I need to find out how the Microsoft licensing affects running SQL server 2005 standard on a virtual server, within an ESX cluster. I have been getting lot of mixed information during my research and while one MS document dated 2006 states that as long as per processor licensing is bought for SQL, it only requires licesing for the number of vCPUs present within that VM regardless of the physical processors underneath the virtualization layer which is pretty straight forward. However our enterprise architect believes that this is now out-dated and more recent documents states that you need to buy a license for every physical processor within the ESX cluster where the VM with SQL on can DRS on to at any given time. This is also not helped by the 90day rule and to be frank I am fed up of not being able to find out clear set of guidelines from Mircosoft about what is the correct licensing model for ruinning SQL server 2005 std on a VM.
What doy uo guys think? is there anywhere I can find these guidelines that are most up to date and written clearly without so much ambiguity?
We've recently went through the pain of verifying our SQL licensing a few months ago. One source that helped us was this page from Microsoft. This seems to be the most up to date information from them about SQL server 2005 running within virtual environments. I'm pretty sure I've read that other older doc as well. The entire situation is very ambigous. Microsoft does not make it easy to make sure your licensing is purchased correctly....
Thanks . I had already seen this document and according to that, (similar to that 2006 document I read) you only pay for the the number of CPU's accessible by the VM = number of vCPUs avaiable within the VM. But is this as simple as that especially when there are more than one physical servers available within the ESX cluster where the VM can DRS to without being harrassed by the 90 day rule? unlikely.. So unless you buy processor licenses for every physical processor within the ESX cluster, one way or another you are in breach of licensing terms simply due to Microsoft's purposely created ambigious licensing terms.
Duncan Epping has a good blog about hacking the virtual machine to fool themselves with the # of vCPU usage you can utilize it to see how it works other than that it would be best to ask MS representative to clarify with licensing concerns because they tend to flip the coin so often especially virtualization environment unless your paper is current. Good luck!
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