Licensing Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon RDS - Amazon Relational Database Service
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Licensing Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon RDS

When you set up an Amazon RDS DB instance for Microsoft SQL Server, the software license is included.

This means that you don't need to purchase SQL Server licenses separately. Amazon holds the license for the SQL Server database software. Amazon RDS pricing includes the software license, underlying hardware resources, and Amazon RDS management capabilities.

Amazon RDS supports the following Microsoft SQL Server editions:

  • Enterprise

  • Standard

  • Web

  • Express


Licensing for SQL Server Web Edition supports only public and internet-accessible webpages, websites, web applications, and web services. This level of support is required for compliance with Microsoft's usage rights. For more information, see Amazon service terms.

Amazon RDS supports Multi-AZ deployments for DB instances running Microsoft SQL Server by using SQL Server Database Mirroring (DBM) or Always On Availability Groups (AGs). There are no additional licensing requirements for Multi-AZ deployments. For more information, see Multi-AZ deployments for Amazon RDS for Microsoft SQL Server.

Restoring license-terminated DB instances

Amazon RDS takes snapshots of license-terminated DB instances. If your instance is terminated for licensing issues, you can restore it from the snapshot to a new DB instance. New DB instances have a license included.

For more information, see Restoring license-terminated DB instances.

Development and test

Because of licensing requirements, we can't offer SQL Server Developer Edition on Amazon RDS. You can use Express Edition for many development, testing, and other nonproduction needs. However, if you need the full feature capabilities of an enterprise-level installation of SQL Server for development, you can download and install SQL Server Developer Edition on RDS Custom for SQL Server using a CEV with BYOM. For more information, see Preparing a CEV using Bring Your Own Media (BYOM). Dedicated infrastructure isn't required for Developer Edition. By using your own host, you also gain access to other programmability features that are not accessible on Amazon RDS. For more information on the difference between SQL Server editions, see Editions and supported features of SQL Server 2019 in the Microsoft documentation.