Azure SQL Server Licensing

Learn the different options available to license SQL server and the most cost effective ways that suits your businesses.

Enterprise Agreements (EAs) customers can now move their existing SQL Server licenses (BYOL) to Azure Virtual Machines using prebuilt images. Microsoft currently sells SQL Server use on Azure Virtual Machines on a “pay per use” licensing basis, but organizations can now bring their own license and tap Azure infrastructure if their SQL Server licenses are covered under an EA. To do this, an organization just selects a prebuilt image from the Azure gallery and then gets charged for the Azure compute costs.

Software Assurance (SA), Microsoft license mobility program applies to organizations with server licensing covered under Software Assurance agreements. An SA is an extra-cost  on top of a software license that permits software upgrades within the SA contract period. Organizations with SA agreements also can tap Azure infrastructure using their existing server licenses, although they have to bring their own images under that plan.

SQL server images, When you create a virtual machine, a number of SQL server images are available to you. In addition to standard Windows images, there are SQL-specific images that have SQL Server pre-installed and that also include the required SQL Server licenses. The reason way the SQL server images are more expensive then a standard VM is the SQL Server licensing is included in the SQL server image.

Azure SQL Database: A SQL database native to the cloud, also known as a platform as a service (PaaS) database or a database as a service (DBaaS) that is optimized for software-as-a-service (SaaS) app development. It offers compatibility with most SQL Server features. The Azure SQL database is a pay as you use service.

SPLA, Microsoft allow you to license the SQL server by user. You deploy the VM and install the SQL server and report the SQL server licensing though SPLA. The SPLA program is the only Microsoft Volume Licensing program that provides third-party license use rights. It is designed specifically for services providers who want to offer one-stop, full-service solutions to their customers.