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SQL Server Migration to 2016 - Licensing

A quick licensing question.
Working with a client we have recommended a new server migration to the newer 2016 SQL server.  The client has licensed the current installation with SQL 2017 w/SA.  If we build a new SQL server with the intent to migrate from the existing, does the single licence cover for this and is there Microsoft documentation to show this (can't find it in the SQL licence doc) - does this fall under mobility benefits maybe?



This does not directly apply to license mobility scenario. However, in SA there are also failover rights, they also do not cover long-term coexistence scenarios though. For the product terms check https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Licensing/product-licensing/products


Then, in some VL agreements there are general rights to use instances of software for testing und migration. For this you need to check the VL contract itself, not the product terms.


Depending on how the customer has licensed the server, they might be able to run additional instances. E.g. If the have licensed all cores in the phyiscal HW, they can run unlimited number of virtual instances on this server. 


Finally, there are licenses with are free of cost and allow testing with production data - e.g. Developer license. Customer could test with developer edition, which is the same as Enterprise, and then upgrade the edition by injecting a key. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/database-engine/install-windows/supported-version-and-edition-upgrades?view=sql-server-2016