Licensing SQL Server Reporting Services

license_please-2010-03-19.jpg

I have my license here somewhere, officer.

Licensing models can sometimes make database modeling seem trivial. Per processor or per seat? Single core, dual-core, multi-core processors? Multiple instances on one server? Virtualizing servers on a single server? Active / Passive clustering? It can get very confusing, very quickly.

Recently, I was asked by a former student about licensing for a SQL Server Reporting Services instance. In the proposed scenario, the Report Server would be installed on one server and the back end database would be installed on a separate, remote server. How many licenses of SQL Server are required?

In short, each server where a Business Intelligence component is installed requires a valid SQL Server license. So, a remote database deployment scenario where the Report Server is installed on one server and the ReportServer database is installed on a separate server requires two licenses of SQL Server.

But don’t take my word for it. Here are a couple of links that will help clarify licensing requirements.

Got any licensing stories you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about them.

Reporting Services Licensing

Licensing models can sometimes make database modeling seem trivial. Per processor or per seat? Single core, dual-core, multi-core processors? Multiple instances on one server? Virtualizing servers on a single server? It can get very confusing, very quickly.

I’m regularly asked by a former students, clients, and people in the Forums about licensing for a SQL Server Reporting Services instances. A typical question is: How many SQL Server licenses are required when the Report Server is installed on one server and the back end database is installed on a separate remote server?

Here are a couple of links that help describe the SQL Server licensing models.

And by the way, the answer to the sample question? Each server where a Business Intelligence component is installed requires a valid SQL Server license. So, a remote database deployment scenario where the Report Server is installed on one server and the ReportServer database is installed on a separate server requires two licenses of SQL Server.

Reporting Services Licensing

Licensing models can sometimes make database modeling seem trivial. Per processor or per seat? Single core, dual-core, multi-core processors? Multiple instances on one server? Virtualizing servers on a single server? It can get very confusing, very quickly.

Recently, I was asked by a former student about licensing for a SQL Server Reporting Services instance. In the proposed scenario, the Report Server would be installed on one server and the back end database would be installed on a separate, remote server. How many licenses of SQL Server are required?

In short, each server where a Business Intelligence component is installed requires a valid SQL Server license. So, a remote database deployment scenario where the Report Server is installed on one server and the ReportServer database is installed on a separate server requires two licenses of SQL Server.

But don’t take my word for it. Here are a couple of links that will help clarify licensing requirements.

Special Licensing Considerations for SQL Server 2005

SQL Server 2008 Pricing and Licensing

Cheers and I hope this helps!

Joe
kick it on DotNetKicks.com

Print | posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 8:01 AM

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# re: Reporting Services Licensing

really, as far as I know every server that runs any service of sql server needs separate licensing… And it is very expensive to have at leat 2 physical processor server for your SSRS…

2/17/2009 8:16 AM | Remote DBA

# re: Reporting Services Licensing

I could use a clarification here. Having any SQL Service run on a separate server makes sense that it would require an additional license. However, I’m under the impression that having the web components run on a different server does NOT constitute a SQL Service and therefore would NOT require a separate license.

Am I mistaken there?

Nick

11/10/2009 1:03 PM | Nick L Duckstein

# re: Reporting Services Licensing

Check this document:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/e/6/1e68f92c-f334-4517-b610-e4dee946ef91/2008%20SQL%20Licensing%20Overview%20final.docx

It seems like if you want to install reporting services web components (the site and the web service) on a different server where SQL Server 2008 is installed then you will need an other license.

12/17/2009 7:58 AM | Jairo Portela

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What’s the difference in a GDR, a Cumulative Update (CU), and a Service Pack (SP)?

The nomenclature used for referencing software releases and updates can be quite confusing. Let’s consider an example to illustrate what the various terms mean.

As a new version of a product is being developed, it may be made available to select customers and community members for early testing. This is sometimes called alpha builds of the product.

As development progresses and the product becomes more and more polished, it’s provided to a wider audience. This used to be called beta releases; for example beta 1, beta 2, etc. However a few years ago Microsoft changed the terminology for SQL Server pre-releases. They are now referred to as CTPs(Community Technology Previews ). You can downlolife_cyclead the November CTP, for example.

As the product enters it’s final stages before release, the feature set is complete and the product is undergoing final testing, it’s called an RC (Release Candidate).

After a product has undergone significant testing and it’s determined that no more changes will be made to the product before release, it’s sometimes said that the product has gone golden. It’s also called a GA (General Availability) release.

Once the bits been turned over to a company to mass produce the media (CDs, DVDs, etc), it’s RTM’d (Released To Manufacturing).

Usually sometime around the RTM, the product version is “launched“. The timing of the launch may or may not have any correlation with the time the product is actually available for purchase. The launch has more to do with marketing and product feature education than availability.

Finally the product is released! It’s available for purchase from the normal distribution channels.

Over time, Hot Fixes are created by the dev team to address specific product issues affecting certain customers. Sometimes the issue is so wide spread, a GDR (General Distribution Release) is issued so that all customers will receive the updates.

A QFE, or Quick Fix Engineering, is the release vehicle for those fixes that are not considered wide spread enough to warrant a full GDR, A QFE is associated with certain build numbers only.

Since hot fixes, QFEs, and GDRs are designed to quickly address specific problems encountered by specific customers, they can be issued rather often. The rapidity of the hot fixes and GDR’s makes it impractical for many IT shops to keep up with the pace of the releases. So, a CU (Cumulative Update) is created that contains all of the applicable hot fixes. This makes it easier for customers who haven’t been directly affected by the issues that sparked the hot fixes to remain current.

Once a large enough collection of changes have been gathered, an SP (Service Pack) will be issued. Historically, SPs have also been the release vehicle used to deliver new features that were not ready at the time of GA. For example, Database Mirroring was made available in SP1. SP2 brought us the custom reports as in the Performance Dashboard. Microsoft has since indicated that SPs will not be used as a release vehicle for new features.

And then the whole cycle starts overs. Feel like you’re on a treadmill yet?

For more information, check out the following links:

Cheers!

Joe

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