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SQL Server 2012 on sale … now!

New licensing arrangements may cost you more

New hybrid storage solutions

Microsoft has shoved SQL Server 2012 down the slipway in a very modern way – with a blog post and a virtual launch event. If you want to play with it, go get a freebie here.

That's not quite the fanfare Redmond mustered a decade ago, when its attempts to show it could play with the database big boys meant rather more razzmatazz was summoned up.

Here in Australia, the launch event was pitched as a “Big Data Symposium” rather than an outright SQL Server launch. That gave Microsoft the chance to talk up new features like in-memory computing facility xVelocity, data visualisation tool PowerView and new PowerPivot bits that output more useful data to Excel as the biggest changes end-users will care about.

For DBAs there's SQL Server Data Quality Services and enhancedMaster Data Services to get excited about, plus integration between SQL Server in unfashionable in-house configurations and Microsoft's cloudy SQL Azure http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/features/sql-azure/.

Perhaps the most contentious feature of the new database is its licensing. Microsoft has introduced three licences:

  • Core-based Licensing for Enterprise
  • Server + CAL licensing for Business Intelligence
  • Choice of core-based licensing or Server + CAL licensing for Standard

Figuring out just which of those licenses applies, especially on virtualised systems, is tough and much speculation suggests that the overall bill for the database will be higher than that for previous versions. At least one consultancy, WARDY IT Solutions, has therefore created a licensing review consulting service. ®

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