Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts: Much Cheaper SQL Server Licensing

When you build SQL Servers in your data center, and you license the host with Enterprise Edition, you get the ability to run as many virtual SQL Servers as you want on that hardware.

In the cloud, though, you haven’t had that luxury. In the past, with Azure VMs and Amazon Web Services’ EC2 VMs, you’ve had to license each individual VM. You weren’t able to guarantee that your VMs all lived on the same host, so you had to pay through the nose.

aws_logoSoon, Amazon is fixing that with the ability to get your own EC2 Dedicated Hosts.

This is gonna be huge. You can license one AWS host, and then run as many SQL Server VMs on there as you want. Use the same cool AWS management tools, and dramatically cut your costs.

No word on release dates or pricing yet.

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Brent

    For SQL DBA what would be your suggestion regrading preparation for Amazon cloud , regrading certifications, labs, what exactly a SQL DBA should learn to get him/her up to the speed on Amazon cloud ?

    Thank You

    • Ishtiaq – I wouldn’t recommend certifications or labs. Just like SQL Server, your best way to learn it is to do it. Talk to your business users, find out what pains they’re facing, and then dig into Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to see how you could solve those pains.

  • What is the break even point between licensing SQL EE on host vs licensing SQL on VM?

    • Add up the amount of what you’d spend on each guest individually (based on the number of cores in each VM, and Standard vs Enterprise in each VM) and then calculate what it would cost for you to do for the entire host.

  • I have this terrible fear that two years after this goes in affect and everyone has jumped off the cliff they can then gut you, too much hassle to move, your are in production with no downtime window. Trust me the recent merger in the TV industry took only 1 week for that to happen to me

  • Amazon web services training in hyderabad
    November 4, 2015 12:09 am

    Thanx 4 posting this! Seen that I can’t participate at the sumit it’s great to get some feedback.

  • HI Brent, do you have an update on dedicated hosting in combination with using Maximum virtualization option with SQL Server as a cost savings model. We use that approach on site with vmware and was trying to see if there was a similar option in AWS that is cost comparable as we shift to the cloud for hosting preference.

    • James – can you elaborate on what you’re looking for? EC2 dedicated hosts give you exactly what you’re looking for, so I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking. Thanks!


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