What is Microsoft SQL Server?

Microsoft SQL Server is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). Microsoft SQL Server is used for various purposes such as: Transaction processing, business intelligence (BI) and analytical applications.  The SQL Server is built on the SQL programming language, which stands for Structured Query Language. 

What is the SQL Server used for?

The most common purpose of the Microsoft SQL Server is to store and manage information in the database. Many organizations that hold sensitive information (such as personal information, credit card information, etc.)  can benefit from the security of SQL Server. The SQL  Server is secure because of the  following applications: Encrypted  data,  row -level security and dynamic data masking . We will tell you more about this later!  

Which Microsoft SQL Server versions are there? 

There are different versions of the Microsoft SQL Server. Below we discuss the most important versions and their most important features. 

1. SQL Server 2019 

Big data Clusters: This function enables the organization to combine and analyse data with large amounts of big data. This is because you   can now deploy clusters of SQL Server, Spark, and HDFS containers (running on Kubernetes) simultaneously. The Big data cluster ensures that you can work in parallel in these different clusters. 

U TF-8 support: The UTF-8 data encoding system is now also supported by SQL Server 2019.  Improved security:  As mentioned earlier, the security of the SQL Server is a reason for many companies to use the SQL Server. With the latest version, this security has been further improved through certificate management in SQL Server Configuration Manager (CTP 2.0). 

2. SQL Server 2017 

Multiple Operating Systems:  With SQL Server 2017, you now have a choice on which operating system you will run the instances on. You can choose from Windows, Linux and Docker containers. 

Graph Database Capabilities:  With new graph database capabilities, it is now easier and more efficient to store and query the complex connections between nodes and entity edges. 

3. SQL Server 2016 

Encrypted data:  With the “Always Encrypted” function, your data is always protected and encrypted. This allows you to protect confidential data using an encryption key. 

Dynamic Data Masking:  This feature makes confidential information always unreadable for people who are not authorized to read the data. 

Real-Time Operational Analytics:  This function ensures optimal transactional performance in your system.   

SQL Server Standard vs. Enterprise 

Microsoft   offers 2 different variants for companies: the standard version and the Enterprise version. The standard version has all the fundamental features such as: Database, reporting and analysis capabilities. The Enterprise version has all the functionalities that the standard version has, but also has additional options in the field of functionalities and security.   

How do I license SQL Server? 

First, every SQL Server requires a SQL Server license. In addition, there are two general licensing models for SQL Server: 

  1. SQL Server + CAL model:  This model gives the organization the ability to license both individual users and devices. This  means that each user and/or device requires a SQL Server Client Access License (CAL) to access and use the SQL Server. It is important to know that this CAL must be the same or higher version than the SQL Server that is being used. 
  2. Per Core model:  The per Core model is most often used when the number of users or devices using the SQL Server is unknown or difficult to determine.  

Within the per Core model you also have 2 options, namely: Per Core licenses for physical servers or for virtual environments.  

Physical Server: 

If you use a physical server, you need a core license for each physical core in each processor in that server. The license conditions state that a minimum of four core licenses per physical process core is required.  

Virtual environments:  

Within the virtual environments, the licensing options quickly become a lot more complex. A first option for customers is to license each individual virtual server on which the SQL Server is installed.  

A second option is to license the underlying physical host on which the SQL Server virtual machines are installed. In that case, all physical cores of all processors must have a SQL Server core license.  

Buy second-hand Microsoft SQL Server licenses 

If you choose second-hand SQL Server licenses you can save a lot of money. With second-hand licenses you buy the same SQL Server licenses for a significantly lower price. Q–Advise specializes in the purchase and sale of second-hand software licenses. The advantage of second-hand software licenses is that you pay less money for the same software.  

In addition, at Q-Advise we specialize in independent licensing advice. Because we are independent, we can provide you with transparent and honest advice. Together with you, we look at the wishes and needs of your organization before making a decision that best suits it. Together we can prevent you from spending too much money on SQL Server licenses.  

Want to know more about Microsoft SQL Server licenses ?  Please contact the Microsoft licensing experts at Q- Advise ! 

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