What's a Passive Server?

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104773

    I don't know if this is the same as it used to be, but I went round it with MS some years back and their story then was that SQL Server was passive and required ni license if all it did was keep a "spare" copy of databases which were used and updated on (and by) another SQL Server, with the intention of switching operations from the main copy to the spare copy in the event of losing the main copy. There wasn't a concept of the server on which SQL Server was running being passive, it could do real work as well as running SQL Server to maintain the spare copy of the databases (eg it might stream media and run websites, support email, and so on: it just wouldn't be allowed to do any SQL work other than mainaining the copies (which could include running tools to check integrity provided those tools were also run with the same frequency on the production copies). There was no limit to how long the spare could act as production version after failover, because the SQL Server license could be moved from one server to the other.

    In practise, of course, the non-sql work on the server having the spare database copies would probably have to be eliminated, or at least cut back, in the event of failover - unless the system was designed to have enough capacity to avoid that.

    Tom

  • Toby Harman

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4137

    Not only do Microsoft offer a course in Licensing, you need to have a qualified staff member to be a Microsoft Partner.

    The plethora of different versions of all the products just leaves me scratching my head and picking the one that is about the right price point - regardless of features. I'd rather be choosing based on features.

  • Malcolm Daughtree

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2373

    Passive vs Active comes down to this.

    Are you accessing the data for any purpose then NOT passive.

    Are you using the "Passive" for reporting then NOT passive.

    Are you log shipping as part of your HA HR HP then NOT passive. This is because you canstill access the server and the data.

    Is the server the Target server for Mirroring the IS Passive. you can't access the server until failover.

    Is the server used to stage data, replication, Data pump to other servers then NOT passive.

    Clustering and Mirroring are different and each server in a Cluster needs to be licenced, where only Principal Mirror SQL servers need to be licensed. You can use SQLExpress as the witness therefore no license required. BTW the 90 day moving of licenses restriction applies only to those not purchasing under software assurance and Standard edition. Not restriction, as yet, for Enterprise and SA software.

    Hope that helps.

    CodeOn:-P

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719994

    Malcolm Daughtree (2/1/2011)

    Are you accessing the data for any purpose then NOT passive.

    I can snapshot the mirror and run dbcc. Is that passive?

    I talked with MS licensing and they considered someone copying over the full, restoring it, and having it as a warm standby to be passive at one point in 2002. The data could be accessed, but as long as we did not have clients connecting, it wasn't considered active.

  • Malcolm Daughtree

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2373

    Snapshotting the mirror and then using the data using bcp or SSIS activities is not passive this is because the SSIS and creating and using of snapshots are considered productive activities. This was from our License provider here in Australia. Also, using the any of the components are considered active processes. For example, you can install reporting services without the Data engine components and is still active use and will require a SQL licence. The license model has evolved over the last decade to attempt to keep up with increasing technology especially in the virtualistaion arena.

    This isn't a simple topic and it is easy to become overwhelmed. Don't take the word of the so called experts as if we did we would be facing a bill of over A$380K instead of nutting through the documents to now be about A$80K. Don't believe the first quote, get a second opinion. Also be careful as there is documentation that doesn't mention the Datacentre Edition and those that don't are out of date as Enterprise no longer affords the Unlimited number of OSEs.

    CodeOn:-P

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719994

    Here's some licensing information from Robert Pearl, who researched a bit of what is out there for 2008

    http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/pearlknows/archive/2011/01/24/microsoft-sql-server-licensing-for-dummies.aspx

  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281243

    Bob Matthews (2/1/2011)


    Microsoft's licensing is all so ridiculously complicated that they offer a full day course in it! Software licenses should take up no more space than Steve's daily editorial.

    Agreed. It seems I have also misunderstood passive in regards to SQL Licensing.

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