SQL Server 2014 licensing overview

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by Arogyalokesh
Last modified: April 17th 2017

The licensing models affiliated with SQL SERVER 2014 are simplified to better align to customer solutions and also optimized for virtualization and cloud deployments. Organizations should pay close attention to the information that follows to ensure that they understand the licensing model. With SQL Server 2014, the licensing for computing power is core-based and the Business Intelligence and Standard editions are available under the Server + Client Access License (CAL) model. In addition, organizations can save on cloud-based computing costs by licensing individual database virtual machines. Unfortunately, because each organization’s environment is unique, this section cannot provide an overview of how the licensing changes affect an organization’s environment. For more information on the licensing changes and how they influence your organization, please contact your Microsoft representative or partner..

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Hardware and software requirements

The recommended hardware and software requirements for SQL Server 2014 vary depending on the component being installed, the database workload, and the type of processor class that will be used. Review Table 1-1 and Table 1-2 to understand the hardware and software requirements for SQL Server 2014.

Because SQL Server 2014 supports many processor types and operating systems, Table 1-1 covers the hardware requirements only for a typical SQL Server 2014 installation. Typical installations include SQL Server 2014 Standard or Enterprise running on Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems. Readers needing information for other scenarios should reference “Hardware and Software Requirements for Installing SQL Server 2014” at https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143506(v=SQL.120).aspx.

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Hardware requirements:

Software requirements:

Note: The server hardware has supported both 32-bit and 64-bit processors for several years, but Windows Server 2008 R2 and above is 64-bit only. Take this into serious consideration when planning SQL Server 2014 deployments

Installation, upgrade, and migration strategies:

Like its predecessors, SQL Server 2014 is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. Both can be installed either with the SQL Server installation wizard through a command prompt or with Sysprep for automated deployments with minimal administrator intervention. SQL Server 2014 supports installation on the Server Core, which is an installation option of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or later. Finally, database administrators also have the option to upgrade an existing installation of SQL Server or conduct a side-by-side migration when installing SQL Server 2014. The following sections elaborate on the different strategies.

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In-place upgrade:

An in-place upgrade is the upgrade of an existing SQL Server installation to SQL Server 2014. When an in-place upgrade is conducted, the SQL Server 2014 setup program replaces the previous SQL SERVER binaries on the existing machine with the SQL Server 2014 binaries. SQL Server data is automatically converted from the previous version to SQL Server 2014. This means data does not have to be copied or migrated. In the example in Figure 1-7, a database administrator is conducting an in-place upgrade on a SQL Server 2012 instance running on Server 1. When the upgrade is complete, Server 1 still exists, but the SQL Server 2012 instance and all of its data is upgraded to SQL Server 2014.

Note: Organizations can perform an in-place upgrade to SQL Server 2014 if they are running SQL Server 2008 SP3 or later, SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 or later, or SQL Server 2012 SP1 or later. Unfortunately, earlier versions of SQL Server, including SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 7.0, and SQL Server 6.5 cannot be upgraded to SQL Server 2014.

An in-place upgrade from SQL Server 2012 to SQL Server 2014.

The high-level in-place upgrade strategy for upgrading to SQL Server 2014 consists of the following steps:

1. Ensure that the instance of SQL Server to be upgraded meets the hardware and software requirements for SQL Server 2014.
2. Review the deprecated and discontinued features in SQL Server 2014. For more information, refer to “Deprecated Database Engine Features in SQL Server 2014” at https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143729(v=sql.120).aspx.
3. Ensure that the version and edition of SQL Server that will be upgraded is supported. To review all the upgrade scenarios supported for SQL Server 2014, see “Supported Version and Edition Upgrades” at https://msdn.microsoft.com/enus/library/ms143393(v=sql.120).aspx.
4. Run the SQL Server 2014 Upgrade Advisor. The Upgrade Advisor is a tool included with SQL Server 2014, or it can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft website. It analyzes the installed components on the SQL Server instance you plan to upgrade to ensure that the system supports SQL Server 2014. The Upgrade Advisor generates a report identifying anomalies that require fixing or attention before the upgrade can begin. The Upgrade Advisor analyzes any SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008, or SQL Server 2005 components that are installed.
5. Install the SQL Server 2014 prerequisites.
6. Begin the upgrade to SQL Server 2014 by running setup.

Side-by-side migration:

The term side-by-side migration describes the deployment of a brand-new SQL Server 2014 instance alongside a legacy SQL Server instance. When the SQL Server 2014 installation is complete, a database administrator migrates data from the legacy SQL Server database platform to the new SQL Server 2014 database platform. Side-by-side migration is depicted in the figure.

Note: You can conduct a side-by-side migration to SQL Server 2014 by using the same server. The side-by-side method can also be used to upgrade to SQL Server 2014 on a single server.
Side-by-side migration from SQL Server 2012 to SQL Server 2014

Side-by-side migration pros and cons:

The greatest advantage of a side-by-side migration over an in-place upgrade is the opportunity to build out a new database infrastructure on SQL Server 2014 and avoid potential migration issues that can occur with an in-place upgrade. A side-by-side migration also provides more granular control over the upgrade process because an administrator can migrate databases and components independently of one another. In addition, the legacy instance remains online during the migration process. All of these advantages result in a more powerful server. Moreover, when two instances are running in parallel, additional testing and verification can be conducted. Performing a rollback is also easy if a problem arises during the migration. However, there are disadvantages to the side-by-side strategy. Additional hardware or a virtual machine may be required. Applications might also need to be directed to the new SQL
Server 2014 instance, and it might not be a best practice for very large databases because of the duplicate amount of storage required during the migration process.

SQL Server 2014 high-level side-by-side strategy

The high-level side-by-side migration strategy for upgrading to SQL Server 2014 consists of the following steps:

1. Ensure that the instance of SQL Server you plan to migrate meets the hardware and software requirements for SQL Server 2014.
2. Review the deprecated and discontinued features in SQL Server 2014 by referring to “Deprecated Database Engine Features in SQL Server 2014” at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143729(v=sql.120).aspx.
3. Although a legacy instance that is no longer supported will not be upgraded to SQL Server 2014, it is still beneficial to run the SQL Server 2014 Upgrade Advisor to ensure that the data being migrated to SQL Server 2014 is supported and there is no possibility of a blocker preventing the migration.
4. Procure the hardware and install your operating system of choice. Windows Server 2012 is recommended.
5. Install the SQL Server 2014 prerequisites and desired components.
6. Migrate objects from the legacy SQL Server to the new SQL Server 2014 database platform.
7. Point applications to the new SQL Server 2014 database platform.
8. Decommission legacy servers after the migration is complete.

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