Licensing editions FAQ

Licensing editions

SQL Server 2016 has two main editions that closely align with the way that customers use SQL Server across workloads. SQL Server 2016 delivers licensing that enables you to more easily take advantage of the benefits of public and private cloud through virtualization and license mobility. Our new model provides simplified licensing, flexibility and innovation, and industry-leading total cost of ownership (TCO).

Simplified licensing

SQL Server 2016 offers two licensing models: one that is based on computing power, and one that is based on users or devices.

Two main editions
Licensing model
Server + Client Access
License (CAL)


Flexibility and innovation

Cloud-optimized licensing gives you the ability to license a single virtual machine (VM) or to license a server for maximum virtualization, as well as the flexibility to move your VMs from server to server, to hosters, or to the cloud.

Industry-leading TCO

SQL 2016 continues to provide outstanding value at any scale among all major vendors. SQL Server 2016 offers compelling product features and capabilities within two main editions, with no costly add-ons required to run your mission critical and business intelligence applications.

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