Better Licensing for SQL Server

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719896

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Better Licensing for SQL Server

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442333

    I definately agree. It would be nice to have a method to easily determine what a particular scenerio would cost licensing wise as you are starting to architect a solution. It would help in making specific decisions that would affect the final solution.

  • Tim Lehner

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 189

    This is one of the more confusing areas of the product for me, and one that can't really be mastered by technical skill. Perhaps a Microsoft Connect item is in order. Unfortunately, this connect feedback is the only pertinent thing I could find in a minute or two.

  • Jo Pattyn

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 31400

    Agreed, I grasped that per VM there are 4 core licenses necessary. So you only need 4 no matter the underlying hardware cluster (if you only use 4 virtual cpu's and 1 VM)?

  • djackson 22568

    SSChampion

    Points: 11713

    I am happy to see this addressed, even if only in an article like this. Licensing for SQL Server is so bad our organization is considering moving to Oracle! There are people in management who feel Oracle is less expensive.

    Dave

  • peter-757102

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6877

    The new licensing model is hurting Microsoft’s own business in the long run. Profit can be made in several ways, especially for software the best way is to have a small profit on as many costless copies as you can. While the new SQL Server (1012) has some interesting features that I would love to use, that may not happen for another 5 years due to the current licensing policy.

    For many small businesses, upgrading or even licensing anything under the new policy is a no go as it is way too costly and restrictive. Microsoft looks like the new Oracle in respect to this, squeezing what they can for no sensible reason. It’s a shame as the low cost of licensing and operational use is what gave SQL Server a wide adaptation in the first place. And that was not a bad business if you ask me!

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75363

    If you can't understand the licensing model then how can you be sure you are in compliance with it?

    I've actually had two conversations with different Microsoft resellers who contradicted each other on licencing so if the resellers don't get it then how can anyone.

    As with all legal documents the licences seem to be written to give the legal team a hard on rather than to communicate useful information to customers.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719896

    David.Poole (12/17/2012)


    If you can't understand the licensing model then how can you be sure you are in compliance with it?

    I've actually had two conversations with different Microsoft resellers who contradicted each other on licencing so if the resellers don't get it then how can anyone.

    As with all legal documents the licences seem to be written to give the legal team a hard on rather than to communicate useful information to customers.

    Completely agree.

  • Miles Neale

    SSChampion

    Points: 13147

    Sorry to come to the ball late but here is another opinion.

    Amazon and a number of others have identified a way of doing business. You go to the "shelves" through pages and request what you want. You put it in a shopping cart and when you think you are done you review what you got there before you order. With the potential shipping list are an estimate of all cost of the products requested. There are opportunities to select discounts or prepaid cards that might effect the price and users can check those as they need to. But when done they can buy. They can also print off the potential order and the list prices.

    Could Microsoft do that in a new area in the "Microsoft Store"? Could you view a page that using some form of AI asks you and assists you in selection of the appropriate SQL Server version and associated functionality to meet your needs. And when you are where you think you should be could you print that out or make a copy somehow and sent it through the system to your rep?

    I know that this sounds too simple and that it does not get to the finer points of ordering, but it would at least start to identify what you want and what you might need to do the current business and have reason able expansion. And I know that there are discounts and buying programs out there for SQL server and other like products but I would think that without too much effort MS could build something that could get it mostly right.

    Just thinking out loud.

    M.

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719896

    Miles Neale (12/17/2012)


    Could Microsoft do that in a new area in the "Microsoft Store"? Could you view a page that using some form of AI asks you and assists you in selection of the appropriate SQL Server version and associated functionality to meet your needs.

    Not a bad idea. It would require some good questions to help flesh out scenarios, but I'd anticipate that things not covered could get added back to the "store" in relatively quick fashion.

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75363

    I'd say the pay for what you use process would work well allowing some synergy for cloud based costings.

    The thought of being able to choose features rather than editions apeals. Quite a few people would like to have compression as an option without full-on enterprise edition

  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281243

    David.Poole (12/17/2012)


    If you can't understand the licensing model then how can you be sure you are in compliance with it?

    I've actually had two conversations with different Microsoft resellers who contradicted each other on licencing so if the resellers don't get it then how can anyone.

    As with all legal documents the licences seem to be written to give the legal team a hard on rather than to communicate useful information to customers.

    I have run into the same problem. It certainly doesn't make matters any easier. If the documents were published, then the whole thing would be a lot less confusing.

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • Scott D. Jacobson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6039

    As I was first reading Steve's editorial I was thinking, "Sure that would be nice but they probably don't have the resources to throw at it. Nice-to-haves don't usually get priority even when you're the size of Microsoft." But the more I thought about it and read everyone's responses it dawned on me. Amazon must know since they now offer SQL server. MS must know in order to properly price Azure services. So it follows that it shouldn't be that hard to institute Steve's suggestions. Maybe changing the entire model is in order. Maybe it should be pay-per-feature. At least they need to consider something different in this space. It's been far too difficult for far too long and has only gotten more complex over time.

  • peter-757102

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6877

    Scott D. Jacobson (12/18/2012)


    ... Maybe changing the entire model is in order. Maybe it should be pay-per-feature. At least they need to consider something different in this space. It's been far too difficult for far too long and has only gotten more complex over time.

    While a pay per feature it seems a reasonable model for say an individual customer needing features X and Y, the world is more complex then that. It would be a disaster for standardization and code/solution exchange (which is already an issue). And it would be bad for multiple parties working on the same platform for the same customer as they all would need to be in synch database feature wise. It complicates matters in the developing process beyond what we have now.

    For the same reasons I am strongly opposed to differentiating a product line (standard/enterprise/…) based on anything that you can programmatically do. Instead they could differentiate in matters of capacity or optional management/ security features, think for example of backup compression.

    Right now, the standard editions of SQL Server are already severely handicapped compared to the enterprise editions. Things like table partitioning, compression, column store indexes or star join optimizations are not present in the standard editions. The huge gap in pricing between the standard and enterprise editions won’t for most customers justify the jump to that more expensive edition.

    And as most people truly start to learn during their work, a whole generation of developers grows up never using these features or are even totally clueless about their existence. All Microsoft does with their licensing and product segmentation is handicap their product and in the market give competitors ample time to catch up.

    It is strategically dumb…if only they were as paranoid as Google is for the emergence of new competitors! And in the end, only the paranoid will survive they say!

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