Virtualisation for the DBA part 4 – Licensing and Support

To wrap up this mini-series on virtualisation, I wanted to clarify the support and licensing stuff you need to know if you want to Virtualise.

The support is really simple, Microsoft support virtual machines just as though they are real environments.  The interesting bit is that this isn’t specific to Hyper-V, it also applies to various versions of Vmware ESX  and vSphere,  Citrix Xen plus various other products listed in the Server Virtualisation Validation Program (SVVP). 

One thing to bear in mind here is that SQL Server 2000 and other products are in extended support or not supported now and the virtualisation doesn’t change that, so don’t expect too much help if you’re planning to run SQL Server 1.1. on OS/2 (although it works!).

The licensing is also remarkably straightforward. If you are using any edition except standard edition then you license the virtual machine as though it were a physical machine where virtual processors count as processors.  However if you you enterprise edition then you simply license the physical machine and then you are good to run as many virtual machines or instances on it as you wish each with a copy of SQL Server enterprise on it. Two things to note:

  • This applies to SQL server 2005 sp2 and later
  • It doesn’t matter what virtualisation technology you’re using

To get the definitive word on licensing in a virtual world form whihc you can be quoted on go here.

Hopefully you know understand the pressure being put on you to virtualise and have the resources to make this as painless as possible or push back if it isn’t going to work for certain workloads under your control. If not you have my contact details!

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