SQL Server license prices rise as version 2022 debuts

Microsoft last week made SQL Server 2022 generally available, and this week started to advise of price hikes for the database.

The price hikes were detailed on the software behemoth's Partner Center announcements page, which detailed a jump from $1,325.15 to $1,583.88 for a two core, one year, SQL Server Standard License Pack, and a jump from $5,080.45 to $6,073.92 for an Enterprise License Pack. Those hikes apply to the licenses sold through cloud service providers - Microsoft partners who sell and administer software licenses to end-customers.

The price rises commence on January 1, 2023.

Software licensing consultancy Quexcel has also claimed that Microsoft is set to increase the price of on-prem SQL Server licenses by ten percent, or eight percent for Microsoft Service Providers.

Quexcel's figures almost match those in a report from Microsoft-watching outlet Redmond.

We've asked Microsoft to detail the price rises for SQL Server and to confirm whether they apply to the database when rented in the Azure cloud. The Register understands that's not the case - meaning Microsoft has again made it cheaper to access its software in its own cloud. That's a tactic that earned Microsoft the ire of the European Union and ongoing antitrust investigations.

Microsoft responded to those concerns with virtual core licensing for Windows Server. Europe-based clouds feel that change did not level the playing field, though - Microsoft still offers terms for its own software on Azure that rivals cannot match.

At least SQL Server 2022 buyers get more for their money: the new version adds improved analytics, disaster recovery (to Azure, natch) the "Purview" unified data governance and management service, and plumbing improvements that make the database faster and more resilient.

There's also a new PAYG billing model, if you sign up for the Azure Arc multi-cloud application platform.

As if SQL Server users needed another piece of evidence that Microsoft really wants them to get cloudy.

The Register has asked Microsoft to confirm and detail the full extent of SQL Server price rises, and will update this story if the company provides meaningful information. ®

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