- “A minimum of 16 core licenses is required for each server.”
- “A minimum of 8 core licenses is required for each physical processor.”
When most sysadmins see that, they’ll think, “Okay, so I shouldn’t bother buying a server smaller than 2 8-core processors.”
But here’s the problem – SQL Server’s licensing guide (PDF) says:
- “A minimum of four core licenses are required for each physical processor on the server.”
For years, we’ve been teaching DBAs to buy the bare minimum of cores necessary in order to run their workloads. At around $2K USD per core for SQL Server Standard Edition, and $7K for Enterprise, you want as few cores as you can get.
If your sysadmins buy hardware without knowing about SQL Server’s license costs, you might be doubling your licensing costs right out of the gate by buying 8-core processors you don’t need. You’re going to have to educate your sysadmins that yes, we’re going to be throwing away a little money on Windows licensing costs – but that will save us from throwing away much more money on SQL Server licensing that goes unused.
And I can almost hear the open source folks in the comments saying, “Maybe you should just stop throwing money away on licensing.” Shut up, you.