SQL Server 2012 is a big release compared to what we have seen from 2005 to 2008,
though R2 has been an additional release with BI capabilities. Now SQL 2012 equipped
with much more enhancements and new features to manage your data platform.
In specific to this release its good to know about new edition in SQL Server 2012
Business Intelligence, so it keeps 3 core editions Enterprise, Business Intelligence
and Standard. The new licensing method from 2012 version will be as follows:
Licensing by computing power - Core based licensing
With the release of SQL Server 2012, the licensing for computing power will be core-based.With
the release of SQL Server 2012, the licensing for computing power will be core-based.
- Enterprise and Standard will be available under core-based licensing.
Cored-based licenses will be sold in two-core packs. The Standard Edition will also
be available as a Server+ CAL licensing option.
- To license a physical server, you must license all the cores in
the server, with a minimum of 4 core licenses required for each physical processor
in the server.
Licensing by users - Server + CAL licensing
The Business Intelligence and Standard Editions will be available under the Server
+ Client Access License (CAL) model.The Business Intelligence and Standard Editions
will be available under the Server + Client Access License (CAL) model.
- This licensing model can be used anytime the number of users can
be readily counted (e.g., internal database applications).
- To access a licensed SQL Server, each user must have a SQL Server
CAL that is the same version or newer (for example, to access a SQL Server 2008
SE server, a user would need a SQL Server 2008 or 2012 CAL).
- Each SQL Server CAL can provide access to multiple licensed SQL
Servers, including the new SQL Server 2012 Business Intelligence Server as well
as prior versions of the Enterprise Servers.
- To help with the transition to the new licensing model, the SQL
Server 2012 Enterprise Edition will be available under the Server + CAL model through
June 30, 2012.
- All existing licenses of the Enterprise Edition in the Server +
CAL licensing model with Software Assurance (SA) can be upgraded to SQL Server 2012,
and SA can be maintained to provide access to future software updates.
- Licenses of the Enterprise Edition in the Server + CAL model that
are upgraded to SQL Server 2012 and beyond will be limited to server deployments
with 20 cores or less.
Database virtualization - Cloud optimized licensing
With databases that use just a fraction of the compute power of a physical server,
you can save by licensing individual database Virtual Machines (VMs).
Source: Microsoft SQL site
For further details on licensing and new editions refer to