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SQL Server 2012: Business Intelligence Edition

Well this was quite the little surprise this morning. Microsoft announced a new edition to the SQL Server lineup for 2012 – Business Intelligence edition. In addition to a new edition (funnily I don’t see Datacenter in that lineup) we also have a new licensing scheme for SQL Server. In SQL 2012 it looks like Microsoft is finally moving to the core-based licensing model. Ladies and gentlemen, start your grumbling! Okay, seriously, the new licensing scheme shouldn’t be that big of a shock to anyone. I think most of us have been expecting this for quite some time as it only makes sense as newer processors are coming with more and more cores.

As for the new edition of SQL Server, I think it’s an interesting move to say the least. As SQL Server adoption in the enterprise keeps going up, it kind of makes sense that they’d make a dedicated edition for the BI stack. The last few releases of SQL Server have been BI-feature heavy and when you’re architecting your setup, you should be setting up dedicated boxes (if possible) for the BI stack anyways. In my eyes this is a pretty smart move, although I’m sure some will disagree. With the separation of church and state Engine and BI you can now have a little more flexibility in your choices, especially regarding licensing.

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So what does the new licensing change mean for you? Should you be worried? Well if you’re not sure how your licenses are currently distributed or what you have out in your enterprise deployed right now, I HIGHLY suggest you download and use the MAP Toolkit. This free tool will not only discover instances in your enterprise (not only SQL Server!) but it will give you some really great detailed information including usage information (this is a must-use tool if you’re considering consolidation), editions, number of cores, etc. Run it against your environment and then have a chat with your local Microsoft rep about how the new changes might affect your existing infrastructure.

What are your thoughts on the new changes? Like it? Hate it? Don’t care? Let me hear it in the comments.

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  • http://nebrasql.blogspot.com/ Andy Galbraith @DBA_ANDY

    Core-based licensing – ARGH!

    • http://emailtoid.net/i/79a23b74/bec3ed36/ Jorge Segarra

      Lol its not that bad and definitely not like it wasn’t expected. This structure actually makes a lot of sense and is actually pretty beneficial on the BI side.

  • http://www.rodolforodarte.com Rudy Rodarte

    Looks like all the new, cool stuff are Enterprise Edition, only. No love for Standard Edition. :/

    • http://emailtoid.net/i/79a23b74/bec3ed36/ Jorge Segarra

      Standard edition is meant as an entry point. For obvious reasons all the “cool stuff” is going to be in the higher (read also: more expensive) editions. As it stands right now the Standard Edition of 2012 isn’t really losing anything that it doesn’t already have so far as I know.

      • Rich Bartho @SQLKnight

        I agree that there’s a good reason why certain “cool stuff” isn’t in Standard Edition. But it seems odd to me that certain features weren’t included in the BI edition that are included in Enterprise (for example, parititioning). Why wouldn’t they include something like table partitioning in the BI edition when thats a feature that from my experience would be extremely beneficial for the BI stack.

        • http://emailtoid.net/i/79a23b74/bec3ed36/ Jorge Segarra

          I agree but even today partitioning is part of the Enterprise Edition. Given that they know that’s a huge draw, I don’t think it’d make sense (for them) to put that feature on a lower/cheaper edition. If anything I would have liked to have seen them give partitioning in Standard but limit it to X amount of partitions. I actually think they did something like that but I need to confirm. Mark Stacey I believe said they limit it to 3 partitions per measure group (in SSAS) on BI edition. I believe he said he got that info from the @SQLServer twitter account.

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