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Microsoft® SQL Server 2012 Unleashed by Alex T. Silverstein, Chris Gallelli, Paul T. Bertucci, Ray Rankins

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SQL Server Licensing Models

In addition to feature sets, one of the determining factors in choosing a SQL Server edition is cost. There are two types of SQL Server licensing models: Server/Client Access License (CAL)-based licensing and Core-based Licensing. Core-based licensing in SQL Server 2012 is a marked change to its previous CPU socket-based licensing strategy.

In earlier versions of SQL Server, processor-based licensing required purchasing a single license for each physical CPU socket in the machine, regardless of the number of cores available. In SQL Server 2012, licensing is based on the total number of processor cores in the server, with the minimum purchase of four core licenses per processor. To their credit, Microsoft did reduce ...

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