Buy SQL Server 2022 on-premises? You need to know these licensing rules before you buy!

Database management systems are crucial for many organizations, as they are the backbone of data storage and management. Microsoft SQL Server 2022, the latest version of Microsoft’s database management systems, offers advanced features and improved performance to meet the growing needs of modern businesses 

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Microsoft SQL Server 2022: what it is, how to license it on-premises, what editions are available, and much more! Are you curious? Then read on.  

What is Microsoft SQL Server 2022? 

Before we go any further, it’s useful to explain exactly what Microsoft SQL Server 2022 is. Microsoft SQL Server 2022 is the latest version of Microsoft’s relational database management system (RDBMS). Before Microsoft launched this version in November 2022, there was the SQL Server 2019 version. Microsoft has designed SQL Server specifically for on-premises deployments within your organization’s IT infrastructure. The 2022 version offers extensive data management, analytics, and security capabilities while running on the organization’s own servers (on-premises). With SQL Server 2022, Microsoft introduced improved performance and scalability, enabling it to efficiently process large amounts of data and execute complex queries faster. In addition, Microsoft SQL Server 2022 also includes advanced security features such as comprehensive data encryption and threat detection, which helps to protect sensitive information from cyber threats, for example.  

The great thing about Microsoft SQL Server 2022 is that it also allows for improved integration with cloud services, allowing for hybrid deployments. So, you can use it as an on-premise, or as a hybrid deployment with cloud services. This makes Microsoft SQL Server 2022 a flexible and good solution for companies that need reliable database management systems within their own IT infrastructure.  

Different Microsoft SQL Server 2022 editions to buy 

By now, Microsoft understands that every organization has different wants and needs, which is why the tech giant has also rolled out several Microsoft SQL Server 2022 editions:  

SQL Server 2022 Express: This edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2022 is free. It’s the most stripped-down edition of SQL Server 2022 and is good for building desktop and small server data-driven applications. Because it’s free and entry-level, Express is good for students or beginners, but it can also be useful for small applications or tests within your organization.  

SQL Server 2022 Standard: You will have to pay for this edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2022. This edition is seen as the standard edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2022 and is aimed at small to medium-sized organizations. SQL Server 2022 Standard provides you with basic data management and a business information database.  

SQL Server 2022 Enterprise: The Enterprise edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2022 is also considered the premium edition and is therefore also paid. This edition contains the full features for your data center. Enterprise has no limitations and is performance-oriented for tier 1 databases.  

SQL Server 2022 Developer: This edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2022 is also free, but for a different reason than SQL Server 2022 Express. Developer can be seen more as a ‘test environment’. That’s because you can develop and test applications with all the features of SQL Server 2022 Enterprise, but you can’t put them into production.  

Want to let your organization take advantage of the benefits of Microsoft SQL Server 2022? Contact Q-Advise today!  

Microsoft SQL Server 2022 licensing capabilities 

If you want to license Microsoft SQL Server 2022, you have two options: per-core licensing, or per-server/CAL licensing. We explain it for you: 

  1. Per-core licensing: The per-core licensing model of Microsoft SQL Server 2022 requires licenses for all physical cores in the server. Each core must have a license, with a minimum of four licenses per physical processor. Please note: core licenses can only be purchased in pairs. The advantage of per-core licensing is that in high-throughput environments, it doesn’t impose any restrictions on the number of users or devices. It helps organizations manage predictable costs while taking advantage of the full performance of SQL Server 2022.  
  2. Per-server/CAL licensing: The per-server/CAL licensing model of Microsoft SQL Server 2022 requires a server license for each server and Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each user or device accessing the server. This method of licensing can only be used by smaller companies, because they often only have a limited number of users and/or devices. After all, each user or device that connects to the SQL Server must have a separate CAL.  

Do you always get to choose how to license Microsoft SQL Server 2022? No, unfortunately not. The Standard edition may be licensed with either per core or per CAL licenses. But the Enterprise edition may only be licensed with per core licenses.  

SQL Server 2022: downgrade rights 

Not entirely convinced by the new features of Microsoft SQL Server 2022? If you purchase a license for SQL Server 2022, you will also receive downgrade rights. This means that your organization has the option to deploy an earlier version (and sometimes an alternate edition). These rights are as follows:  

Customers licensed for:  

  • SQL Server 2022 Standard can choose to deploy: the Standard edition of 2022 or earlier (so for example also SQL Server 2019, or SQL Server 2017. 
  • SQL Server 2022 Enterprise can choose to deploy: 
  1. Standard edition of 2022 or earlier
  2. Enterprise edition of 2022 or earlier
  3. Business Intelligence edition of 2014 or earlier 

SQL Server 2022 License Mobility with Software Assurance 

All SQL Server 2022 licenses purchased with Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) are entitled to license mobility across server farms.  

The image above shows two server licenses purchased with Microsoft Software Assurance. This allows the virtual machines to move freely within the server farm. The licenses can be dynamically assigned to the relevant physical server. This provides the ability to move licenses between servers within a server farm as often as needed, supporting a virtualized environment where virtual machines can switch physical servers on a regular basis. This makes flexible and efficient management of your IT infrastructure a lot easier. 

Licensing SQL Server 2022 components 

Microsoft SQL Server 2022 includes services such as Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services and Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, which are essential to the Microsoft Business Intelligence solution. It is important to note that when SQL Server 2022 runs on a single server with all its components, only one license is required. This will change if your database runs on one server, Analysis Services on a second server, and Reporting Services on a third server. In that case, not one, but three licenses are required.  

Buy Microsoft SQL Server 2022 for your organization? 

If you want to buy and license Microsoft SQL Server 2022 for your organization, there are a lot of things to consider: for example, are you going for the Standard or Enterprise edition? And how are you actually going to license: per core or per server/CAL? Do you need Software Assurance on your SQL servers?  Making a choice between these options can be quite confusing. We understand that.
Especially if there is also a possibility to buy second-hand or used Microsoft SQL licenses.  

Fortunately, at Q-Advise we can answer all the questions you may have about on-premises licensing Microsoft SQL Server 2022. We have years of experience with Microsoft software and services and can therefore guide and advise you well in the licensing process of Microsoft SQL Server 2022.  

Are you curious about how we can help your organization regarding Microsoft SQL Server 2022? Contact us today to find out how we can help you when it comes to these server licenses. We are one hundred percent independent and will always apply the licensing rules in the interest of your organization, not in the interest of Microsoft.  

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