The most important new features of SQL Server 2017 at a glance
With SQL Server 2017, companies receive a powerful version of Microsoft's proven data platform that provides all important database, reporting and analysis functions. This SQL Server edition is therefore ideally suited to meet all the requirements of a modern, high-performance Relational Database Management System (RDMS) - as is typical for merchandise management systems, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software and CRM systems. With SQL Server 2017, you benefit from insights through in-database advanced analytics with Python and R as well as interactive visualizations. SQL Server 2017 also offers many enhancements and new features, as well as performance improvements in Master Data Services (MDS) and Reporting Services (SSRS) for SQL Server 2017. Important features are listed in detail
New Database Engine Features
SQL Server 2017 also includes many new database engine features, including improved performance. This includes the ability to add CLR assemblies to a positive list. Adaptive query processing includes three new improvements: Adaptive joins and feedback on memory allocation in batch mode, and overlapping execution of table value functions with multiple statements, which frees up CPU resources. Performance is also improved with new dynamic management lists and automatic database optimization, which provides insight into query performance problems, suggests solutions and automatically fixes identified problems.
SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS)
The 2017 version of SQL Server also includes many important enhancements to SQL Server Analysis Services. These include improvements to the tabular models, such as a tabular mode as a default installation option. And with Get Data, Power Query introduces new data sources that support existing data sources in M-queries.
SQL Server 2017 Integration Services (SSIS)
The Scale Out feature in SSIS has new and changed functionality in SQL Server 2017, making it easier to run SSIS on multiple PCs. In addition, the Scale Out Master now supports high availability, including improved failover handling of execution logs from Scale Out workers. In addition, the SSIS catalog now has an additional global property to specify the Standard when deploying SSIS packages. SSIS also supports SQL Server on Linux.
Using Linux with SQL Server 2017
In the Enterprise or Standard for SQL Server 2017 editions, users can also use the open Linux operating system to access SQL Server. This is also no longer a problem for Java applications thanks to the Java Database Connectivity Driver. For both Linux and C++ applications, the connection to SQL Server 2017 is usually made via the Open Database Connectivity Interface.
SQL Server R Services is now called SQL Server Machine Learning Services
The previous SQL Server R Services were renamed SQL Server Machine Learning Services in the SQL Server 2017 version. The reason for this is the support of Python - in addition to the previous R programming language. The Machine Learning Services can be used in SQL Server 2017 to run R or Python scripts, and it is also possible to install the Microsoft Machine Learning Server standalone for deployment of R and Python models that do not require SQL Server. Also, SQL Server developers now have access to the ML and AI libraries for Python that are available to them in the open source environment.
SQL Server 2017 Editions at Wiresoft
Wiresoft offers the SQL Server 2017 editions Enterprise and Standard, the latter is available with CALs as an alternative to core licensing. While the Standard is the right choice for basic management and business intelligence (BI) functions and for workloads that require minimal IT resources, the Enterprise edition is particularly suitable for larger companies, as it offers even more comprehensive and mission-critical performance, as required for demanding database and BI requirements. SQL Server 2017 Enterprise provides the highest level of service and performance required for larger and largest workloads.
Differences between the SQL Server 2017 Standard and Enterprise editions
The main difference between the Standard and the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2017 is, as mentioned, the performance. Therefore, SQL Server 2017 Standard is mainly sufficient for small and medium-sized companies, while the Enterprise version is also suitable for medium-sized companies, but is mainly intended to meet the needs of large companies. So there are different scaling limits depending on the server edition: While the Enterprise Edition provides the maximum amount of computing capacity used by a single instance, the Standard is limited to less than 4 sockets or 24 cores or, depending on the application, only a limited number of GB is available.
In addition, the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2017 has additional features that are not included in SQL Server 2017 Standard: For example, SQL Server Enterprise not only allows unlimited virtualization with Software Assurance benefits, but also has advanced high availability with Always On availability groups, multi-database failover and readable secondary replicas. In addition, the edition offers Transparent Data Encryption, as well as compatibility reporting via SQL Server Audit and Advanced Data Integration with fuzzy grouping and lookups, as well as mobile reporting and KPIs.
The richer business intelligence features in SQL Enterprise 2017 provide organizations with enhancements to multidimensional models, a tabular model, and data mining, as well as a DirectQuery storage mode and access to the Power BI report server. The more comprehensive integration of machine learning features over the Standard provides full parallelism in R and Python analytics and the ability to run them on GPUs, including Hadoop/Spark and Linux.
Licensing models for Microsoft SQL Server 2017 at Wiresoft
With SQL Server 2016, Microsoft introduced a change in the so-called license metrics, i.e. the method of calculating the need for licenses. Whereas previously it was irrelevant how many cores a processor contained, the number of cores is now decisive in determining the exact license requirement. Core licensing takes into account the growing number of cores per processor that can handle ever-increasing workloads.
Microsoft therefore also offers the option of core licensing for SQL Server version 2017. Depending on the edition - whether SQL Server 2017 Standard or Enterprise - you have different options for acquiring suitable server licenses:
The SQL Server 2017 Standard gives you the choice of server/CAL licensing (server licenses plus access licenses) or core licensing - no additional access licenses are required.
Server/CAL licensing is no longer available for the SQL Server 2017 Enterprise Edition. It is only licensed according to the number of cores.
SQL Server 2017 Standard licensing by Server/CAL
The Server/CAL licensing model is based on the following conditions:
A Standard is required for each server on which a SQL Server instance is to be run. In addition, a separate access license (CAL) - as a user or device CAL - is required for each user or device that accesses the licensed SQL Server, for this or a more recently installed server version. This means that with a CAL for SQL Server 2019 you may also access SQL Server 2017.
Which licensing of the Standard Edition of SQL Server 2017 - by cores or by server plus CALS - is more favorable depends on the typical use in an enterprise. In certain cases, Server/CAL licensing is therefore cheaper than licensing by cores. For example, a machine with up to 2 processors with 8 cores each can be licensed more economically with the SQL Standard version.
Licensing SQL Server 2017 Standard or Enterprise by Cores
For SQL Server licensing by processor cores, Microsoft provides certain definitions in the counting method. For example, a core license is valid for two cores - in contrast to the past, where one license was charged per processor.
The total license requirement thus results from the respective number of cores per processor. By default, at least eight licenses are required per server, with eight cores being licensed per processor. Each physical core of a server therefore requires its own core license. Microsoft has defined the following rules here:
For each processor 8 core licenses - that is the minimum number defined by Microsoft - are necessary. Machines with fewer cores can therefore not be licensed at a lower price.
Each server also requires at least 16 core licenses.
The core licenses required per server are only available in packages of 2.
No additional CALs are required for core-based licensing.
Licence Microsoft SQL Server 2017 at Wiresoft
No matter if you want to cover your license needs for Microsoft SQL Server 2017 with a Standard or Enterprise Edition, Wiresoft offers you both Server/CAL and 2-Core licenses exclusively as original license rights. Licenses for SQL Server 2017 are especially favourable at Wiresoft, because we offer a price advantage by unused software licenses from European companies - and this absolutely legal.
According to the ruling of the European Court of Justice, software can be resold without any problems since 2012. All licenses offered by Wiresoft have been checked beforehand for absolute originality and usability. Many of our enthusiastic customers confirm this. Please contact us if you have any questions about your Microsoft SQL Server 2017 licensing.