SQL Enterprise licence cost avoidance Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise edition licensing changed from per-server (and CALs) to per-core. This makes SQL Server Enterprise on our 16 core blade servers very expensive to licence. To workaround this licencing cost we bought 8 core servers with a higher clock speed. TL;DR - Save money on SQL Enterprise licensing by choosing fewer cores with faster clock speed. Benchmarked the new 8 cores @3.5GHz SQL server hardware vs our previous SQL server hardware.