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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?

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

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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: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2005/en/us/pricing-licensing-faq.aspx

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: http://www.microsoft.com/Sqlserver/2005/en/us/special-considerations.aspx#passive

  • Thanks! I'd been struggling to find a definitive answer reading through the licensing pages. – RyanW Nov 23 '09 at 21:46
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    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
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    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 '16 at 12:09

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