks,

    Jeff Bennett

  • pauls 72822

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1041

    Containers result in fewer OS instances. One customer supports up to 20 SQL Server containers on a single 8 core server. In their case, and in most cases, there are benefits in both VM maintenance and license costs.

  • chudman

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2369

    Thanks for responding. That makes sense. I suppose with SQL Server developer edition this is fairly inexpensive. With Enterprise edition, you could probably get away with a single license for the VM. I am going to have to research that. Thanks!

    Jeff Bennett

  • pauls 72822

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1041

    Update as we begin 2018.   Windocks has released SQL Server database cloning for MIcrosoft's SQL Containers and conventional instances (our design is very similar to Red Gate SQL Clone).   check out what we're doing at Windocks.com

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442116

    chudman - Friday, January 6, 2017 2:19 PM

    Hi,How does this reduce the licensing cost? You still pay for each instance of SQL server, and unless I missed something in the licensing documentation, a minimum of 4 cores is still the lowest price point for an instance of SQL server. So 20 containers replacing 20 VM's would still cost the same. What did I miss?Thanks,Jeff Bennett

    Looking at bare metal, you license the cores and can have multiple instances with no additional cost.  When you go into the VM environment, that is when this can change.
    Last I checked Microsoft licensed "per server" not "per instance."

  • pauls 72822

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1041

    Lynn, Microsoft has recently published a guide to SQL Server 2017 licensing, and in that they outline what is referenced above, that each of the official Microsoft SQL Server containers will be licensed as a VM (making it a 4 core license for each instance).   Not presumably a big concern for SQL Server Dev instances, but would be potentially for Reporting/BI.  

    This is one advantage that Windocks independent port brings to market, which is our containers are simply named instances and are "free" under all existing SQL Server licenses.   So, for those concerned about licensing costs, Windocks does offer a way to work with containers under the "named instance" provision in MS licenses.

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442116

    pauls 72822 - Thursday, January 4, 2018 4:37 PM

    Lynn, Microsoft has recently published a guide to SQL Server 2017 licensing, and in that they outline what is referenced above, that each of the official Microsoft SQL Server containers will be licensed as a VM (making it a 4 core license for each instance).   Not presumably a big concern for SQL Server Dev instances, but would be potentially for Reporting/BI.  

    This is one advantage that Windocks independent port brings to market, which is our containers are simply named instances and are "free" under all existing SQL Server licenses.   So, for those concerned about licensing costs, Windocks does offer a way to work with containers under the "named instance" provision in MS licenses.

    VM's and named instances are apples and oranges.  Also, If I have a four core VM and license SQL Server on that VM with four cores, I can install a default instance and multiple named instances under that on lisence.  That is different from having to license multiple VM's each running a single default instance.

  • pauls 72822

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1041

    I think there are two questions in this thread.   
    1)  how do containers present an opportunity to save on license costs (the original question)?   
    The answer for users of Microsoft's SQL containers is perhaps there is no savings opportunity, as each container will be licensed as if a VM.   For users of Windocks SQL Server containers, however, a single 4 or 8 core license can support scores of containers under existing SQL licenses.   We have customers who run 30 or more containers on a single 8 core server.  This is doable, as Windocks SQL containers are supported without additional licensing, as named instances.
    2)  the second question is why use containers when the functional equivalent would be named instances on a VM?    
    Docker containers deliver flexibility to create and replace environments, where conventional named instance configuration is fairly set and requires scripts to update/change.  Containers can be tailored to support specific configurations, and delivered and replaced within a minute (including database mail, encryption, etc.).     Containers also enable use of secure Docker images that can include complex data environments that can include scores of databases.   Final point would be to ask why Microsoft is placing such emphasis on use of containers for sQL Server 2017?   The reason is superior support for automation, DevOps, and Continuous Integration.   
    Hope that helps, Paul

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442116

    Okay, unfortunately it looks like Microsofts Docker and Windocks Docker are apples and oranges as well.  Having seen your presentation I can also see why as they are similar in nature but not in application (read that as design).  Windocks version is a more light weight implementation of Docker from what Microsoft developed.

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