Microsoft SQL Server 2022: Here’s what you need to know for a successful 2023
Discover what’s new with licensing, pricing, and Azure billing

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Microsoft announced SQL Server 2022 general availability on November 16, 2022, available for download for customers with SQL on Enterprise Agreement (EA), Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS), and Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) programs.

For other Microsoft volume license programs where Software Assurance (SA) is offered, such as Select Plus, Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA), and Open Value, you can purchase licensing today with SA to get new version rights to download SQL Server 2022 media on January 1, 2023. For license-only purchases (no SA) or for programs where SA is not offered, such as the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, SQL Server 2022 will become available to purchase on January 1, 2023.

There are many new features with the release of SQL Server 2022, highlighted by fully managed disaster recovery in the cloud through Azure SQL Managed Instance where you can continuously replicate data to and from the cloud. Explore all of what’s new in SQL Server 2022, from new updates to additional video content.

In addition to new features, there are a few key updates to licensing, pricing, and billing.

Licensing and pricing changes

SQL Server 2022 licensing will still be offered in a per core model for SQL Enterprise only, and a per core and server/CAL model for SQL Standard. However, there is a licensing change to be aware of – when licensing SQL Server 2022 per core model by individual virtual machine (VM), Microsoft will require an active subscription or active Software Assurance (SA). There are no licensing changes under the server/CAL model. Additionally, SQL Server 2022 licenses with active SA or subscriptions continue to grant License Mobility rights and the latest Flexible Virtualization Benefit.

On January 1, 2023, Microsoft will adjust the price of SQL Server 2022 for the first time in 10 years. A 10% price increase will occur for on-premises editions of SQL Server Enterprise, Standard, and Web across all purchasing channels. For existing SA customers, the price increase will not take effect until renewal.

New Azure billing option

With the release of SQL Server 2022, a new pay-as-you-go billing model is available through Azure. The consumption-based, cloud billing model is enabled by Azure Arc – meaning it will require a connection of SQL Server to Azure Arc as a prerequisite.

This new billing model will provide the flexibility to only pay for what you use without a need for a large upfront license investment. This PAYG model is not impacted by the January 2023 price increase.

Next steps

If you plan to purchase SQL Server soon, there is little time to wait before prices increase in January 2023 – and while including SA on your purchase now will provide you with 2022 version rights once it’s officially available.

Please reach out to your SHI Account Executive to review pricing quotes and discuss any impact you may face with these changes. Backed by our large, in-house team of Microsoft licensing experts, we can help you navigate the right licensing models to fit your organization.