If you’re looking at buying more SQL Server licenses, this may be a good time to do it. Microsoft recently announced that there will be several changes, including price increases, when SQL Server 2008 R2 is released – which is still supposed to happen in the first half of this year.
The price increases affect only the per-processor licensing model – at present, the Server/CAL licensing model remains unchanged. The processor pricing for SQL Server Standard edition is going up by 25%, and the processor pricing for Enterprise Edition is going up by 15%. Bear in mind that this is per processor socket, regardless of the number of cores – and Microsoft is the only major database vendor whose pricing does not depend on the number of processor cores.
In addition, there will be some limits placed on the capabilities of the Enterprise Edition, and two new premium editions will be released. In R2, Enterprise Edition will support no more than 2 Tb of RAM, and no more than 8 processors. Virtualization rights will be limited as well.
The new Datacenter Edition will support unlimited memory (up to whatever the underlying OS can support), and up to 256 logical processors. If that still isn’t enough horsepower, you can check out the new “Parallel Data Warehouse” edition with its support for “massively parallel processing” (MPP).
You can find more information on SQL Server 2008 R2 at http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/R2.aspx.