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Can you help me with my software licensing question?

I'm currently working on a high availability solution for SQL Server 2008. I have 2 servers with 1 license of standard edition SQL Server. Can you implement log shipping with just 1 license? For example if you had SQL installed on the 2nd box, but not running, and the primary server ship logs to the backup?

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marked as duplicate by voretaq7 Feb 11 '12 at 4:17

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If the SQL instance is used ONLY for purposes of receiving the log shipping (and no queries are executed against it), you do not need a second SQL license. If you use that second server for snapshot reporting or any sort of querying at all, then a license would be required.

From the SQL Licensing FAQ:

Q. If I am doing log shipping in an active/passive failover configuration, how should I license the backup server?

A. In this scenario, the passive server does not require a license, unless the passive server has more processors than the active server, and the active server is licensed under the per processor model.

And... with a pretty picture:

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Thanks! I'd been struggling to find a definitive answer reading through the licensing pages. – RyanW Nov 23 '09 at 21:46
you'll still need to pay for a version of windows server unfortunately – Nick Kavadias Nov 24 '09 at 3:55
I agree Nick. Fortunately, that's a lot cheaper than SQL Server though and can be utilized for running other bits, since the passive/backup SQL Server will not require many resources while it is standing by. – RyanW Nov 24 '09 at 18:43
Beware, it has changed in recent versions. Quote: "Beginning with SQL Server 2014, each active server licensed with SA coverage allows the installation of a single passive server used for fail-over support." – Endrju Jan 5 at 12:09

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