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SQL Server 2016 Licensing in SPLA 

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2016, and this simple article list some questions that you might have in mind regarding this new edition of SQL Server 2016. You will also find at the end of this article SQL Server 2016 Datasheet & Licensing Summery.

What should I do to get ready for SQL Server 2016 in SPLA?

If you know about SQL Server licensing in SPLA today then you are licensing ready for SQL Server 2016 in SPLA. There are no material changes to the SQL Server licensing rules in SPLA currently in effect. Microsoft removes SQL Server Business Intelligence from the product line-up. All other editions remain available in SPLA after June 1, 2016. The core factor table is replaced by a 4 core minimum for physical SQL processors.

Does Microsoft plan any changes for SQL Server under Self-Hosting rights? 

Microsoft does not have licensing changes planned for SQL Server self-hosting rights. Self-hosting rights are a Software Assurance benefit for VL customers. The use rights for SQL Server in VL programs are available in the VL Product Terms. SQL product line-up, use rights, and licensing models in SPLA are not the same as VL programs.

Can partners use SQL Server 2016 on infrastructure provided by a data center provider?

Yes, Service Providers may license SQL Server 2016 Standard SALs under their separate SPLA with Microsoft and deploy the software on infrastructure provided by a data center provider. Microsoft is a data center provider through Azure services.

Can partners use other SQL Server 2016 editions on infrastructure provided by a data center provider?

No, SQL Server 2016 Web Edition and SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition are licensed in SPLA under the per core license model. Service Providers may only deploy SPLA SAL Products on infrastructure provided by a data center provider.

What should I do if my software services include SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition and I obtain infrastructure from a data center provider?

You should ask your data center provider to provide SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition to you under your separate agreement for data center services.

Do I need to know about the core factor table to license SQL Server 2016 under SPLA?

No, Microsoft removes the core factor table for the SQL Server 2016 editions in SPLA. This means the SQL Server 2016 use rights in the SPUR do not require partners to multiply their physical cores on a server by the core factor.

Do I have to use the core factor to license SQL Server 2014 and prior versions in SPLA? 

No, the core factor was intended to level the playing field between Intel processors and AMD processors at the time of SQL Server 2012 (when Microsoft changed the SQL processor licenses to SQL core licenses). If your servers have single core and dual core processors the core factor sets a 4 core minimum for physical processors. If your AMD processors have more than 4 cores, the core factor allows a maximum 4 core licenses for the AMD processors shown on the table (instead of the actual number of cores which may be higher).

Should I learn more about the core factor table? 

Generally, Microsoft does not recommend learning about the core factor table because SQL Server 2016 specifies a 4 core minimum for physical cores on a server in the SPUR (instead of a reference to a table published on Microsoft.com). New devices do not ship with single core & dual core processors. You may only use the table if you license SQL Server 2014 and earlier versions for use on multi-core AMD processors and you reported these versions under SPLA before June 1, 2016. In this limited scenario, the table may reduce the number of SQL core licenses required in SPLA.

Does the 4 core minimum apply to SQL Server licensed by the VOSE?

Yes, if you license SQL Server by the virtual operating system environment “VOSE” (VM) the 4 core minimum applies to VM. This is not a change to the license requirements for SQL Server in SPLA.

How may I use and report SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence Edition after June 1, 2016? 

You may only use & report this edition if you reported these versions under SPLA before June 1, 2016. SPLA license program allows you to continue using & reporting software after the Products are removed from SPLA until your contract expiration date.

Does SPLA provide down edition rights from SQL Server 2016 Enterprise to SQL Server BI?

The BI feature set is only available through SQL Server 2016 Enterprise as an edition downgrade to SQL Server BI 2014.

Do I need a core license for each thread or virtual core?

Yes, you need a core for each thread or virtual core if you license SQL Server by the VOSE. Generally, you need a core license for each logical core in your SQL VM. You don’t need to license a thread if you license SQL Server by the physical cores on a server.

Can I license SQL Web Edition for an ecommerce site or web site hosting?

Generally, you may use SQL Web for public facing, internet sites as long as the data available to 3rd parties is the same data available to your end users. You may not license SQL Web if the data is only intended for the end user’s employees or internal purposes. Thus, SQL Web may not be used to support your end user’s line of business applications (such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions) nor any deployments that would make the end user’s data base available to the general public.

Can I use a SQL SAL for a web site or other front end application used by the end user’s employees to interact with SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition?

No, a SQL Server SAL may only be assigned to a user not a device nor any other system that stands between the end users and the SQL Server software. This is not a change to the SQL licensing rules in SPLA today. If you assign a SQL Standard SAL to a user, you must be able to count all users authorized to access SQL Server directly or indirectly. A properly licensed user may access any number of running SQL Server Standard instances.

When Microsoft launches Windows Server 2016 in SPLA under the per core model, can I license Windows Server 2016 by the VM (instance based licenses) just like SQL Server is available today?

No, Windows Server 2016 requires a license for each physical core on the server. You may not license Windows Server 2016 by the VM. This is not a change to the Windows Server licensing rules in effect today.

Are there any changes to the additional software available with the SQL Server software today?

There are no changes planned for the additional software available with the SQL Server software from VLSC.

Is SQL Server 2016 Express available for commercial hosting purposes? 

Yes. Partners can get details about SQL Server 2016 Express on our external site here. Partners may download SQL Express here. Please note, you must agree to the terms & conditions of the SQL Express end user license agreement to run the software.

What should I do if I have more licensing questions about SQL Server 2016 in SPLA?

Contact your local Crayon office or your Account Manager if you have questions.