Microsoft will hike licensing prices for the soon-to-launch SQL Server 2012 Enterprise edition by an average of 20 per cent, resellers have claimed.
From, er, April Fools' Day, customers who buy the top level version will be charged based on the numbers of cores licensed rather than the number of servers used.
The Standard edition model will give users the choice of paying for cores or servers, and the Business Intelligence edition is based on server and client access licences (CAL) only.
"Microsoft’s changes to SQL Server licensing are a reflection of the changes in the database industry and the evolution of hardware," a spokesman at the software giant told The Register.
"Internal customer research with hundreds of customers has shown that customers with database and datacenter scenarios prefer the new licensing model and consider it a simple and more predictable model," the vendor's spinner said.
It is true that Microsoft admitted back in January that SQL Server licensing changes would likely impact pricing but kept mum on the extent of the increase.
Resellers reckon that, on average, prices will rise by roughly a fifth, and voiced surprise that Microsoft is finally moving to a model adopted by rivals years ago and one that it heavily criticised.
"There is a bit of panic from customers; they are having to sort out budgets in advance to save money," said one.
One large dealer said customers can opt for a mini Enterprise Agreement - Enterprise for Application Platform (EAP) - at current pricing levels, which entitles them to a free upgrade under Software Assurance to SQL Server 2012.
According to a Microsoft-commissioned report by Forrester Research, upgrading to the new version of SQL is a no-brainer - it will pay for itself in 12 to 14 months with an expected ROI of 149 to 189 per cent.
Microsoft refused to comment on SQL Server 2012 licensing prices. ®