Not sure if it is a good news or bad news, SQL Server 2012 license shifts from processor-based to core-based.......here are the changes
1. There is no Datacenter Edition anymore, it is merged into Enterpise Edition. Furthermore, Workgroup and Small business Editions are also being retired.
Currently there are only 3 main editions:
Developer, Express and Compact editions are still available, but your choice will be less, you might need to pay more money :)
2. SQL Server 2012 will continue to offer two licensing options – one based on computing power, and one based on users or devices. In the computing power-based license model, however, license will shift from processors to cores.
is it a good news? before SQL Server 2012, we are encouraged to buy processor having multi-core as many as possible, because the license fee is the same... you can get more powerful computing ability without need to pay more money. are you missing SQL Server 2008? :)
3. To license a physical server, you must license all the cores in the server with a minimum of 4 core licenses required for each physical processor in the server.Core licenses will be priced at ¼ the cost of a SQL Server 2008 R2 (EE/SE) processor license
that means if you buy hardware, please remember to buy the processor with more than 4 cores. it sounds uncomfortable, however, it is hard to find a enterprise level processor with less 4-cores, I think it doesn't matter.
4. The SQL Server 2012 CAL price will increase by about 27%
5. for virtual environments, there are still 2 license ways : by processor and by Server+CAL
a)To license a VM with core licenses, purchase a core license for each virtual core (virtual thread) allocated to the virtual machine (minimum of 4 core licenses per VM).
so create the VM with at least 4 virtual core, or less you loss money.
b)if you have High Density Virtualization on physical server, you can do so by fully licensing the server (or server farm) with Enterprise Edition core licenses and Software Assurance based on the total number of physical cores on the servers. SA then enables the ability to run an unlimited number of virtual machines to handle dynamic workloads and fully utilize the hardware’s computing power.
although looks like the SQL Server 2012 is a little(?) more expensive than previouse version, but comparing with the new feature and high performance, I thint it is worth upgrading :)