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SwisscomChamp
Level 2 Contributor

SQL Server 2022 Licensing - How to license individual VMs using Server+CAL licensing model

According to the new Licensing Guide for SQL Server 2022 and Licensing Changes from October 2022.

In the Licensing Guide is described on Page 18/19 How to license individual VMs using Server+CAL licensing model which says:

"The right to use SQL Server in a virtual machine under the Server+CAL licensing model does not require subscription licenses or licenses with Software Assurance; however, with subscription licenses or licenses with Software Assurance, a customer using SQL Server in a virtual machine may move
licenses at any time as needed (e.g., with the virtual server) to another server in the same Server Farm."

But he updated Product Terms from November 17, 2022 states the following under License Model by Server+CAL for SQL Server 2022:

For Products under the Server/CAL License Model, customer may use one Running Instance of server software in either a Physical OSE or Virtual OSE on a Licensed Server for each License it acquires.

Subscription licenses or licenses with active Software Assurance only.

All CALs used to access the software under this model must also be acquired as subscription licenses or have active Software Assurance: When licensing by Virtual OSE, Customer may reassign any of its Licenses to any of its Licensed Servers located within the same Server Farm as often as needed. Customer may also reassign These Licenses from one Server Farm to another, but not on a short-term basis (i.e., not within 90 days of the last assignment).

Question: Do SQL CALs need active Software Assurance to license individual VMs under Server+CAL License model?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION
JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@SwisscomChamp Only official licensing terms source are the product terms, a licensing guide published for better understanding separately is not part of the agreement. So, when in doubt, the product terms win. Licensing guides may have shortened information and might not include all of the details from the terms.

So, as per the agreement, product terms, CALs need to have SA as well when you want to leverage the right to reassign the license to other servers earlier than every 90 days. You don't need to have SA for anything to be able to run SQL in a VM using this license - but when virtualizing it is a common/expected scenario that the VM moves between hosts, thus the license would need to be moved as well ´since the license is assigned always to the host, even when only used to run SQL in a VM on this host. So, running SQL VMs on a virtualization cluster consisting of multiple hosts is hardly possible without having SA in real life.

Kind regards, Janosch
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3 REPLIES 3
ElDani
Level 1 Contributor

Hi @JanoschUlmer . I don't know if I understood well your answer about CALs and SA. I understand that to be able to move the SQL to another server within a farm earlier that 90 days, the SQL Server needs to have Software Assurance. But I don't understand why CALs needs to have Software Assurance too. If SQL CAL license the user (or device) to access any SQL Server within the Organization even without Software Assurance, why do I need it?

Regards

DO

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@ElDani : I don't know the exact reason of the product group deciding on those license terms, I can only confirm that the license terms say that you need SA also for the CALs. it might be a consideration to have parity on rules (and equivalent costs) for core licenses + SA.

See again the respective section for licensing by virtual OSE with Server+CAL model:

Microsoft Product Terms

Subscription licenses or licenses with active Software Assurance only. All CALs used to access the software under this model must also be acquired as subscription licenses or have active Software Assurance: When licensing by Virtual OSE, Customer may reassign any of its Licenses to any of its Licensed Servers located within the same Server Farm as often as needed. Customer may also reassign these Licenses from one Server Farm to another, but not on a short-term basis (i.e., not within 90 days of the last assignment).

Kind regards, Janosch
Receive consultations via Technical Presales and Deployment Services team
JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@SwisscomChamp Only official licensing terms source are the product terms, a licensing guide published for better understanding separately is not part of the agreement. So, when in doubt, the product terms win. Licensing guides may have shortened information and might not include all of the details from the terms.

So, as per the agreement, product terms, CALs need to have SA as well when you want to leverage the right to reassign the license to other servers earlier than every 90 days. You don't need to have SA for anything to be able to run SQL in a VM using this license - but when virtualizing it is a common/expected scenario that the VM moves between hosts, thus the license would need to be moved as well ´since the license is assigned always to the host, even when only used to run SQL in a VM on this host. So, running SQL VMs on a virtualization cluster consisting of multiple hosts is hardly possible without having SA in real life.

Kind regards, Janosch
Receive consultations via Technical Presales and Deployment Services team