You may well have seen by now that SQL 2012 bring with it a big change, moving from “Per CPU” to “Per Core” licensing. (Read more here.)
Well there’s one more bit that hasn’t been widely announced but can make a fair difference in certain scenarios, and that is the “Microsoft SQL 2012 Core Factor Table”:
There is a minimum of 4 core licenses per physical processor so the above table shows that:
1 x Single Core = 4 Cores
2 x Dual Core = 4 Cores
which fits the model. However you can see that there is special dispensation for certain AMD processors where each physical core is worth just 0.75 cores when it comes to SQL. S0 that means:
6 physical cores on an AMD 32XX CPU = 4.5 SQL Cores*
*I believe this would be rounded up to 5…and you have to buy in multiples of 2 so doesn’t alter anything…but if you have an 8 core CPU of the above kinds, you’d then only need to buy 6 SQL cores (8*.75=6).
This does add an extra bit of complexity to correctly designing an SQL solution but hey, that’s what us licensing gurus are for right?
I do wonder how this will affect decisions when companies are speccing up hardware for SQL deployments. Will previously 100% Intel houses start looking at AMD chips for the SQL cost savings they can bring?