Business Intelligence Edition in SQL 2012

To expand on my announcement about SQL Server 2012 editions, I welcome the new BI edition for the following reasons:

  1. The BI edition will include all BI features, including features that would previously require an enterprise edition, such as SSAS partitioning and semi-additive functions, as well as SSRS data-driven subscriptions. Therefore, from a functionality perspective, there will be no difference between BI and Enterprise editions as far as BI is concerned. That’s said, the Enterprise edition includes a set of database engine features not found in the BI edition, such as partitioning, ColumnStore indexes, AlwaysOn, etc.
  2. The BI edition could be a cost-effective alternative for ISVs and smaller deployments. For example, the Enterprise edition will cost you over 50K with a two-socket 4-core server. However, the BI edition will cost you $8,592 + Nx$209, where N is the number of users. So, for 20 users, it will be less than 13K. The cost convergence with this hardware configuration is about 200 users. Above that number Enterprise will be more cost effective, unless of course you decide to upgrade to say 4-socket server in which case you need to upgrade your Enterprise license.
  3. Once you’ve purchased a CAL for a user, that user can access multiple licensed SQL servers. So, if you install SharePoint and Analysis Services in SharePoint integration mode on one server, which is licensed using the above formula, and then you install SSAS in Multidimensional or Tabular mode on a separate server, you need to pay only $8,592 for the second server. You don’t need to purchase new CALs. Per-user pricing allows you to spread the implementation across the appropriate number of machines without paying a significant price.