Category: Licensing

MS SQL Server Licensing 3

Standard Edition comes with 2 Licensing Model.

  • Licensed by Core – this refers to your server hardware specification.
    in the guidebook, look for Database Engine (DBE) Capacity Limits.
  • Licensed by Server + CAL – this refers to number of user.

The following indicate the Database Engine (DBE) Capacity Limits for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 – Standard Edition.

  • 4 Socket or 16 Core CPU;
  • 128 GB Memory.

If your hardware specification has exceeded the DBE Capacity for standard edition, you should purchase the Enterprise Edition – which also have 2 licensing model.

As per the Licensing Guide, Enterprise Edition can utilize the OS Maximum Memory capacity; CPU capacity equals to 20 core, or more – up to the OS Maximum capacity.


Read: Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Licensing Guide

MS SQL Server Licensing 1
MS SQL Server Licensing 2


MS SQL Server Licensing 1

For the past 3 years (since 2014), I have been living in the denial when it comes to Database (SQL Server) Licensing.
No resources in the company would open this discussion / training – perhaps there’s nothing to teach about the licensing, nor anyone possess this knowledge want to held accountable for mistakes.

In my customer facing role, have avoided the topic, and asked help from superior, he worked out the investment value at the back office, and I could only provide a blanket answer – there must be a better way.

It’s true, answer is just google away.
To understand the structure of the licensing.


I found this:


There are 3 Edition, I will focus on Standard Edition.

The editions are offered in a straightforward, tiered model that creates greater consistency across the product editions, features and licensing. Enterprise Edition includes all the capabilities available in SQL Server 2014. Business Intelligence Edition includes Standard Edition capabilities, plus all BI capabilities included in Enterprise Edition.