SQL Server 2012 – Pricing and Licensing Quick Look

Well, Thursday saw the official announce of the SQL Server 2012 Edition line-Up and Pricing/Licensing Changes, and even though I am “technically” on holiday 🙂 ….it’s definitely worth covering the key changes to whet the appetite, see below, very quick overview………more info on http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/future-editions/sql2012-editions.aspx

For a more comprehensive look at Pricing/Licensing we are running PARTNER global Webast Series on SQL Server 2012– REGISTER your spot, begins on 7th Nov through to 18th Nov, 3 Topics over 4 TimeZones, with an opportunity to ask your questions directly to us……

SQL Server 2012 – Things to note:

We are simplifying the SKU Lineup

3 main SKUs – Standard, Business Intelligence (New, see below) and Enterprise = “Principal” SKU,

We still maintain the specialized and breadth SKUs (Express, Developer, Appliances, etc











Licensing Models offered

  • Std offered in Server/CAL mode AND Per Core
  • BI only Server/CAL
  • EE only Per Core

New SKU – SQL Server 2012 BI Edition

Data Management and Analytics










SQL Server is moving from Proc to Cores






SQL EE in Server mode is retiring

  • EE Server Licenses available until June 30th, 2012
  • EA/EAP customers can purchase EE Servers through the end of term
  • SQL Server 2012 EE Server licenses will have 20 core per server limit

SQL CAL Price Increase
Approx 27% dependent on VL agreement level

Next time…………SQL Server SA Migration and Virtualisation……….



  1. Ladylicensing, Your comments regarding Reimaging of Windows Pro OEM licenses is somewhat misleading to me. You do not make it perfectly clear that when reimaging OEM licenses, we are allowed to use Volume media. You appear to say that companies can only rely on the “OEM toolkit” of the OEM as their source for the media. I believe that the “Brief” clearly is a little more liberal than that and states: “Volume Licensing customers who have licensed Microsoft software products from an OEM, through a retail source, or under any agreement other than their Microsoft Volume Licensing agreement may use copies made from Microsoft Volume Licensing media.”
    You further go on to say and “imply” that usage of Microsoft Volume Licensing media is a benefit of a Windows Volume License (i.e. either via Volume Upgrade or Software Assurance). The only thing that SA gives is 1) rights to Windows Enterprise 2) MUI rights, 3) rights to other SA benefits.

    You also leave out a missing link as to “How” a Windows OEM license become a Volume license. This “HOW” should be explained briefly since there could be novices reading your post.

    You also state the following as being a benefit “only” of a Volume licenses: “With a VL Windows License you can customize the image yourself or ask the OEM to customize to your specification.” I believe that it is also true that we can customize an image ourselves or ask our OEM (or even a 3rd party) to customize it for us even with just an OEM license. Perhaps our definition of customizing may be different: since I think of customizing as being equal to configuring Windows to have a particular appearance or the same desktop settings, etc…not using media that we are not licensed to use. Sure, if I have SA, I can tell the OEM to image using Windows Enterprise or a later version. But if I don’t have SA and all that I have is just a plain and simple OEM Windows Pro license, then I can personally reimage using my Volume media, or I can provide my Volume media to my OEM or a different supplier to reimage my PCs with the Volume media.

    Bottom line: Reimaging of OEM Windows Professional licenses is a right granted to customers who have “Volume Agreements”, not just to customers who have Windows Volume licenses.

    These are my thoughts alone and not those of my company.

    Thanks. I otherwise enjoy your information and think your post if valuable to many.

  2. Hi Emma, thanks for your informative blog. We are demerging from a firm that has Enterprise licensing, and now we have to figure out what licensing is appropriate for Server2008, SQL, Windows 7, and Office 2007. It’s making my head spin! Your blog is helping!

  3. Can you please elaborate on the 20 core limit?
    Does this mean you only need a max of 20 core licences for a server running SQL Server 2012 EE? even if the box has more cores?
    Or the most we will get for a server when exchanging pr proc licences is 20 cores (ie I have a 4 socket 8 core server (32 cores) running SQL server, so instead of getting 32 cores in exchange for my 4 proc licences I will only get 20 cores?
    See I’m confused 🙂

  4. Hi Emma,

    How about if customer buy´s now the SQL Server workgroup edition with SA and
    when the 2012 published and there isn´t anymore workgroup version could they then use standard verision in SQL 2012?

    Thanks for your answer


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