Monday, May 23, 2011

Indicative SharePoint 2010 Licensing Costs

SharePoint 2010 Licensing Overview

Before getting to the numbers there are a few things to understand. I’ve covered the basics here but head to the official Licensing Q&A page for full details.

For the full version of SharePoint Server 2010 there are two licensing models:

  • Server + CAL licenses for internal users – for internal users you need to license each server running SharePoint 2010. You also need a Client Access License (CAL) for each person (or optionally each device) accessing a SharePoint Server. All users will need a standard CAL and to access enterprise features users will need both the standard and the enterprise CAL. The difference in Standard vs Enterprise features is covered below.
  • Internet sites server licenses for external users – you need a server license for each server running SharePoint 2010. CALs are not required if all content is accessible to external users. If some content is for internal use only then CALs are required for users accessing this content. As well as a difference in features the Internet Sites Standard license only allows sites running on a single domain. As stated in the Microsoft Licensing Product Use Rights “The [SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites Standard] software may only be used to create and host a single site at a time resolved from a single domain name (e.g., and its subdomains (e.g.” It comes in at almost a third of the cost of the enterprise license, however, so opens up public SharePoint hosting to companies with smaller budgets.

FAST Search Licensing

FAST Search is licensed separately so to take advantage of all the enterprise search features you will need additional server licenses for servers running the FAST Search software.

It is also possible to use a single server for any of the above server licenses. For example if you wanted to run an Intranet and a public Internet website on the same server you could apply the SharePoint 2010 Server license as well as the SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites license to a single server. A FAST license can also be applied to a SharePoint 2010 server if required (saving hardware costs but still requiring SharePoint Server and FAST licenses).

Indicative SharePoint 2010 License Costs

The table below gives some indicative prices for SharePoint 2010 in the UK based on information from Microsoft. Note these are only intended to provide ballpark estimates only and you will need to contact a Microsoft Licensing Specialist to obtain accurate costs. These figures do not include software assurance. Additionally there are other license costs you will need to take into account such as Windows Server and SQL.

SharePoint 2010 Server~£3100
SharePoint 2010 Standard CAL~£60
SharePoint 2010 Enterprise CAL*~£53
SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites Standard~£7,500
SharePoint 2010 Internet Sites Enterprise~£27,000
FAST Search Server~£14,000

* Note the enterprise CAL is additive i.e. this requires each user to also have a standard CAL

Here are a few examples to give you an idea of how it works:

Small, Standard License, Internal Only Environment

3 server farm – 2 x WFE/Application servers and SQL, SharePoint 2010 running on two servers, 1,000 standard users

License costs would be 2 x £3,100 (SharePoint 2010 Server) + 1,000 users x £60 (Standard CAL) = £66,200

If you wanted to add FAST search you would need to add at least one server at £14,000 and add enterprise CALs (an additional £53 per user) for users accessing these features. The total with FAST would be £66,200 + £14,000 + 1000 x £53 = £133,200 for all users. An alternative would be to only give certain users access to the enterprise features. This can be done through the use of Feature Packs (a.k.a Sets) which allow you to target features so they can only be activated on certain sites. This is useful both for hosted scenarios (e.g. it allows the hoster to restrict enterprise features to site collections that are subscribed to an enterprise plan), and internal scenarios (e.g. only allowing a management site access to enterprise features to reduce license costs).

SharePoint 2010 for a public facing internet site

3 server farm – 2 x WFE/Application servers and SQL, SharePoint running on two servers, content authors editing content that ends up being publicly available (i.e. no internal only content) on a single domain

License costs would be 2 x £7,500 = £15,000

If you wanted to add FAST you would need the Internet Sites Enterprise license to make the search features available and add a license for a FAST Search Server (although this could run on one of the WFE’s to save hardware costs). This would then be 2x £27,000 + £14,000 = £68,000.

Enterprise vs Standard SharePoint 2010 features

So what do you get for an enterprise license? The official Microsoft SharePoint site has a detailed comparison of features in each of the editions but at a high level the additional features provided in the enterprise license are:

  • Access Services
  • FAST search enhancements (note these also require a FAST server license)
    • Sorting by any managed property
    • Contextual search results (i.e. user or audience targeted)
    • Refinement filter counts
    • Similar results
    • Thumbnails and previews
    • Visual best bets
    • Scale and other search platform enhancements
  • Business Intelligence
    • KPI’s
    • Chart Web Parts
    • Dashboards
    • Data Connection Library
    • Excel Services
    • PowerPivot for SharePoint
    • PerformancePoint Services
    • Visio Services
  • InfoPath Services
Bamboo have created a SharePoint 2010 Price Calculator that allows you to get ballpark figures for SharePoint license costs. It also includes costs for Windows Server and SQL.

Note 1 e.g. four SharePoint 2010 Server licenses @ £3100 + 1000 Standard CALs @ £60 = £72,400. Including FAST would require an additional FAST license @ £14,000 plus 1000 Enterprise CALs @ £53 = an additional £67,000 (i.e. almost double) to give all users access.

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