Welcome to the new series of seven wonders of SQL Server. These are not the wonders which make you say Awww. These are the ones which make you really wonder why. I will be covering the seven of such jaw dropping situations where you wonder what is happening and few bizarre reasons why it is the way it is.
Last week we have seen the issues you may get into if you mix your SQL Server usage for transactional and data warehouse environments. Today I will discuss few caveats around licensing. Having said that, I will not talk about how the SQL Server is licensed as it will be a huge topic to be covered in a single blog. There are heaps of documentation around SQL Server licensing which are sometimes confusing.
You don’t want to be in an Oh Damn! Situation when you find out how short you were on licenses. The best way to get around licensing is to involve the right vendors. There are few resellers who wants to shove more licenses into your kitty. But being aware of the licensing models will help in staying out of these very few out of line resellers.
Many a times the DBA is not the one managing the SQL licenses. So there is always a slightest of chances that they end up installing an instance which may not be covered under the licenses that the company owns. This leads to a bigger problem as they continue to use it unknowingly. This is where the inventory needs to be maintained centrally and kept up to date. The importance of maintaining CMDB has become essential for growing organizations and diversified teams working in different verticals and isolated teams.
Adding to the already confused state of licensing, the licensing model changes with every release of SQL Server. If you are under Software Assurance, you have some benefits. The list is clear on the licensing guide which needs a through read through. You can have a peek of SQL_Server_2014_Licensing_Guide. Make sure you are referring to the right licensing guide based on your license.
In summary, always be aware of what licenses you have and what you are currently using them for. If you are under licensed you are definitely in trouble. If you are over licensed, obviously you are wasting dollars. So, having an internal audit once in a while doesn’t hurt. If unsure, paying vendors is better than dealing with legal terms.