That’s because April 1 is the deadline for Microsoft’s processor-to-core conversion grant. You might recall that Microsoft updated its licensing policies along with the release of SQL Server 2012. These rules changed the way servers were licensed, shifting from processor-based licensing to licensing the physical core. Now, in order to run SQL 2014, customers with an Enterprise Agreement (EA) must true up their per-core licensing, and doing so before April 1 will grant them blocks of free licenses.
As part of Microsoft’s extended grant incentive, customers that true up their licensing before April 1, 2015 will receive SQL per-core licensing grants for actual cores in use. Organizations that wait to complete this process until after April 1 will receive the minimum grant for only four cores per processor, leaving organizations to cover the rest.
To illustrate, consider this: A customer with two SQL Enterprise servers (each processor has 16 cores) will be granted 32 core licenses if they true up before April 1. However, a customer that waits to true up their licensing until after April 1 would be granted the minimum of four core licenses per processor, and the customer must purchase the remaining core licenses (a total of 24) in order to run SQL 2014.
Before finalizing their EA, enterprises with SQL Server should inventory their hardware and software to show proof of usage. Organizations should run Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) toolkit, which reviews and reports on their server environment and installation, to verify the number of cores in use.
Organizations should keep in mind that they can renew Software Assurance (SA) on all core licenses granted, and re-allocate their SQL Enterprise per server licensing to a server with a maximum of 20 cores and true up servers with more than 20 cores.
We’ll have a more in-depth explanation of the SQL licensing changes soon, so check back on the SHI blog to learn how SQL fits in with a wide range of Microsoft licensing agreements.
In the meantime, to determine your eligibility for the licensing grant and learn how to best manage your SQL core licenses, engage with your SHI account representative today.