What's New in SQL Server 2016 Licensing

What’s New in SQL Server 2016 Licensing

SQL Server 2016 has bought several new and improved features to the Database world, including new and improved Business Intelligence Capabilities (BI) with Mobile Reporting, Apps and Dashboards. With new releases comes new Licensing Rules. In this post, I am going to talk about What’s New in SQL Server 2016 Licensing.

Cloud Enrollment for SQL Server 2016:

Microsoft will provide more benefits to Enterprise Customers under EA (Enterprise Agreement) with flexibility to extend SQL to the Cloud, Pricing and other benefits. Licensing benefits are also extended to the following:

  • ISV or Independent Software Vendors
  • Royalty Licensing Program
  • SPLA for Service Providers and Web Hosting Companies

Channel Availability of SQL Server 2016 Licenses:

What's New in SQL Server 2016 Licensing

Source: Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Licensing Guide

There are no Business Intelligence Edition of SQL Server 2016

The legacy Business Intelligence Edition Users which was available in Server/CAL model would be upgraded to SQL Server Enterprise Edition on the same model with scalability limitations as marked below:

What's New in SQL Server 2016 Licensing

Source: Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Licensing Guide

What needs to be Licensed in SQL Server 2016

SQL Server 2016 introduces new and existing system components. There are no separate SKU’s for these components and if they are installed in different systems environments, all these environments needs to be licensed separately. Here are the list of components:

  • SQL Server (DB) Database Engine
  • Windows SQL Server R Services
  • Master Data Services (MDS)
  • Data Quality Services (DQS)
  • Tabular and Multi-Dimensional Analysis Services Data Models
  • Integration Services (IS)
  • Reporting Services (RS)
  • Reporting Services for SharePoint 2013 & 2016 (Add-On)

SQL Server Additional Software’s does NOT require a license and some of these are re-distributable components. These are as follows:

  • Client connectivity tools
  • SQL Server Books Online & Product documentation
  • Software add-ins (MDS Excel Add-In, Visual Studio BI Templates etc.)
  • Software Development Kits (SDKs)

License Reassignment without SA benefits can be done every 90 Days.

Whats New in Licensing SQL in a Virtualized Environment

  • SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition can only be licensed under the Core or Server/CAL method only for individual VM’s. A minimum of 4 Cores needs to be purchased for Core Licensing.

You cannot License the Host Machine with a Standard License

  • Each Virtual Core (V-Core) will be assumed to be Hardware CPU core mapped and needs to be licensed.
  • SA (Software Assurance) benefits needs to be purchased for License Mobility Rights. This is application to all editions of SQL Server.

SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse Appliance Licensing Changes

Microsoft has made the following Changes with SQL Server 2016 in PDW

You would need SQL Enterprise Edition Per Core licensing with Software Assurance (SA) coverage for deploying and running SQL Server PDW.

You need to buy licenses for all the Processor Cores of the Servers available for compute. For example: Dual Socket 8 Core 2 Node Rack with require you to buy 32 Core Licenses.

Download the Official Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Licensing Guide Here.

Disclaimer: Please refer to the official documentation before going ahead with the purchase. Contact Microsoft Professional Support for any Doubts or your local Microsoft Partner.

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