SQL Server 2014 will provide mission-critical performance, with in-memory built in across all workloads with greater scale and availability, all backed by enterprise-grade mission-critical support. It offers a complete business intelligence solution that delivers faster insights from any data, big and small, using familiar tools like Excel in Office and Office 365, with access to business insights on mobile devices.

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Plus, SQL Server 2014 will enable new hybrid cloud solutions, with an easy onramp and a complete and consistent data platform from on-premises to cloud. License individual virtual machines (VM), and when licensing per core, buy core licenses only for the virtual cores assigned to the VM. License for high VM density by buying Enterprise Edition core licenses and Software Assurance for all the physical cores on the server (or server farm) and deploying an unlimited number of VMs on the licensed hardware. Without Software Assurance, VM density is limited to one VM per Enterprise Edition core license.

License for VM mobility across private and public clouds. VM license mobility is a Software Assurance benefit. Without Software Assurance, licenses can be moved from one server to another only once every 90 days.

Licenses purchased with Software Assurance will upgrade to SQL Server 2014 at no additional cost. If you are an Enterprise Agreement/Enrollment for Application Platform customer, you can continue buying processor licenses until your next renewal (after general availability of SQL Server 2012 ). At that time, processor licenses will be exchanged for core-based licenses sufficient to cover the cores in use by processor-licensed databases (minimum of four core licenses per processor for Standard and Enterprise editions, and minimum of eight Enterprise Edition core licenses per processor for Datacenter).

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Please refer to the Product List for further migration path details. You can perform a “self-inventory” of your environment at the end of the Software Assurance term that will provide the basis for the core licenses you will own and for which you are eligible to renew Software Assurance. We will provide access to the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit as one way to help track and document deployments. This tool can help you plan the transition from processor-based licenses to core-based licenses by counting both processors and cores across your deployments. If you are not able to document your SQL Server deployments, we will exchange processors based on a standard conversion ratio. We encourage you to work with your Microsoft or Partner representative to determine an optimal transition plan.