Unanswered: SQL Licenses in multi-server ETL environment
My company uses a quad processor server connected to a SAN to load and summarize detail sales information from 2000 stores on a nightly basis. We poll and load around 5,000,000 rows of data each night. THis information is summarized up to various levels, then replicated to one or more secondary datamart servers for end user access via web reporting, BI tools like Proclarity/Analysis Services etc...
The initial data polling server is only touched by the development staff supporting the process (1-5 programmers) and is licensed for SQL server Enterprise using a CAL model. Each datamart server is licensed with MS SQL server processor licenses.
The question: We were told that the quad processor polling machine, which has no end user access allowed, must be licensed with processor licenses since it touchs the data ultimately consumed by end users. This makes no sense to me.
The Microsoft white papers discussing multi_tier environments don't seem to address this type of issue. They focus on applications that ultimately pass thru a data request to the SQL server machine. In this situation, user requests are handled by the datamart servers, which are licensed with processor SQL licenses.
Sorry to say you heard correctly. Below is from the Microsoft site:
Multiplexing is the use of hardware and/or software to reduce the number of devices that directly access or use the software on a particular server. An example of multiplexing is a server application that calls the Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) component of Microsoft Windows 2000 Server on one server, which in turn pulls data from a SQL Server database on another server. The client computer has a direct connection to the server running MTS, but it also has an indirect connection to SQL Server because it is ultimately retrieving and using the SQL Server data through MTS.
Use of such multiplexing, pooling, or related hardware and/or software does not reduce the number of CALs required for SQL Server. Regardless of how many tiers of hardware or software exist between the SQL Server and the client devices that ultimately use its data, services, or functionality, a CAL is required for each distinct input to the multiplexing, pooling, or related software or the hardware front end. Processor licensing will likely be the appropriate licensing option in these situations, due to its simplicity and affordability.
For more information about multiplexing and SQL Server licensing, see the SQL Server Processor Licensing Clarification page.