Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

Summary: Microsoft is adding a brand-new business-intelligence SKU and core-based licensing to its coming SQL Server 2012 database offering due next year.

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SQL Server 2012, which will launch some time in the first few months of 2012, has a lot of moving parts. Exactly how is Microsoft going to bundle up its various capabilities?

We know a bit about the three main SQL Server 2012 editions -- Enterprise, BI (Business Intelligence) and Standard -- thanks to a new chart posted to the Microsoft SQL Server page. There also will still be Web Developer and Express versions of SQL Server 2012, but they're not detailed.

Microsoft is eliminating three of its current SKUs when it launches SQL Server 2012, according to its Licensing frequently asked questions (FAQ) document. The three:

• Datacenter – its features will now be available in Enterprise Edition • Workgroup – Standard will replace it • Standard for Small Business – Standard will replace it

Here's Microsoft's chart explaining what's in (and not) in the three main SKUs, or packages:

(Click on the chart to enlarge.)

BI is a brand-new SKU that wasn't part of previous SQL Server releases.

Standard offers "basic database, reporting and analytics capabilities." BI includes all Standard's capabilities, plus Power View ("Crescent"), reporting and analytics, data-quality services and master-data services. Enterprise includes all the Standard and BI features, plus the "AlwaysOn" high-availability, ColumnStore datawarehousing functionality, and "Maximum virtualization" (for users with Software Assurance licenses). Enterprise has a 20-core max, while BI and Standard support 16 cores max.

With SQL Server 2012, Microsoft will offer three licensing options:

• Core-based Licensing for Enterprise • Server + CAL (Client Access License) licensing for Business Intelligence • Choice of core-based licensing or Server + CAL licensing for Standard

There's no word (yet) on planned SQL Server 2012 pricing.

Update: The planned pricing also is up, as noted by one of my Twitter pals, Mark Stacey. Here's the pricing chart, on page 3 of this Microsoft SQL Server 2012 licensing document:

(Thanks to Directions on Microsoft's Wes Miller for his tweet on the new editions.)

Topics: Enterprise Software, CXO, Data Centers, Data Management, Microsoft, Software, IT Employment

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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15 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

    It makes sense to me. Still cheaper than Oracle!
    databasedude3000
    • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

      @databasedude3000

      Not really cheaper than Oracle, at least not at all editions... Standard Edition One of Oracle is $5800 per Socket up to 2 Sockets, irrespective of core count. Standard Edition is likely more expensive for now ($17500 per socket) until 12 core procs are common, and then Oracle will be cheaper. You can argue that Oracle is less functional at the Standard Edition One level, but both 2008 R2 and 2012 are moving SQL Standard higher and higher above Oracle Standard Edition One in terms of base cost.

      All of that ignores the TCO, where SQL Server hands down wins between the two :-).
      selliott80919
  • I will be happy to see (future) details

    I look forward to the details between AlwaysOn "Advanced" and "Basic" features. These are listed on the above Edition chart, and I cannot find details on MS site yet.
    mdgraves
  • Developer Edition

    I hope they include a Developer's Edition like with 2008. Very nice for trying out new features and making the upgrade case to your employer!
    russell.fox@...
    • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

      @russell.fox@... True, was hoping to see a Developer Edition there
      fabulous_fadz
  • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

    Does anyone else think CALs are an outdated concept?
    thensley@...
  • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

    2008 R2 Enterprise is limited to 64 physical cores and 256 logical cores. How does this limit SQL Server 2012 to 20 cores if it is based on "OS Max?"

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/2008-r2-enterprise.aspx
    mattingso
    • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

      @mattingso I answered my own question. It's only limited to 20 cores if you license it under the Server + CAL model. The other models are only limited by the version of Windows Server in use.
      mattingso
  • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

    The express edition is still free and also that of the developers edition (this article was not commenting on these editions). The free express edition has a 10 gig limit and will only use one CPU (but uses multi cores of one CPU). The express edition screams in terms of performance for 50-100 users and hardly breaks into a sweat for small tables of 5 to 10 million rows. So for most small business the free edition is more than adequate.
    kallal@...
  • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

    I hope that not detailing the developer edition is merely an oversite. It's the greatest tool to use when learning about the new features in each version.
    v-staub
    • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

      @v-staub
      Have you ever considered Visual Studio Professional with MSDN?
      It covers you for any non production SQL and Windows plus all the tools and Azure you need to test out the best way and place to deploy.
      hubivedder
  • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

    BAH! SQL Server BI??? Who runs the fastest BI database?

    Look it up! Vectorwise!!
    I am Gorby
  • RE: Microsoft's SQL Server 2012: What's coming in the three main editions

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  • Pricing / Liccesning Datasheet link is broken

    It should be:

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/A/5/D/A5D112E1-78FF-491F-9364-F1BC6FAE7D57/SQL_Server_2012_Licensing_Datasheet_Nov2011.pdf
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