Microsoft extend Extended Security Updates

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Extended Security Updates (ESUs), available for Windows Server 2008/R2 and SQL Server 2008/R2, were introduced in 2019 to extend available security support for 3 more years beyond the end of the products’ extended support periods.

It’s now less than 12 months until the end of the ESU period for SQL Server 2008/R2 and Microsoft have announced they will be providing 12 additional months of cover – but only for workloads running in Azure. This will also apply to Windows Server 2008/R2 – the end of ESU dates are:

  • SQL Server 2008/R2 – July 12, 2022
  • Windows Server 2008/R2 – January 10, 2023

End of support for 2012 Server versions

They have announced the availability of ESUs for the 2012/R2 releases of SQL Server and Windows Server. Extended Support for these ends:

SQL Server 2012 – July 12, 2022

Windows Server 2012/R2 – October 10, 2023

It’s now less than 12 months until SQL Server 2012 goes out of support so if you’re using that within your organisation, you need to come up with a plan to:

  • Upgrade on-premises
  • Migrate to Azure for free ESUs
  • Budget to purchase on-premises ESUs

See more info from Microsoft here.

Microsoft SQL 2012 Licensing Changes

Microsoft have this week announced some relatively major changes to the SQL 2012 product line up and it’s licensing.


There are now 3 editions of SQL Server:

  • Standard
  • Enterprise
  • Business Intelligence


Here’s the big change – there’s no more Per CPU licensing…now it’s by Core.

This is a major, although not wholly unexpected, move by Microsoft. Other vendors such as Oracle have long charged by the core but Microsoft have always stayed with physical sockets as their measure…until now.

I’ve been expecting this for a while, especially as 6-core processors become more commonplace and Intel keep making them more powerful. What once took 2 processors can now be done with 1 and what once took 4 now needs just 2, so Microsoft must have been seeing a decline in their SQL revenue over the last 18 months or so.

To break down the licensing:

Standard = Per Core or Server + CAL

Enterprise = Per Core only

Business Intelligence = Server + CAL only

You’ll notice that the new Business Intelligence (BI) edition is Server+CAL only so what should you do if you have external/anonymous users and/or a huge number of people accessing the BI server/s? SQL Enterprise Edition 2012 contains ALL features of the BI edition so use that to license by core.

Let’s go a little deeper into the licensing and see what else there is for us Smile

It’s worth noting that “Core based licences will be sold in 2 core packs.” but a big clause is:

“To license a physical server properly, you must license all cores in the server with a minimum of 4 cores required for each physical processor in the server.”

This means if you’re running with dual core CPU’s you’re going to have to buy more cores than you have. <—This will be a big cause of outrage I’m sure however it does mean that as you upgrade your server hardware and get CPUs with higher core counts, there won’t be a big extra licensing cost.

Transition to new Licensing Models

Whenever Microsoft bring out new versions of software and change the licensing rules, the big question is always “What if I need to buy new licenses in the meantime?” and we, as partners, have to work to make sure that we help customers future proof any investments they make in the run up to the new product release.

What’s the deal with the run up to SQL 2012?

  • After 30/06/12, no Enterprise Edition Server licenses will be sold. (EA/EAP customers will have until their next renewal after 30/06/12 to purchase additional server licences for current projects.)
  • All existing SQL Enterprise Editions licensed via Server + CAL with SA (Software Assurance) can be upgraded to SQL 2012 and the SA can be maintained to provide access to future updates.
  • Here’s a point to take note of:
  • Newly purchased Enterprise Edition (EE) 2012 server licenses and/or those server licenses upgraded via SA will be limited to server deployments with 20 cores or less.
  • Customers with processor licenses under SA can upgrade to SQL 2012 at no additional cost.
  • At the end of the SA term, processor licences can be exchanged for core licenses and the SA can then be renewed.
  • SQL Std & Enterprise Processor licensed covered with SA will be exchanged for a minimum of 4 core licenses or the actual number of cores in use.
  • SQL DataCenter (a version of 2008 that’s disappearing in 2012) will swap out for a minimum of 8 cores or the actual number of processors in use.

There are some other rules and guides around the ability to add core licenses mid term to an EA/EAP etc but I don’t want to make this section TOO big!


Microsoft have released estimated pricing in dollars so let’s take a look at that and see how it stacks up to current 2008 R2 costs.


So you’re looking at $7172 at a minimum for a SQL Std server which stacks up pretty well against the current processor licensing costs. I’m sure people will find scenarios where this is more expensive but they’ll surely forget to take into account all the new features like Project Crescent & Juneau that have been integrated into the new editions, and so I don’t think that price should really be the big thing here.

Any other editions available?

SQL Datacenter, Workgroup & Standard for Small Business editions are all being retired with the 2012 release.

Web Edition will only be available to hosters via SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement).

Developer, Express & Compact editions will continue to be available in the same ways as right now.

SQL Server 2008 R2: Licensing Changes

SQL Server 2008 R2 has got a whole host of new features and now it’s got some new licensing too 🙂

The big move is that SQL’s licensing will follow the same path as Windows Server, both in editions and also virtual licence allowances:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard = 1 VM per licence
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise = 4 VM’s per licence
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard = Unlimited VM’s per licence

Here’s a Microsoft diagram that shows many of the main differences between the now 3 editions:


If you currently have SQL Server 2008 Enterprise and Software Assurance there is “a complete transition/migration path” but I don’t have any details yet…they will be available nearer launch on May 6th 2010.

For more info on SQL Server 2008 R2, see my other post here:

Read What’s New in SQL Server 2008 R2

Original post from MS here.

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