SQL Server on premises – short term licensing option

Sometimes you only need a SQL database for a short term, such as a marketing campaign, data-migration, App development or seasonable work. Deploying a SQL Server on Azure isn’t always an option. But deploying SQL Server on a physical or virtual server in your datacenter requires a heavy investment in SQL Server licenses. Not anymore ….

Pay as You Go
The Pay as You Go option is paying for services consumed. We all know this licensing principle from cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure. Recently Microsoft made this type of licensing option available for SQL Servers deployed on end-customers hardware.

Azure Arc
To be able to benefit form PAYG licensing for on-premises deployments, the deployed SQL Server must be ‘Azure Arc enabled’. Simplified; you must ‘connect’ your SQL Server to Microsoft Azure and manage your SQL Server estate through Azure. If this is done, you can choose the Pay as You Go license model instead of traditional licensing (which is still allowed, but not very smart for short term usage).

PAYG rates
The PAYG rates for Azure Arc enabled SQL are charged per minute, but invoiced per hour on a monthly basis. You need to pay for each virtual core (vCPU) assigned to the Operating System on which SQL Server is deployed. The minimum amount to license is 4 cores against these rates (Central US in US$, May 2024):

Microsoft SQL Server Azure Arc enabled licensing

Example, when you deploy a SQL Server Enterprise with 2 vCPU, you need to license 4 which equals US$ 1,095 a month. When you deploy a SQL Server Standard with 6 vCPU, you license 6 cores, which equals US$ 438 a month.

More information
When you want more information on licensing Microsoft SQL Server or want an offer for SQL Server licenses, please do contact us.

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