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SQL Server 2012 Charging Per Core

When SQL Server 2012 ships (in 2012, presumably) price will be based not on how many processors your server has, but how many cores you have. Simple logic tells me that a multicore processor has more cores than processors, so unless the price for each core is ultra cheap, I could end up paying more. And that is exactly what Directions on Microsoft thinks is going to happen.

Here's what newshound Kurt Mackie had to say:

"The licensing and pricing models vary based on the edition purchased. SQL Server 2012 has three editions or 'product SKUs.' The Enterprise edition is licensed on a cores basis only. The Business Intelligence edition is licensed on a server plus Client Access License (CAL) basis only. Lastly, the Standard edition is available either on a cores basis or it can be purchased according to the server plus CAL model.

"According to Directions on Microsoft, the Enterprise edition licensing for SQL Server 2012 is priced at $6,874 per core. Business Intelligence edition licensing is priced at $8,592 per server plus $209 CALs per each user or device. The costs for Standard edition licensing are $1,793 per core, or $898 per server plus $209 CALs per each user or device."

This raises a lot of concern with me. Exploiting cores is not an exact science. A piece of software does not address all the processing power of all the cores the same it way it addresses the processing power of single processor. Inevitably, there is lots of lost cycles -- cycles you end up paying for.

And often you get a great deal on a hot server only to have those economies stolen away by software costs. The bad alternative is to buy a lesser-powered server to save on software. You can't win.

Am I missing something here? You tell me where I am wrong or right at

Posted by Doug Barney on 03/26/2012 at 1:19 PM


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