Whether you’re signing a new SPLA or renewing your old one, timing is everything. When you sign an agreement, you are bound by the use rights at the time of sigining. For example, if you sign a new SPLA in April, 2013 you will be bound by the SPUR (product use rights) for April 2013.
Why is this important? As with technology, licensing is always evolving. As an example, with the release of SQL 2012, Microsoft switched from a processor based licensing structure to a core based licensing structure. Since the 2013 SPUR only has core licensing (not processor), you will be forced to license by core when you sign a new SPLA regardless of which version you have installed. In other words, anyone (whether renewing or new) who signs an agreement after December 31st, 2012 will be forced to license by core.
Windows 2012 is another change that can impact your usage reporting. With the release of Windows 2012 last August, anyone who signs a new SPLA after August 31st, 2012 will be forced to license by the 2012 use rights. You can run previous versions such as 2008, but you will need to license by the current SPUR.
What happens if you sign a new SPLA in August before the license change? You will have 3 years (SPLA is a 3 year agreement) to license the old way. The catch? If you migrate any servers to the 2012 version you will have to license those servers by the 2012 use rights. For example, if you are running SQL 2008 R2 Standard edition and decide to migrate to SQL 2012 Standard edition, the new server will need to be reported by the core not by processor!
Ask in advance for the licensing impact before renewing your SPLA agreement. Better yet, follow this blog for the latest updates and you will be well prepared!
Thanks for reading-