Since the announcement that a new version of SQL was in development there has been a lot of talk in the channel regarding the licensing changes and pricing structure that seem inevitable to follow.
This morning Microsoft hosted a web conference with LAR Partners to highlight some of the proposed changes that will apply to SQL server 2012. The changes are to be confirmed at a Microsoft partner event to be held next week.
However, Softcat wanted to get ahead of the curve and give our customers a heads up on what this is likely to look like.
SQL server 2012 will be condensed into an offering of three products-
1. SQL Enterprise Edition (only available as a ‘Per Core’ license model)
2. SQL Business Intelligence Edition (only available in the ‘Server and CAL’ license model)
3. SQL Standard Edition (available in either a ‘Per Core’ or ‘Server and CAL’ license model)
One of the most significant changes is the move away from a Per Processor to a Per Core licensing model (either physical core or virtual core. For each there will be a minimum requirement of 4). Microsoft have also extended the license mobility rights to all three products meaning that the 90 day rule has been waived, however this will only be available as a Software Assurance benefit.
As with most major Microsoft SQL product releases we can also expect to see a price uplift for the new versions, as such there are cost savings to be made if SQL is purchased with SA before the SQL 2012 release.
The changes will only affect customers who are looking to deploy SQL 2012. Microsoft confirmed that customers with active SA coverage on SQL will have allowances made and will receive an appropriate allocation of Per Core licenses to compensate for the change from Per Processor model (where applicable). Pricing changes will not affect active SA customers until the point of renewal if appropriate.
We anticipate that these changes may raise queries around compliancy and project planning for the next few years so please engage with your Softcat account manager and we will ensure that we navigate you through these changes and continue to provide impartial advice on Microsoft licensing options to suit your organisation.