Our company wants to move its Web site to a new host. Our database server uses SQL Server 7.0, but we lease the SQL Server license from the host. Our Web site receives roughly 1 million page views per day, and we want to buy our own SQL Server license. What are the minimum license requirements?

With a few exceptions (e.g., a preexisting agreement with Microsoft), you can't buy a new SQL Server 7.0 license. To obtain SQL Server 7.0, you must buy SQL Server 2000 and request the media for SQL Server 7.0. You'll run SQL Server 7.0 under the SQL Server 2000 license, and you'll pay for SQL Server 7.0 based on the SQL Server 2000 cost model.

SQL Server 7.0 supported an Internet Connector License, which allowed an unlimited number of Internet connections. This license construct no longer exists in SQL Server 2000. You must choose one of the two following supported license models:

  • Processor License—Requires a license for each CPU in the computer that's running SQL Server. This license includes unlimited client-device access.
  • Server or Per-Seat Client Access License (CAL)—Requires a server license for the computer that's running the SQL Server, as well as a CAL for each client device (e.g., PC, workstation, terminal, PDA, mobile phone).

The CAL model isn't practical for your company because the license belongs to a particular client. Knowing which client is accessing SQL Server is impossible in a public Internet model. Additionally, each client device must be licensed even when the device isn't accessing the server. For example, if 100,000 users can access your Web site, you need 100,000 CALs, even if only 100 clients access the site concurrently.

The cost of a SQL Server 2000 per-processor license depends on whether you need a standard or enterprise edition. The basic price for the Standard Edition is $4999 per processor; the price for the Enterprise Edition is $19,999 per processor. You need to examine your application and the manner in which you use it to determine which edition is best for your company.