I'm struggling with finding the correct SQL Server edition for web hosting. And couldn't find a clear source/article.

Basically I have a dedicated server and hosting my own websites. I'm not selling hosting or giving services but just hosting couple of my own websites.

But these websites are using SQL server and I fed up paying SQL server license to hosting firms.

Now I'm planning to buy my own SQL Server license so I can use it and if I want to change my dedicated server to another company I should be able to use the SQL Server license.

I found very cheap user and device CAL licenses, but not sure what it means; https://www.lizengo.co.uk/microsoft/microsoft-sql-server-2016-1-user-cal https://www.lizengo.co.uk/microsoft/microsoft-sql-server-standard-2016-1-device-cal

Since I'm the only person will be connecting to SQL server would it be enough to buy only one of these licenses? Or should I buy Standar edition license as well?

I'm also struggling to find Web edition license as well. Any suggestion appreciated especially people have dedicated servers.

Edited: I have further searched and tried to find some information about this but there is literally nothing. Looks like Microsoft doesn't sell SQL Server web edition directly if you're not a hosting provider. And also some hosting providers are charging a huge amount for SQL server. And especially the number of cores in the server is high than the price is going crazy. This really doesn't make any sense. If I buy(unfortunately I can't afford) SQL Server Standard edition directly in 1 year it can cover it. On the other hand some hosting providers are really cheap. But they are not good quality firms.

  • Have you considered using an open source database like MySQL or Postgres for which you don't need any license fees? – Stephen Ostermiller Apr 15 at 12:42
  • These are existing websites and spent years on SQL Server side, I can't imagine to move existing structure and codes to another database servers. – Salim Apr 15 at 13:22
  • There's very little difference between MySQL and MS SQL in basic statements. Only when you start using platform specific methods or non standard SQL do you see much difference. Things like concatenating strings, objects with spaces in the names, etc. However, I understand that the task to move would involve a lot of testing. – Trebor Sep 29 at 14:39

If these are your own websites and you have a dedicated server, you should be able to use SQL Server Express edition which is free and can be used in production - but there is a limit to the memory and CPU it can use (and some other features), but for basic websites it should be enough. Are there features that you need in the web/standard editions?

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  • thanks but database size aprr. 100 GB and minimum 32 GB RAM needed and heavy transactions as well so Express edition is not enough unfortunately. – Salim May 3 at 21:24
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    @Salim - For a private website? Have you considered revising your SQL queries? – GeoffAtkins Jun 1 at 16:47

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