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Did I read somewhere that if you purchase SQL Server Enterprise 2008 R2 the license is good to install on 4 separate servers or am I imagining things?

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migrated from Feb 10 '11 at 21:08

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You are thinking of WINDOWS Server NOT SQL Server as long as you install into virtual environment. If you are installing into a physical environment it's 1:1 – Zypher Feb 10 '11 at 21:41
We really can't know what you read. Only you can answer that. – John Gardeniers Feb 11 '11 at 0:27
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You are imagining things. Or considering the prices involved, indulging in some wistful thinking. I don't blame you.

According to the Microsoft page on this topic:

Q. How do I license SQL Server 2008 for my virtual environments?

A. For Standard, Workgroup, and Enterprise, if you decide to license on a per processor basis, you must buy a SQL Server license for each virtual processor.

So if you're running SQL Standard/Workgroup in a VM you'll need to get a license for each vCPU you assign to the VPN.

For Enterprise Edition, you can also choose to license all physical processors in a box. This gives you rights to run SQL Server on any number of virtual processors running on the same physical server.

If you're using Enterprise and chose to license for the physical CPUs in the VM Host you may run as many SQL 2008 instances as you want on any VM on that physical host. I am not a licensing expert, but my read of this is that if you have two VM Hosts in something like ESX cluster or Hyper-V cluster, you'll need to get CPU licenses for both physical hosts.

If you use Server/CAL based licensing, for Standard and Workgroup editions, you must obtain SQL Server licenses for each Virtual Operating System Environment on which you run instances of SQL Server. However, for the Enterprise edition, if you have a Server license for the physical Server, you may run any number of SQL Server instances in any Virtual Operating System Environment that you run on that same physical server.

If you are using hardware partitioning on a multi-processor server, you can use any number of virtualized instances for SQL Server Enterprise Edition as long as all processors in that hardware partition are licensed. For example, if you have a partition of 10 physical processors on a 32-processor server, purchasing 10 processor licenses of SQL Server 2008 gives you the rights to run any number of SQL Server instances on physical or virtual environments on that partition.

So if you're running SQL Enterprise and if you purchase CPU licenses for every physical CPU in a physical box, any VM running on that box may run SQL Enterprise.

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You are making up most of the stuff. It is VIRTUAL servers, ON THE SAME PHYSICAL MACHINE. Never only read half the sentences ;)

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