How to find the License Mode for an existing SQL 2005 server?

  • rambilla4

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8715

    Hi,

    We have SQL Server 2005 Standard edition x64. I would like to know the licensing mode of that SQL Server. How can we find that information?

    Thanks

  • Sergey Vavinskiy

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4469

    rambilla4 (10/6/2009)


    Hi,

    We have SQL Server 2005 Standard edition x64. I would like to know the licensing mode of that SQL Server. How can we find that information?

    Thanks

    SQL 2005 no longer tracks licensing (per seat or per processor) via registry entries. SQL 2005 still reads the registry for this information, but the SQL 2005 setup doesnโ€™t put licensing information in the registry during setup as in SQL 2000.

    The solution is here:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/sqlblog/archive/2006/11/10/tracking-license-information-in-sql-2005.aspx

  • Richard M.

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7227

    ... in other words... you need to look up your paper license and see what was purchased.

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  • Shawn Melton

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 24554

    Yes it is "on your honor" with licensing SQL Server 2005. If you are audited you will have to show your purchase order or bill invoice showing you paid for it.

    However, the caveat, if you bought a single processor license but your server has 2 processors in it, you are not in compliance with licensing. I have come across this problem with a past employer I worked for.

    Shawn Melton
    Twitter: @wsmelton
    Blog: blog.wsmelton.info

  • @SQLNumpty

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2844

    Melton (10/6/2009)


    However, the caveat, if you bought a single processor license but your server has 2 processors in it, you are not in compliance with licensing. I have come across this problem with a past employer I worked for.

    This depend on how many processors you have enabled for SQL Server to use.

  • Animal Magic

    SSChampion

    Points: 13964

    Mark_Pratt (10/6/2009)


    Melton (10/6/2009)


    However, the caveat, if you bought a single processor license but your server has 2 processors in it, you are not in compliance with licensing. I have come across this problem with a past employer I worked for.

    This depend on how many processors you have enabled for SQL Server to use.

    Thats what i used to think, but it isnt true. i read an interesting article a while back which said that for server with less than 4 (i think) processors then you have to license for as many as you have in the server because although SQL tries to only use the ones you have enabled it does infact use all the processors in the server, and therefore you have to be licensed accordingly.

    ill see if i can find it tomorrow at work.

  • @SQLNumpty

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2844

    Animal Magic (10/6/2009)

    Thats what i used to think, but it isnt true. i read an interesting article a while back which said that for server with less than 4 (i think) processors then you have to license for as many as you have in the server because although SQL tries to only use the ones you have enabled it does infact use all the processors in the server, and therefore you have to be licensed accordingly.

    ill see if i can find it tomorrow at work.

    Please do! Just to make things easier, MS refer to a processor as a physical entity. If you have 2 quad-core zeons, that appears to be two licences not 8 ...

  • Richard M.

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7227

    Animal Magic (10/6/2009)


    Mark_Pratt (10/6/2009)


    Melton (10/6/2009)


    However, the caveat, if you bought a single processor license but your server has 2 processors in it, you are not in compliance with licensing. I have come across this problem with a past employer I worked for.

    This depend on how many processors you have enabled for SQL Server to use.

    Thats what i used to think, but it isnt true. i read an interesting article a while back which said that for server with less than 4 (i think) processors then you have to license for as many as you have in the server because although SQL tries to only use the ones you have enabled it does infact use all the processors in the server, and therefore you have to be licensed accordingly.

    ill see if i can find it tomorrow at work.

    That kind of defeat the purpose of being able to license per (physical) processor. As I understood it (and thanks Microsoft for being so vague in the descriptions) in the SQL Server Licensing page, it states "if you have made a processor inaccessible to all operating system copies on which the SQL Server software is set up to run, you do not need a software license for that processor.", meaning that if you have 2 QuadCore CPU's and only set the affinity for the first 4 CPU's on that core, it would only be a 1 CPU License.... but then again.... it's Microsoft... so who knows....

    Additional info can also be found here which leads me to think I am right.

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  • Elliott Whitlow

    SSC Guru

    Points: 102296

    Mark_Pratt (10/6/2009)


    Animal Magic (10/6/2009)

    Thats what i used to think, but it isnt true. i read an interesting article a while back which said that for server with less than 4 (i think) processors then you have to license for as many as you have in the server because although SQL tries to only use the ones you have enabled it does infact use all the processors in the server, and therefore you have to be licensed accordingly.

    ill see if i can find it tomorrow at work.

    Please do! Just to make things easier, MS refer to a processor as a physical entity. If you have 2 quad-core zeons, that appears to be two licences not 8 ...

    That is generally true. They are licensing more on CPU sockets than cores.. But I do believe and I hope the gent finds it that says you have to license ALL the processors on the box, even if you are doing processor affinity and limiting it to the licensed number..

    CEWII

  • Animal Magic

    SSChampion

    Points: 13964

    ok, im still searching for the origional article i read some months back, however i have found another post with a link to MS documentation that seems to support what i was saying. as usual the MS documentation is a open to interpretation.

    --forum post

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/sqldatabaseengine/thread/b782315c-9755-4e13-a052-9317faae6500

    --MS link in post

    http://www.microsoft.com/Sqlserver/2005/en/us/pricing-licensing-faq.aspx

    --Relevant questions

    Q. What exactly is a processor license and how does it work?

    A.

    A processor license gives you the right to install any number of copies of SQL Server 2005 on a single computer, as long as you have purchased processor licenses for all of the processors on that computer. If you have made a processor inaccessible to all operating system copies on which the SQL Server software is set up to run, you do not need a software license for that processor. In a virtualized environment, processor licenses are required for every processor that is accessed by a virtual machine. Please see the virtualization licensing brief and virtualization white paper for further detail. Find out more about how Microsoft Adapts Windows Server System Licensing to Virtualization Scenarios.

    In addition to the installation rights to the actual server software, processor licenses also grant any number of devices or users the right to access and use the server software running on those processors. These access rights are available to all devices or users, regardless of whether they are inside the organization (intranet scenarios) or outside the organization (intranet or extranet scenarios). The processor license contains all that you need. With a processor license, there is no need to purchase separate server licenses, CALs, or Internet connector licenses.

    Q. Do I have to acquire licenses for all of the processors in a server?

    A.

    You have to acquire licenses only for processors that are accessible to any copy of the operating system upon which SQL Server 2005 is installed. In a virtualized environment, processor licenses are required for every processor that is accessed by a virtual machine. Please see the virtualization licensing brief and virtualization white paper for more information on how to license under a virtualized environment.

    So to me that seems to say that as long as the processor is available to the OS (not sql) it must be licensed.

    Correct/Incorrect? Discuss :-):-P

  • Elliott Whitlow

    SSC Guru

    Points: 102296

    That tracks with what I had read before so I agree. IT is also a fairly clear methodology..

    CEWII

  • Richard M.

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7227

    Right... they get you with the "You have to acquire licenses only for processors that are accessible to any copy of the operating system upon which SQL Server 2005 is installed"

    Now, what sense would it make to have 2 Quad processors and make one "unavailable" to the OS....

    So, the correct answer seems to be, yes, all processors that are available to the OS need to be licensed, irregardless if SQL has the affinity set to less.....

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  • @SQLNumpty

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2844

    Animal Magic (10/7/2009)

    Thanks for the update.

    A processor license gives you the right to install any number of copies of SQL Server 2005 on a single computer, as long as you have purchased processor licenses for all of the processors on that computer.

    Interesting. If you have a 2-core system and a 2 processor licence, you can flood your server with as many instances of SQL server as you like for as many people and devices as can make connections.

    If you have made a processor inaccessible to all operating system copies on which the SQL Server software is set up to run, you do not need a software license for that processor.

    You have to acquire licenses only for processors that are accessible to any copy of the operating system upon which SQL Server 2005 is installed.

    So to me that seems to say that as long as the processor is available to the OS (not sql) it must be licensed.

    Looks like you are correct ...

    Correct/Incorrect? Discuss :-):-P

    PhD thesis anyone?:hehe:

  • Thordog

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1162

    I think the difference here is processor license compared to server license, which are two different things. The processor license lets you run as many instances of SQL Server as you want, based on the fee for the total processors in the machine. The server license lets you run SQL Server based on the CPUs you choose and servers you want to pay for. Right? ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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  • Richard M.

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7227

    Thordog (10/8/2009)


    I think the difference here is processor license compared to server license, which are two different things. The processor license lets you run as many instances of SQL Server as you want, based on the fee for the total processors in the machine. The server license lets you run SQL Server based on the CPUs you choose and servers you want to pay for. Right? ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    Correct on the processor license, but additionally on the Per server license lets you run SQL on a server regardless of the number of processors, but requires you additionally to have either User or Device CAL's to access that SQL server.

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