Question on SQL Server Multiplexing



  • Just some question come up in my head when hearing some dialog:

    Suppose CompanyA is a B2B business that has a portal web open for placing orders from delicated customers only. The portal website is powered my any of the SQL servers that has multiplexing rules. The company license the server on per-user CAL for their staffs and the number of user accounts opened for those companies only. (Say, they have 5 staffs and 15 external companies, still way cheaper than buying per-core CALs)

    Now CompanyB is one of the external companies of CompanyA, and they're doing B2C business. They also have a website that allow customers to place orders. Their engineers figured out how to automate the process of placing order on CompanyA's portal website, so whenever the payment transaction is completed, the website will go to CompanyA's portal and place order automatically.

    Now the question is, will the action of CompanyB suddenly make CompanyA require more CAL to make SQL server licensing stay legal?



  • @cheong this is a loaded question because it depends on how your company is set up, how the server's are set up, your physical location, your server locations, etc. It's best to consult Microsoft licensing directly, they are very helpful and leave a paper trail.



  • @Matches said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    @cheong this is a loaded question because it depends on how your company is set up, how the server's are set up, your physical location, your server locations, etc. It's best to consult Microsoft licensing directly, they are very helpful and leave a paper trail.

    Oh, since this is just a question poping up in my head while overhearding other's conversation, I don't have that kind of detail. :P


  • area_deu

    @cheong said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    Now the question is, will the action of CompanyB suddenly make CompanyA require more CAL to make SQL server licensing stay legal?

    I would say yes.
    Otherwise you could just buy a single user CAL and pile on enough API layers.
    In public-facing applications it's always safer to use per-core licensing.



  • @ChrisH said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    @cheong said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    Now the question is, will the action of CompanyB suddenly make CompanyA require more CAL to make SQL server licensing stay legal?

    I would say yes.
    Otherwise you could just buy a single user CAL and pile on enough API layers.
    In public-facing applications it's always safer to use per-core licensing.

    The point of argument is that, the customers of Company B is unexpected user of Company A. And Company A's portal is never designed to allow unknown customer's access.

    Let me add another case to compare and contrast: If there is a SQL server solely for internal application is licensed with per user license, and now a hacker hacked in the network as do whatever he wants to the SQL data, will the action of hacker suddenly make CompanyA require more CAL to make SQL server licensing stay legal?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @cheong said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    will the action of hacker suddenly make CompanyA require more CAL to make SQL server licensing stay legal?

    While MS would love that to be true, the answer is “probably not” as the hacker isn't an authorised user of company resources. Assuming that the company is taking reasonable steps to restrict access to just the people they're supposed to be allowing (and assuming that they have correct licenses set up).



  • @dkf said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    @cheong said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    will the action of hacker suddenly make CompanyA require more CAL to make SQL server licensing stay legal?

    While MS would love that to be true, the answer is “probably not” as the hacker isn't an authorised user of company resources. Assuming that the company is taking reasonable steps to restrict access to just the people they're supposed to be allowing (and assuming that they have correct licenses set up).

    Yup. Of course we have to assume the orignal license count of Company A is correct or the discussion would be meaningless.

    And then another scenario where Company C (one of the companies doing business with Company A) share the account assigned to this company between her staffs without telling Company A, would that also make Company A require more per user CAL?

    As you can see, all the scenarios I raised here are all around the concept that "will others action cause Company A need to acquire more user CAL, even if the increase on number of user is not because of how Company A plan to use the server?", and will yet other factors come into play that will change the answer. Microsoft's Term and Condition on Multiplexing does not make any distintion between whether the "pooling" is added as designated use of server owner or added as result of other's action.


  • mod

    @cheong said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    will others action cause Company A need to acquire more user CAL, even if the increase on number of user is not because of how Company A plan to use the server?

    I believe the actions of Company A matter greatly here: did they take reasonable precautions to prevent unintended use by their customers, does their contract with Company B lay out acceptable use of the Company A resources, et cetera. If so, they're off the hook as they can pass the buck onto Company B.



  • @cheong said in Question on SQL Server Multiplexing:

    And then another scenario where Company C (one of the companies doing business with Company A) share the account assigned to this company between her staffs without telling Company A, would that also make Company A require more per user CAL?

    I expect this hinges on how the license agreement between A and C is written.


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