Vote for my Blog!

It’s Social Media Award time again and brilliantly, this blog has been nominated in 2 categories:

IT Industry blogger of the year

IT Professional blogger of the year

I’ve been doing this blog for over 3 years now (since September 2008) and I’ve really enjoyed it. At first I was worried that no-one would be interested and I’d just be talking to myself on the internet but thankfully that hasn’t happened!

I love reading comments from people that my posts have helped and overall I love knowing that my posts are being read, shared and used the world over…it really shows the power of the internet and the “Global Village” it has created.

If you’re reading this then it seems safe to assume you’re a reader of this blog and/or someone good enough to “follow” me on Twitter so can I also ask you to pop over to the Computer Weekly site and vote for me in either/both of the categories please?! Smile


Microsoft SQL 2012 Licensing Changes

Microsoft have this week announced some relatively major changes to the SQL 2012 product line up and it’s licensing.


There are now 3 editions of SQL Server:

  • Standard
  • Enterprise
  • Business Intelligence


Here’s the big change – there’s no more Per CPU licensing…now it’s by Core.

This is a major, although not wholly unexpected, move by Microsoft. Other vendors such as Oracle have long charged by the core but Microsoft have always stayed with physical sockets as their measure…until now.

I’ve been expecting this for a while, especially as 6-core processors become more commonplace and Intel keep making them more powerful. What once took 2 processors can now be done with 1 and what once took 4 now needs just 2, so Microsoft must have been seeing a decline in their SQL revenue over the last 18 months or so.

To break down the licensing:

Standard = Per Core or Server + CAL

Enterprise = Per Core only

Business Intelligence = Server + CAL only

You’ll notice that the new Business Intelligence (BI) edition is Server+CAL only so what should you do if you have external/anonymous users and/or a huge number of people accessing the BI server/s? SQL Enterprise Edition 2012 contains ALL features of the BI edition so use that to license by core.

Let’s go a little deeper into the licensing and see what else there is for us Smile

It’s worth noting that “Core based licences will be sold in 2 core packs.” but a big clause is:

“To license a physical server properly, you must license all cores in the server with a minimum of 4 cores required for each physical processor in the server.”

This means if you’re running with dual core CPU’s you’re going to have to buy more cores than you have. <—This will be a big cause of outrage I’m sure however it does mean that as you upgrade your server hardware and get CPUs with higher core counts, there won’t be a big extra licensing cost.

Transition to new Licensing Models

Whenever Microsoft bring out new versions of software and change the licensing rules, the big question is always “What if I need to buy new licenses in the meantime?” and we, as partners, have to work to make sure that we help customers future proof any investments they make in the run up to the new product release.

What’s the deal with the run up to SQL 2012?

  • After 30/06/12, no Enterprise Edition Server licenses will be sold. (EA/EAP customers will have until their next renewal after 30/06/12 to purchase additional server licences for current projects.)
  • All existing SQL Enterprise Editions licensed via Server + CAL with SA (Software Assurance) can be upgraded to SQL 2012 and the SA can be maintained to provide access to future updates.
  • Here’s a point to take note of:
  • Newly purchased Enterprise Edition (EE) 2012 server licenses and/or those server licenses upgraded via SA will be limited to server deployments with 20 cores or less.
  • Customers with processor licenses under SA can upgrade to SQL 2012 at no additional cost.
  • At the end of the SA term, processor licences can be exchanged for core licenses and the SA can then be renewed.
  • SQL Std & Enterprise Processor licensed covered with SA will be exchanged for a minimum of 4 core licenses or the actual number of cores in use.
  • SQL DataCenter (a version of 2008 that’s disappearing in 2012) will swap out for a minimum of 8 cores or the actual number of processors in use.

There are some other rules and guides around the ability to add core licenses mid term to an EA/EAP etc but I don’t want to make this section TOO big!


Microsoft have released estimated pricing in dollars so let’s take a look at that and see how it stacks up to current 2008 R2 costs.


So you’re looking at $7172 at a minimum for a SQL Std server which stacks up pretty well against the current processor licensing costs. I’m sure people will find scenarios where this is more expensive but they’ll surely forget to take into account all the new features like Project Crescent & Juneau that have been integrated into the new editions, and so I don’t think that price should really be the big thing here.

Any other editions available?

SQL Datacenter, Workgroup & Standard for Small Business editions are all being retired with the 2012 release.

Web Edition will only be available to hosters via SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement).

Developer, Express & Compact editions will continue to be available in the same ways as right now.

Nokia & Microsoft Office 365

I today received an email from Nokia telling me that the “1st Nokia Partner Network Event” is imminent on the 23rd November 2011 at The National Space Centre, Leicester

I’ve never been aware of Nokia particularly having partners of the sort that would have events like this…as their business isn’t really the same as Microsoft, Adobe, SAP, HP etc., so it surprised me a little.

There are 3 breakouts:

  • Retailers/Online
  • B2B Dealer
  • IT Reseller

and it’s the 3rd one that caught my eye due to the first 2 sessions:


So not only are Nokia making a huge play in the consumer arena with Windows Phone 7, it seems they’re going to start introducing their devices into the corporate space, by playing on some of the enhancements found within the recent Mango update. That update brought full support for Microsoft’s Office 365, their cloud based Exchange/Lync/Sharepoint offering, allowing WP users full access to Sharepoint lists and document libraries.

I’m keen to see where Nokia’s involvement with Office 365 takes them, us as partners and Microsoft too. That said I don’t think I’ll be able to attend the event…anyone out there planning on going that can take notes for me? Smile

Microsoft License Terms

Microsoft have a range of products with a variety of different rules & rights around what you can/can’t do with them such as downgrading to a previous version.

Even for partners, it can be difficult to know each & every license right for the different products and that’s where this site can come in very handy:

Microsoft License Terms

For any OEM or FPP product this site should tell you what you need to know.





Making the selections as above gets you a pdf of the full license terms:


This can be a great way to double check if you’re allowed to do something!