How SQL Server 2019 Enterprise edition Minimum License is calculated?

Sotheavy Sombath 126 Reputation points

SQL Enterprise is a 2-core license, and minimum of 1 server is 4 cores, therefore we will need to buy a minimum of 2 licenses.
So, if we have 2 servers should we buy 4 licenses? and if we have 3 servers, do we need to buy 8 license or 6 license?

SQL Server
SQL Server
A family of Microsoft relational database management and analysis systems for e-commerce, line-of-business, and data warehousing solutions.
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  1. Bjoern Peters 7,156 Reputation points Microsoft MVP

    Hi @Sotheavy Sombath

    Of course, Olaf is right... we are not able to legally answer questions regarding licensing!

    So here comes my personal opinion based on my own experiences and understanding:

    All actual SQL server licenses are sold as a 1:1 license... 1 license = 1 core.
    Microsoft sells them in a pack with 2 licenses = 2 cores.

    for hardware, you can use old CPUs with only two cores = 2 licenses
    for a virtual machine, you need at least 4 licenses minimum = 2 packs (2 licenses each pack)

    if your virtual machine has 16 cores, you'll need 8 packs with 2 licenses each pack.

    if you have 4 VMs with 4 cores each... you'll need 8 packs with 2 licenses each pack.

    The only thing that really matters (if all machines are virtual machines) is that you have at least a minimum of 4 licenses per server and that you have enough licenses for all cores in all machines.

    Server1 : 2 cores => minimum 4
    Server2 : 2 cores => minimum 4
    Server3 : 6 cores => 6
    Server4 : 4 cores => 4

    You need to buy 18 licenses for 18 cores, they are sold as a pack of 2 => 9 packs of licenses.

    To make it a little bit more difficult... this is only possible if you just have ONE edition... if you want to mix editions...

    Server1 - Standard Edition : 2 cores => minimum 4
    Server2 - Enterprise Edition : 2 cores => minimum 4
    Server3 - Enterprise Edition : 6 cores => 6
    Server4 - Standard Edition : 4 cores => 4

    You need to buy 8 licenses for 8 cores Standard Edition = 4 packs
    You need to buy 10 licenses for 10 cores Enterprise Edition = 5 packs

    I hope my answer is helpful to you,

    Bjoern Peters

    If the reply was helpful, please upvote and/or accept it as an answer, as this helps others in the community with similar questions. Thanks!

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  1. Seeya Xi-MSFT 12,746 Reputation points Microsoft Employee

    Hi @Sotheavy Sombath ,

    This a license issue. For detailed information about the license issue, you can call 1-800-426-9400, Monday through Friday, 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. (Pacific Time) to speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist. Or you can go to Volume Licensing Service Center support. Please choose region/language and choose to call or have web.

    Best regards,

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