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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
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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
  • @Salim - For a private website? Have you considered revising your SQL queries? – GeoffAtkins Jun 1 at 16:47

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