How to Have a Conversation About Software Licensing

As a consultant, I sometimes see SQL Servers with high CPU core counts relative to their workload. For example, the situation that inspired this post was seeing half a dozen SQL Servers with ~50 cores each, hundreds of cores total – yet they consistently had just 1-5% CPU usage.

Here’s what I said to management:

Right now, you’re running SQL Server on 280 cores. SQL Server Enterprise Edition licensing is about $7,000 per core, so you’ve installed $1,960,000 worth of licensing. If an employee or former employee goes to the BSA and reports you, they may get a pretty sizable