As of April 1st, Microsoft’s® new Core based licensing for SQL is coming into effect.
This change was long overdue from Microsoft’s® perspective as Oracle® has been licensing its Database products on a Core metric for years now and Microsoft® is playing catch up to the leader in the Database arena.
For Microsoft® this is a smart move as they are in alignment to the market leader and as so will not (actually have not) received any market scrutiny.
Good news for Microsoft®, bad news for end customers.
Going forward customers will not have the flexibility to choose between Server + Cal or Processor licensing for SQL® Enterprise edition and only have one option a per Core metric (minimum of 4 cores per processor).
Costs for end customers in the long run (2-3 years) will increase by anywhere between 50%-100% and this move will increase the EAP (Enterprise Application Platform Agreement) attractiveness to customers and overall commitment and costs.
I keep reminding customers to plan ahead carefully and take advantage of the migration paths Microsoft® is offering.
I’ve also written an article on SQL Server 2012 licensing.