SQL Server Enterprise edition got expensive!

SQL Server Enterprise switched from per-server licensing (+CALs) to per-server per-core licensing.  Leasing the software on enterprise agreement subscription changed from £2k per server per year to £2k per server core. Your 16 core server is now £32k per year to licence!!

What you can do about it:

  1. Talk to your reseller, it’s their job to guide you on licensing
  2. Downgrade to standard edition if you don’t need the high availability features (this is a reinstall)
  3. Change hardware – buy something new with half the cores but higher clock speed (GHz) and you may find it runs as well or better than the older servers with more cores but slower clock.  Look at HammerDB for SQL benchmarking tests.
  4. Buy-out of your SQL Enterprise server+CAL at the end of your EAS subscription (so you get perpetual usage licence for SQL) and then add software assurance via another agreement like MPSA. Depends how your EAS is structured what you need to buy out. SA must be continuous.
  5. Licence non-production environments via Visual Studio Pro with MSDN (Covers Windows Server in datacentre + SQL) for each of your IT and development staff.
  6. Switch to SQL developer edition in dev environments. This has same feature set as Enterprise edition (but ensure devs don’t end up depending on Enterprise only features if the final platform will be SQL Standard).
  7. Consolidate by stacking multiple SQL server instances on fewer SQL servers (recommend don’t mix SQL versions though)

You’ll need to crunch the numbers to see what’s most cost effective.  You been warned about what the new SQL Enterprise licensing is going to do to your budget!


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