Today saw the announcement of how SQL Server 2012 will be carved up and licensed, and it's changed quite a bit. There are three key changes:
1) There's a new Business Intelligence Edition that sits between Standard and Enterprise
2) No more processor licensing. There's a move to Core based licensing instead (with a minimum cost of 4 cores per server)
3) Enterprise is only available on the Core licensing model (Unless upgrading through Software Assurance *)
Enterprise, as you would expect, has all the functionality SQL Server 2012 has to offer.
The Business Intelligence edition strips away
- Advanced Security (Advanced auditing, transparent data encryption)
- Data Warehousing (ColumnStore, compression, partitioning)
and provides a cut-down, basic (as opposed to advanced) level of High Availability (AlwaysOn).
In addition, the Standard Edition removes
- Enterprise data management (Data Quality Services, Master Data Services),
- Self-Service Business Intelligence (Power View, PowerPivot for SPS)
- Corporate Business Intelligence (Semantic model, advanced analytics)
If you are utilising 4 core processors, licence costs for Standard ($1,793 per core, or $898 per Server + $209 per CAL) and Enterprise ($6,874 per core) remain similar (ish). However, you will be stung if you have more cores. The Business Intelligence edition is only available via a Server + CAL licence model and it's apparent that Microsoft are placing a big bet on MDS/DQS, Power View, PowerPivot for SharePoint and BISM as the licence for the Business Intelligence edition is $8,592 per server, plus $209 per CAL, that's nearly 10x more per server than Standard Edition !
For the complete low-down check out these links:
Licence Detail (including costs):
* If you are currently running Enterprise as a Server + CAL and you upgrade to SQL 2012 through Software Assurance, you can keep Server + CAL model, providing you don’t exceed 20 cores.