“What’s the least favorite licensing topic at Microsoft?” If you answered SQL, you would probably be correct. It’s not overly complex, but can be very confusing; especially as it pertains to virtualization. To add to the confusion, Microsoft changed the licensing terms with the release of SQL 2012 and discontinued several products altogether. For service providers, this confusion can escalate to over/under licensing and ultimately compliance risk. Here’s a list of common mistakes service providers make with licensing SQL.
1. They have Vmotion set up in which virtual machines are moving from host to host simultaneously. Be careful! Check out license mobility rights in the SPUR and read my previous blog license mobility Virtual Machines can move from host to host but it cannot be active on two separate hosts at the same time.
2. They have a customer bring SQL into their environment (end customer owns SQL via a separate volume licensing agreement) and the service provider dedicates the virtual machine to the customer but not the physical hardware (hardware is shared). The end customer would need to have software assurance for SQL in order to take advantage of license mobility and the service provider would need to report Windows under SPLA. This is called License Mobility with Software Assurance.
3. Sign a new SPLA agreement after December 31, 2012 and continue to license SQL by processor. Once you sign a new or renew your old SPLA agreement, you are forced to license by the core, not processor. Check out my blog Why Timing Is Everything
4. They license (1) 2 core pack of SQL 2012. The minimum you need to license/report is (2) 2 core packs or 4 cores per processor. Under no circumstance can you report only two cores.
5. They don’t report SQL at all. I hear this all the time. “My customer does not directly access SQL and therefore I do not need to report it.” Wrong. If customers indirectly access any application it must be licensed. Ask yourself, “If I remove this product from my hosted solution, would it still work the same?” If you answer “no’ it needs a SPLA license.
6. Report SQL Web to support a line of business application. SQL Web is designed for websites/web applications, not line of business applications.
Just thought I would try to answer common questions around SQL. Hope this was helpful.
Thanks for reading,