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Microsoft SQL Server Licensing Guidelines

Overview of Microsoft SQL Server® 2014 Licensing

SQL Server 2014 delivers mission critical performance across all workloads with in-memory built-in, faster insights from any data with familiar tools, and a platform for hybrid cloud enabling organisations to easily build, deploy, and manage solutions that span on-premises and cloud.

There are three principal editions of SQL Server 2014, as follows:

Standard Edition – Basic database, reporting and analytics capabilities. Includes Core or Server/CAL licensing.

Enterprise Edition – Mission critical applications and large scale data warehousing. Core Licensing only.

安博电竞 Intelligence (BI) Edition – Premium corporate and self-service BI. Server/CAL licensing.

The SQL Server Enterprise Edition includes all product features available in SQL Server 2014, and the 安博电竞 Intelligence (BI) Edition of SQL Server includes premium BI features in addition to Standard Edition database features.

Microsoft SQL server licencing explained


SQL Server 2014 Licensing Models

Core Licensing

To calculate the licences required for core licencing follow the following process:

1. Count the number of cores in the server

2. Multiply by the Core Factor:

Processor type

Core Factor

All processors not listed below


AMD 31XX, 32XX, 33XX, 41XX, 42XX, 43XX, 61XX, 62XX, 63XX Series Processors with 6 or more cores


Single Core Processors


Dual Core Processors


Note: Core licenses are sold in multiples of 2. No CALs are required.

For example:

1. An Intel server with 4 x 8 core processors requires 32 Core licenses: (8x4) x Core Factor of 1 = 32

2. An Intel server with 2 x 2 core processors requires 8 Core licenses: (2x2) x Core Factor of 2 = 8

3. An AMD server with 2 x 6 core processors requires 9 Core licenses: (2x6) x Core Factor of 0.75 = 9

4. An AMD server with 1 x 6 core processor requires 5 Core licenses: (1x6) x Core Factor of 0.75 = 4.5»5

This may seem an odd way of doing it, and it is, but it has come about due to the pre-SQL Server 2012 licensing where SQL Server was licensed per processor irrespective of the number of cores, and Microsoft wanted to redress the balance due to the ever increasing number of cores in a single processor. The price of the old per processor license was twice that of the 2 core license, so now you are still effectively paying per processor (hence the unfavourable core factor or single and dual core processors), but are paying more if you go above 4 cores.

TIP: 4 Core processors are optimum!

Server/CAL Licensing
For this type of licensing you need to purchase a SQL Server license for each server, and then purchase Client Access Licenses (CALs) for either users or devices:

A Device CAL is assigned to the device and allows multiple users to use that device
A User CAL is assigned to the user and allows that user to use multiple devices
For both types of CAL, the users or devices are licensed to access ANY SQL Server on the network. The SQL CALs can also be used against any SQL Server regardless of platform or edition.

Note that even if a user accesses SQL indirectly through another server (for example when using a Line of 安博电竞 application), a CAL is still required. This is often known as multiplexing.

Note: You cannot use Server/CAL licensing for applications where the number of users cannot be determined e.g. Web shops.

TIP: You don’t need a separate SQL Server for each of your applications, SharePoint, NAV and CRM for example can all run on the same SQL Server. However, if you have low numbers of users and want a level of redundancy in the system (multiple SQL Servers), then the server and CAL model can be more economical.

Down Edition and Step-Up Rights

Software Assurance (SA) benefit

• Lower edition license must be covered with SA

Available Step-ups

• Standard Server to BI Server

• Standard Cores to Enterprise Cores

Cannot step-up between licensing models



Can choose to deploy:

Customers licensed for:

Software Edition

Software Version

SQL Server 2014 Standard Server



Small 安博电竞

2014 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

SQL Server 2014 Standard Core



Small 安博电竞

2014 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

SQL Server 2014 安博电竞 Intelligence Server


安博电竞 Intelligence


Small 安博电竞

2014 or earlier

2014 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Core


安博电竞 Intelligence


Small 安博电竞



2014 or earlier

2014 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier

2008 R2 or earlier


Failover Licensing

Beginning with SQL Server 2014, each active server licensed with SA coverage allows the installation of a single passive server used for fail-over support, as long as the passive server has the same or fewer cores than the active server.

Failover Licensing

Licensing SQL Components

SQL Server includes services such as Microsoft® SQL Server® Reporting Services and Microsoft® SQL Server® Analysis Services which are key to the Microsoft 安博电竞 Intelligence solution.

When a SQL Server runs with all of its components in one server, only one license is required.

However, if the database is running in one server, Analysis Services on a second, and Reporting Services on a third, then three licenses are required.

TIP: More memory and faster disks may reduce your licensing requirement, but separate installations may be better if heavy reporting impacts production performance.

Licensing SQL Components

Licensing SQL 2014 in Virtual Environments

Server/CAL Editions

Assign a SQL Server 2014 Server license to each virtual machine running SQL Server 2014


Core Editions

License the virtual processors used by the virtual machines, with a minimum of 4 Core licenses per virtual machine

Virtual Environments in 2014

SQL 2014 Enterprise Core Virtualization Rights

Licensing all the physical cores gives rights to a virtual machine per Core license


Unlimited Virtualization

License all the physical cores with Enterprise Edition Core licenses with Software Assurance

Virtual Environments in 2014

安博电竞 Intelligence Server Access

Similar to other SQL Server products offered under the Server + CAL licensing model, 安博电竞 Intelligence (BI) Edition generally requires a SQL Server CAL for each user or device accessing the server software. New with SQL Server 2014, use terms for BI Edition server software now allow batch processing of data without requiring CALs for those data sources supplying the data.

‘Batch Processing’ is defined as an activity that allows a group of tasks occurring at different times to be processed together at the same time.

安博电竞 Intelligence Server Acce

License Mobility

All SQL Server 2014 licenses purchased with Software Assurance receive two License Mobility rights.

 License Mobility within Server Farms allows licenses to be moved between servers within a server farm as often as required, supporting a virtualized environment where virtual machines frequently move between physical servers

 License Mobility through Software Assurance allows an organization to license SQL Server 2014 in virtual machines on third party shared servers or Azure. Licenses are assigned to these virtual machines following the usual virtualization licensing rules.

SQL Server Training

Hopefully this will help you with licensing SQL server, however if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. If you would like to learn more about using SQL, please have a look at our SQL Server Basics training course .

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