Premium Assurance

Microsoft announce Premium Assurance on 8 December 2016 ( which is a way of adding six more years of product support for either Windows Server or SQL Server.

There’s a useful datasheet which gives more details, but here are the highlights: you need SA to be able to purchase Premium Assurance, and you must purchase it for ALL servers with active SA in an EA, EES or SCE. You also need to acquire Premium Assurance for a product before it goes out of support, and the price will go up over the next few years – from March 2017 it will be 5% of the licence cost rising to 12% from July 2019.

You can find the datasheet in the Core Infrastructure section in our Licensing Guides emporium:

Updated Server Virtualisation VL Brief

There’s an updated (June 2016) “Licensing Microsoft server products for use in virtual environments” Volume Licensing Brief.

It’s updated for Exchange Server 2016 (no changes to the licensing), SQL Server 2016 (Business Intelligence edition removed, requirement to assign a minimum of 4 licences per processor rather than using the Core Factor table) and it references the Product Terms document rather than the Product List and Product Use Rights documents.

Get this updated brief here in the Application Servers section:

BYOL SQL VMs available in Azure Gallery

Microsoft announce a new set of Bring-Your-Own-Licence SQL + Windows virtual machine images in the Azure Gallery.

This means that you can use an image to easily provision a Windows VM with SQL Server, and then use existing Volume Licensing licences with Software Assurance to license the SQL part of the VM.

For more details and some useful pictures, see the Microsoft announcement here:

APS Licensing Datasheet

Analytics Platform System


There’s a new (June 2016) Analytics Platform System Pricing and Licensing datasheet. What’s that in normal English? Well, this is the Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) appliance for data warehouse workloads which runs (keep with me here) SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse edition. Bear in mind that when you acquire one of these appliances it’s pre-built, but you still need to purchase licences for the different components.

This datasheet does a good job of explaining the different servers and when Windows Server, System Center and SQL Enterprise licences are required.

Find it here:

SQL Server 2016 Licensing Guides

What’s even more exciting than the launch of a new product? A new set of Licensing Guides of course!

The SQL Server 2016 ones are available in three flavours: a Licensing Datasheet (for a 2-page overview), a Licensing Guide (a left-to-right look across SQL licensing), and a Virtualization Licensing Guide (focussing on various virtualisation scenarios).

Find them all here in the Application Servers section of our (new and improved) Licensing Guides Emporium:

SQL Server 2016 General Availability

Happy SQL Server 2016 General Availability Day!

The June 2016 Product Terms is updated to reflect the 3 main changes in the licensing:

  • Core licences remain but the Core Factor table is no longer used, you just need to assign a minimum of 4 Core licences to each processor
  • BI edition is retired and customers with SA migrate to the special Server/CAL licensed Enterprise edition, and
  • Parallel Data Warehouse deployments are now licensed with Enterprise Core licences

Need to understand the details and consider some real life scenarios?

Book on one of our SQL Server 2016 Licensing School Online courses:

SQL Server Developer Edition now a free download

Good news! From 1 April 2016, SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition is a free download if you’re a Visual Studio Dev Essentials member.

As a reminder, the Developer Edition includes the full feature set of the Enterprise Edition and is for development and testing only, and not for production environments or even for use with production data.

Here’s the Microsoft announcement ( where you’ll also find confirmation that SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition will also be free when it’s released in the next few months.

Licensing SQL Server on Linux

Microsoft announced in early March that SQL Server is to be available on Linux ( but how will it be licensed?

The answer’s easier than you might expect – if you buy a SQL Server licence then you’ll be able to use SQL Server on Windows Server or Linux.

Find this and some other useful SQL 2016 questions here: