Teo outlines some of the pros and cons of the new BI edition of SQL 2012.
About $10k per server vs. over $50k for Enterprise Edition is the biggest plus. It will provide all the features for Analysis Services previously found only in Enterprise, and gives a fully functional PowerPivot, Analysis Services & Reporting Services server to the SME’s.
From what I understand, the key driver for Microsoft making this change would have been the requirement of installing 2 separate instances of SQL for using both PowerPivot and Analysis Services (multidimensional or tabular) data stores. For those clients wishing to install 2 separate environments for those, the cost will end up being about $20k anyway, not including Sharepoint and DW SQL instances.
One limitation is the 2-socket configuration limit. Another is the per-user licensing scheme, which could leave companies with 50-200 users in a grey zone. Enterprise or BI?
The licensing model for private clouds seems a bit more appealing from an ROI perspective. Invest in SQL Enterprise and deploy an unlimited # of VMs. The disadvantage is the need to license the entire server farm for SQL Enterprise + Software Assurance.
Microsoft also seems to be shutting out AMD with the new licensing scheme, and targeting Intel’s Q2 release of their new 2-socket chipset.
Now that MS has moved to a core licensing model + user vs CPU socket, will this change the R&D direction of CPU manufacturers? Will they now focus their efforts more on GPU processing? What if a PC only had 1 core & 1 socket, but multiple GPUs and something else besides a CPU to handle the more precise calculations?