Life is full of little surprises, license mobility within server farms happens to be one of them. License mobility within server farms allows a service provider to take advantage of virtualization without the worry of over licensing or for that matter; under licensing.
Let’s say you have a host machine and that has (2) 6 core procs running 10 virtual machines. You want to run SQL Enterprise. You also have a second host, within the same server farm. The VMs on one machine can migrate to the other. You have to license both hosts right? Wrong! Here’s why.
The old licensing methodology would require you to license both hosts. The new methodology, would allow you to license 1. In the above example, you would need to license 12 cores of SQL Enterprise. You have to license the host with the most cores, but at least it is just the one host! What’ the caveat? You cannot have both hosts running VMs at the same time. If you do, you must license both hosts. Check out the SPUR. Not all products allow license mobility so be sure to check!
The definition of a server farm is as follows:
Assigning Licenses and Using Software within a Server Farm
You may determine the number of licenses you need, assign those licenses, and use the server software as provided in the General License Terms. Alternatively, you may apply the use rights below.
Server Farm. A server farm consists of up to two data centers each physically located:
- in a time zone that is within four hours of the local time zone of the other (Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and not DST), and/or
- within the European Union (EU) and/or European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Each data center may be part of only one server farm. You may reassign a data center from one server farm to another, but not on a short-term basis (i.e., not within 30 days of the last assignment).
Please check out the products in the SPUR to ensure the mobility rights apply. Keep in mind, not all products are eligible. For example, SQL Web does not have mobility rights, but SQL Enterprise does. Be Careful!
In my opinion, this is a great way to take advantage of virtualization, reduce licensing costs, but more importantly…be compliant. If an auditor were to come knocking on the door to your datacenter, there’s not much they can say if you take advantage of unlimited virtualization rights such as Windows Datacenter and SQL Enterprise 2012.
Thanks for reading,