A: System Center 2012 includes rights to use SQL Server Standard edition for use with the System Center 2012 server roles, but not SQL Enterprise or higher editions.

There are some benefits to using Enterprise beyond obvious features such as high availability for databases.

If you have licenses for SQL Server Enterprise edition, you can use those licensed Enterprise SQL servers with System Center 2012.

System Center Service Manager 2012 behaves differently when leveraging SQL Server Enterprise edition, as documented at "SQL Server Requirements for System Center 2012 - Service Manager." The differences in behavior include these:

  • Analysis Services Files--In SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, you can decide where Analysis Services database files will be stored. In the Standard edition, there is only one default location for the files.
  • Cube Processing--In SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, cubes are processed incrementally each night. In the Standard edition, the entire cube is processed each night and therefore, the amount of processing time required will increase as more data is accumulated. Cubes can still be queried when being processed however, reporting performance will be reduced.
  • Measure Group Partitions--In SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, measure groups are partitioned on a monthly basis, instead of as one large partition. This reduces the amount of time it takes to process the partition.
  • PowerPivot--In SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, you can use PowerPivot for SharePoint.

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