with regards to SQL licencing - how does Nutanix handle the cost per core issue?

  • 12 May 2014
  • 7 replies
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With regards to SQL licencing - how does Nutanix handle the cost per core issue?

pertaining to the cost per cpu

how does Nutanix solve sql licencing (per core) issue

7 replies

Userlevel 4
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It's really the same as using regular servers. You can add Nutanix nodes just for storage if that's needed. You can also have multiple small compute clusters but the underlying storage cluster can be whole so you can use the storage resources effectively.
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My understanding is that SQL licensing when using per core licensing (formerly per processor) you license the number of cores or vCPU assigned to the guest VM running the SQL workload. I don't know if you still require Software assurance to be able to migrate the VM to any node in the cluster.
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My understanding from talking to our license rep is that you need SA in order to be able to migrate the SQL server. If you migrate without SA, you're technically out of licensing and the BSA could tag you for it.

Also, with SA you're entitled to being able to migrate to another cluster, but only twice a month. This is extremely handy if you need to migrate between racks or datacenters for outages.
Userlevel 4
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Fundamentally using Nutanix doesn't change the licensing of SQL Server at all. It's the same as if you were licensing SQL Server in any other virtualized environment. However as you may be able to get additional performance you may be able to consolidate more SQL Server VM's per physical node/host and therefore if licensing a full host (all CPU's on the host) effectively reduce the number of nodes and/or cores that need to be licensed overall. If you only have a single SQL Server or a few of them in a larger cluster then you may be better off just licensing by the vCPU's used. Microsoft has flexible licensing terms in my experience provided you are paying for software assurance. The best licensing options will depend on your requirements and due to the nature of licensing being complex and having a high dollar impact getting independent advice from a suitably qualified licensing specialist would be best.
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I have followon question just for clarity about the MAX Virtualization license model for SQL. MS License guide states that in order to use max virtualization we must have SW Assurance, and must also license all core in the physical server... so how does that work with Nutanix?

When we asked the MS licensing rep, they stated that because virtualization happens below the node, the node doesn't count as the physical server, the cluster does.

So from that case, If I have shared cluster of SQL and Sharepoint that has 8 nodes with 24 cores each, and SQL will nominally run on 4 of the nodes (but can run on any 4) then we would have to license SQL on all 196 cores in the Cluster..

In my experience MS are flexable as hell about licenses until it comes time for License true-up which always seems to coincide with a multi million dollar bill at the end of year - we always assume someone needs a Christmas Bonus.... but you can see why we are concerned about this...
Userlevel 2
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Also interested in this topic as we're implementing Sharepoint / SQL enterprise SA on Nutanix.

I was under impression that we license the cores of the VM i.e. if we license SQL 8 cores then we can either use either 1 SQL server with 8 cores configured or x2 with 4 each etc. or alternatively if we license all cores in the cluster for SQL server then we can run as many instances as we like.

The minimium cores required to be licensed is 4

the document I've based this on is a pdf document linked in this page https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/learn-more/brief-server-virtual-environments.aspx
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WIth "core" licensing you have to assign the license to the OSI, or to the hardware - which allows for unlimited OSI.

You don't have to license the full cluster (but may want to), just the hosts you want to run it on, and then use a "policy" to make sure the OSI only runs on the licensed hosts.

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