• Hello, i´m considering a setup that i don´t know the correct licensing requirements.

    Assuming i have software assurance so i can have these licensing benefits (free failover instance) you can see in the official licensing documentation.

    If i have the next setup:

    3 node cluster formed of:

    2 node failover cluster of sql enterprise (high core count each) in one site, one node active and other passive for the main site.

    A third node in other site with always on AG asynchronous databases in warm state (no queries, only for disaster recovery purposes)

    Then, i only have 1 server accepting "queries" or production use, then:

    Can i only license the enterprise core licenses for 1 host?

    Or we need to cover some of the other nodes? Seems that official documentation is not clear about this concrete setup...

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 9:53 PM

All replies

  • This is a licensing question and should be asked to a Licensing expert at Microsoft. Call 1-800-426-9400, Monday through Friday, 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. (Pacific Time) to speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist

    However, I want to add the following, which used to be the case back in the day. You might want to talk to them and clarify your doubts.

    1. In the case of a 2-node A-P SQL FCI, since the passive is not actively running queries etc, you are responsible only for the active license, however, in case there's a failover, you only have a limited time in which you have to failback or you have to license the other node (passive). 

    2. In the case of core-based licensing, if your passive has more cores than the active node, you will have to account for those additional cores in your license. 

    3. In the case of AG, if your secondary is non-readable, you only pay for the primary, however, the primary license only covers one secondary. 

    So technically, you should only pay for the active instance since the other two nodes are passive (non-readable) but again, I am not a Licensing expert and things keep changing. Your best bet is to consult with the licensing department.  

    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" if my response answered your question or click "Vote as helpful" if it helped you in any way.

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 11:22 PM
  • Hi quepasafran,

    It seems your question is more about license. For detailed information about the license issue, please call 1-800-426-9400, Monday through Friday, 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. (Pacific Time) to speak directly to a Microsoft licensing specialist. For international customers, please use the Guide to Worldwide Microsoft Licensing Sites to find contact information in your locations.


    If you have any other questions, please let me know.


    Dedmon Dai

    MSDN Community Support
    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact

    Friday, March 15, 2019 5:55 AM