SQL Server 2016 is now available. Key considerations before you migrate.


On June 1, 2016, Microsoft officially announced the general availability of SQL Server 2016.

While a few enterprises have already made the upgrade, many IT leaders have just begun asking questions about the new database solution, trying to define its place on their roadmap.

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Everything you need to know about SQL Server 2016

Everything you need to know about SQL Server 2016

Microsoft SQL 2005 is going EOL on April 12, 2016, and the all-new SQL Server 2016 stands to bring the biggest, most exciting changes to SQL since its inception. Our Microsoft team recently hosted a private webinar for some of our best Microsoft clients, and shared their perspectives on what to expect with the new platform.

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How To Use SQL Enterprise 2012 Under A Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA)

I once had a sales leader say to me “where there is change, there is opportunity.” What we”ve found regarding SQL 2012 is there is a lot of confusion around virtualization, how this will affect the datacenter environment, and ultimately how will this affect costs. At the same time, it might mean opportunity!

I wrote in a previous blog post about SQL 2012 in a general sense, and today I would like to review my two reasons on why switching to SQL Enterprise 2012 may be a good move.

  1. SQL Enterprise  2012 allows unlimited virtualization
  2. SQL Enterprise 2012 allows license mobility

Those two things alone “might” be a reason to switch. With unlimited virtualization, you can license every physical core (minimum 4 cores per processor) on the host machine that allow you to spin up as many virtual instances of SQL on that host machine. This is a good move considering the cost of SQL Datacenter 2008R2 was outrageous. The issue now is SQL 2012 is licensed by the core not by the physical processor. For those service providers that built very robust servers with multiple cores this may be a price increase. (Thus, the “might” part in my explanation above in reasons to switch.)

So now that you have unlimited virtualization, what happens if those virtual instances (VM’s) can move from host to host or even across data centers?Theoretically you would need to license those physical hosts right?

To quote ESPN’s Lee Corso… “Not so fast my friend.[Read more…]

SQL EAP Licensing changes now in effect (long term benefits still remain)


Customers who Signed By to April 1st Saw Advantages in EAP Agreement Terms

In a recent survey conducted by Softchoice in March, nearly 70% of customers surveyed had either never heard of an EAP Agreement (Enrollment Application Platform Agreement) or expressed specific interest in learning more. Surprisingly, only 15% of customers were currently leveraging EAP advantages in their organization.

As of April 1st, significant changes took effect with regards to the minimum number of processors required for an initial EAP and not everyone took advantage.

Prior to April 1st, Microsoft outlined a 6 processor requirement to enroll in an EAP and after April 1st, the new EAP requires a 50 core minimum (12.5 processors at an average of 4 cores per processor). This change effectively doubles the amount of processors running SQL needed to get into the enrollment.

If your organization was one of the many who took advantage of an EAP before the licensing changes of SQL 2012 took effect on April 1st, well done!  The decision will yield benefits for years to come.  But what if you didn’t act in time?  SQL 2012 packs many reasons why customers should look to switch or upgrade.  The EAP is still the best purchasing vehicle for customer running SQL and should be investigated in most circumstances.

Although we’ve outlined the benefits of an EAP several times with content provided in our SQL 2012 Licensing Field Guide and via our blog in postings like this, here’s a quick recap on how working with an EAP through Softchoice can help you navigate the SQL licensing waters.

What is it? [Read more…]

Softchoice’s SQL 2012 Field Guide Now Available!

Last month Softchoice surveyed our broad base of Microsoft customers to find out more about their interest and readiness to begin a migration to SQL 2012. As a thank you for their participation, we offered them an advance peek at our Softchoice exclusive SQL 2012 Licensing Field Guide. Now available for wide release, we’re posting the Field Guide as a free download to all of our Softchoice followers.

Our ebook includes insight on:

  • Industry trends: What’s affecting our IT environments?
  • Reasons to migrate to SQL 2012: Key benefits for your business
  • What’s new with SQL 2012 Licensing Models & Pricing Changes
  • How Softchoice can help you evaluate your adoption strategy with our SQL TechCheck

Download your complimentary field guide today for key insights into how to best prepare for a migration to SQL 2012.

All About the Core – Key SQL 2012 Update for SPLA Partners

There’s significant buzz about the updates and changes afoot for SQL 2012, but what does it mean for our SPLA partners?

In general, the key takeaways from this product update include:

  • Replacement of Processor License with Core Licenses
  • Retirement of the Datacenter edition and the Workgroup edition
  • Retirement of SQL Enterprise SAL
  • Introduction of the new Business Intelligence SAL
  • SQL Web remaining with SPLA/Removed for other Microsoft vol. licensing programs

So what does all that mean to you?  Beginning in spring when SQL 2012 launches (or whenever you choose to deploy) you’ll be paying for the power that you need instead of the physical processors.  In addition, SQL Enterprise will offer unlimited virtualization rights. Given how pricey the Datacenter SKU has historically been, this could mean cost savings for service providers that were previously licensing Datacenter.

The new way of licensing SQL 2012 is a bit interesting.  Instead of licensing by the physical processor you will need to license by the core.  The cores will be approximately ¼ of the costs of SQL 2008R2 processor license.  However, there’s a 4 core minimum in order to report this SKU.  In other words, if you have a machine with two cores, you still need to report four cores! 

Here are some simple guidelines:

  1. Count the number of cores on the server
  2. Minimum four core licenses are required per physical processor
  3. Purchase the appropriate number of core licenses for the future
  4. Licenses are sold in packs – each pack includes two core packs. 

The transition process is a bit cloudy, (no pun intended).   One of the key benefits of SPLA is the ability to use the latest version and downgrade to previous SKU. This is an option within the parameters of specific dates:

  • Spring 2012: General availability for SQL 2012
  • January 2013:  SQL 2012 will be available on the SPUR and on the pricelists. There will be two SKUs for each product (1 for SQL 2008R2 and 1 for SQL 2012)
  • Spring 2012 – January 2013: SQL 2008R2 and SQL 2012 will be on the pricelist.  This means if you are not ready to move to 2012, you can continue to license 200R2 in the same fashion you’re doing it today (per physical CPU).  Once you migrate to 2012, you need to adhere to the 2012 use rights and report 2012 SKU.

More information on this coming soon!  Look for another blog post on SQL 2012 as more information becomes available.  If you have a volume licensing agreement, check out the other blogs on this at http://blogs.softchoice.com/microsoftnavigator/2011/11/04/sql-2012-denali-microsoft-outlines-upcoming-licensing-changes/