With the release of SQL Server 2012, Microsoft has moved to a new licensing model that is quite different from previous releases. Because of this, it is quite important to revisit how you go about selecting database server hardware in order to get good performance and scalability while still keeping your SQL Server 2012 license costs under control. SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition uses core-based licensing, where you pay for licenses based on physical processor cores, with a minimum of four physical core licenses required for each physical processor. This is quite a change from the socket-based licensing used by SQL Server 2008 R2 and all previous releases of SQL Server.
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