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Microsoft

One of the most popular software assurance benefits for SQL Server customers is the ability to deploy SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery architectures with the best TCO. Starting November 1st, 2019, every Software Assurance customer of SQL Server will be able to use three enhanced benefits for any SQL Server release that is still supported by Microsoft:

  • Failover servers for high availability – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate operating system environment (OSE) or server for high availability on-premises in anticipation of a failover event. Today, Software Assurance customers have one free passive instance for either high availability or DR
  • Failover servers for disaster recovery NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server on-premises for disaster recovery in anticipation of a failover event
  • Failover servers for disaster recovery in Azure NEW – Allows customers to install and run passive SQL Server instances in a separate OSE or server for disaster recovery in Azure in anticipation of a failover event

In the video below, you will see how the above benefits can help you deploy recommended HADR architectures using SQL Server at the best TCO. 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Blog post about the HADR benefits announcement

SQL Server 2019 License Guide: https://aka.ms/sql2019licenseguide 

7 Comments
Occasional Visitor

Hi Amit Banerjee  thanks for the overview.  Do you know of any Guides and Walk though for working for SQL 2019 and the HA/DR and Azure DR setup.  I am trying better to understand this and the setup for this in what is all involved.  As we have many clients that would be interested in this.  My setup would be VM on Prem with Primary, Secondary and Secondary DR.  As well as VM on Prem with Primary , Secondary and Azure Sencondary DR. I want to understand the Testing that you talked about and what we can and can not do under the Software assurance.

Visitor

Hi Amit Banerjee, thanks for the excelent overview.

I have the same interest of @TrevorKohlman too.

Thanks for your help.

Occasional Visitor

hey Amit, Nice examples. When you say Software Assurance allows you to run DR Test. Could you please clarify this topic in more details. Does Software Assurance allows to switch Production and DR roles between two sites or this just allows you to test DR and then failback to Production? If later is the case then Software Assurance has no real meaning or any benefits to the customers.

 

Visitor

Hi Amit, 

 

Thanks for this, and other blog posts, @Amit Banerjee 

 

What would be the requirements for SQL Server (EE/SA) when using AlwaysOn Availability Groups with WSFC on Azure VM's, with no readable-secondaries.  

 

For example, Azure VM with SQL Server (EE/SA) with 16 cores for primary, and secondary with 16 cores (no readable secondary, active/passive).  Would the benefit cover this scenario (no on-prem)?  Or, would all 32 cores/vCpus need to be licensed?  

 

Thanks!

Occasional Visitor

@TrevorKohlman & @Sara G The testing refers to any DR drills that you would perform periodically to determine that your DR plan is valid and it will work in case of a true disaster. Please talk to your Account Executive or Licensing Specialist to determine if your specific DR test scenario qualifies for the benefit if you want to validate specifically for your environments. All the SQL Server HADR common options are listed here for Azure Virtual Machine.

 

From our Product Terms for SQL Server Software Assurance customers:

Customer may also run Primary Workloads and its disaster recovery Fail-over OSEs simultaneously for brief periods of disaster recovery testing every 90 days, and around the time of a disaster, for a brief period, to assist in the transfer between them.

 

@sybadm For the first part of your Q, please refer the above comment. When you switch between production and DR environments, you are leveraging your License Mobility Software Assurance benefit and reassigning licenses from production to DR. You can do this reassignment any number of times with Software Assurance. 

 

@petervee For your example (Azure VM with SQL Server (EE/SA) with 16 cores for primary, and secondary with 16 cores (no readable secondary, active/passive).  Would the benefit cover this scenario (no on-prem)?  Or, would all 32 cores/vCpus need to be licensed?):

a. If you are running this setup on Azure VM or on-premises, you would not need to license the secondary replica as long as it has 16 cores or less and the replica satisfies the condition of a passive replica. 

b. The benefit that you would leverage would be the fail-over server Software Assurance benefit. If you add a third replica with 16 cores which is passive but is set for async data movement, then that would not need to be licensed under the new failover server DR benefit. 

c. If you are running on-premises, and set up a fourth async passive replica on Azure VM for 16 cores, then you wouldn't need to license the SQL licenses on the VM due to the Failover servers for disaster recovery in Azure benefit. 

 

HTH

Visitor

@Amit Banerjee 

as per new licenses SA benefits, I know now one licenses is enough for  this scenarios.  however I want to confirm below as earlier  almost all customers believed  SQL Log shipping for DR in this scenarios licenses free.   

Primary Site  HA( SQL Failover Cluster Instance - Active/Passive - Not Always on ), If it is always on, agree they need licenses for DR as DR copy is secondary copy 

DR Site ( Standalone Passive Instance - SQL Log shipping ) 

Did they need have 2 Licenses( old license rules )

 

old version of SQL , most of customers use above scenario to save  licenses for DR as it is not active unless for DR.  

 

If Customer use Primary site ( always on for HA - Primary Copy in Second Server) - license was not required for primary copy and DR  site always on  secondary Copy ( or Log shipping ) need licenses ( old licensing rule ). this is clear. 

Martin76_0-1600411585638.png

 

 

  

Occasional Visitor

Hi @Amit Banerjee

 

Glad I found these videos!  Really appreciate you creating and posting them, as they go a long way in helping understand the SQL licensing rules around HADR!  I do want to confirm however, as going through various points of reference around Standard vs Enterprise editions, has left me wondering and am hoping you can clarify!

 

I currently have a Primary instance of Standard SQL 2019 w/SA, running in a VM with 4 cores assigned to it.  I have licensed all 4-cores (with dual 2-core packs).  Within this instance I have 8 individual databases. 

 

My first question is... with the new HADR benefits that you've described in the videos above... does it pertain to this instance with all 8 individual databases, or is there a limit to how many databases are supported under a Standard Edition (w/SA) Instance?

Second question is... understanding that we can have 3 PASSIVE secondary's (for HA, DR and DRinAz)... do the secondary's need Windows Server licenses, or does Mobility licensing come into play, since these are not active OSEs?

 

Thanks!