SQL Server License Requirements

You are here:

This article describes how NSS interacts with the SQL Server. This information will enable you to determine if your organization needs to purchase additional licenses of Microsoft SQL Server, or if your existing license entitlement is sufficient.

Why Does NSS Need The SQL Server?

NSS scans your cloud or on-premise file systems and gathers information about all the data you have. This information needs to be kept in a database. NSS uses Microsoft SQL Server for this purpose.

What Editions of SQL Server Can NSS Use?

NSS only supports Microsoft SQL Server. You can use any edition (Enterprise, Standard, Developer). Northern strongly advises against the use of Express editions in production environments, as the database size is limited to 10 GB in these editions.

How Does NSS Interact With The SQL Server?

This is an illustration of how NSS interacts with its SQL Server database:

Illustration of NSS and SQL Server connections

  1. NSS Scans the file system
  2. The gathered data is stored into an SQL Database
  3. A user logs in to NSS’ self-service interface (NSS Console)
  4. NSS fetches data from the SQL Database
  5. The results are presented to the user

The SQL Database is only ever accessed by the following two accounts:

  • The domain account running the NSS services (the NSS Service Account)
  • The account that the NSS Console IIS Application Pool is running under, default is the LocalSystem account of the server where the NSS Console is installed

No other accounts access the SQL database.

When a user logs in to the self-service interface, it is not the user themselves who access the database. Rather, the user asks the NSS server to display the information. The NSS server then collects the necessary raw data from the SQL database, processes that data, and displays the processed results to the user in the self-service interface.

Do I Need to Buy Additional SQL Server Licenses?

Most organisations create a new instance of SQL within an existing, and licensed, SQL Server infrastructure. Some create separate and independently licensed SQL Servers.

Northern cannot make any precise statements about your situation, and Northern should not offer definitive statements about the licensing requirements of third-party software. It is expected that the information above, combined with your Database Administration Team’s knowledge of your current SQL license entitlements, will enable you to identify if additional licenses are required.

If you are not confident that your current Microsoft SQL Server license entitlements allow for a database to be created and used by NSS, Northern recommends that you contact a Microsoft vendor, using the description above to get advice.