Unexpected costs when deploying SQL 2014 components (services)

Microsoft have removed the ambiguity around how SQL 2014 components are licensed, and not in the clients favour. If you deploy Analysis Services, Integration Services or any of the other SQL services on a different physical or virtual machine (known as OSE) then it requires an additional license. Extract from SQL Server 2014 Licensing Guide:

The software components of a single SQL Server 2014 license cannot be separated for use in more than one OSE. If these components are running on a server other than the main database server, then an additional license is required for each additional OSE in which they are installed

This is a significant increase in costs as it is common from a security, performance and scalability point of view to separate out the services onto different virtual machines. What is not so clear is what Microsoft means by “both OSEs must be fully licensed for SQL Server 2014”, it would be expected that the number of core licensed required can be different but this is not clear. There is no doubt that this area will become a target for auditors in the future as the cost of a compliance gap is very significant and it will be very easy for organizations to slip up.

Avoiding this cost

There are a couple of ways you can optimize your software licensing costs. The first is to simply establish a policy that the SQL 2014 services must run on the database server. Another would be to have the services for many databases run on a limited number of machines. Probably the most practical solution is to license all the cores in an ESX or HyperV host, probably what Microsoft have in mind, and ensure that all SQL database and services are only deployed to this architecture.


« | »

Piaras MacDonnell