I have Software Assurance for SQL Server Enterprise Edition and I need to setup High Availability on it.

The issue is my primary SQL Server has a Standard license.

Could I add SQL Server Enterprise edition as secondary replica?

2 Answers 2


No, this is not possible. Even if you'd manage to do such an installation, it would not be supported by Microsoft.

The documentation explicitly states that the editions must match:

The SQL Server edition you are installing must match across all the nodes in a SQL Server failover cluster instance. When you add a new node to an existing SQL Server failover cluster instance, make sure that you specify that the edition matches the edition of the existing failover cluster instance.

Although licensing questions are off-topic, a warning about your purposed installation is in order. In case of a licensing audit, the auditor would be quite likely to accuse you of running unlicensed setup. Licenses for Enterprise Edition are not cheap. You don't really have much bargaining power when license auditor has proof that you are not compliant.


Realize that if you have a valid license for it, you can do an "Edition Upgrade" on the Standard Edition server to make it into an Enterprise Edition server.

These are the steps you'd need to take to upgrade to a different edition of SQL Server:

  1. Insert the SQL Server installation media. From the root folder, double-click setup.exe or launch the SQL Server Installation Center from Configuration Tools. To install from a network share, locate the root folder on the share, and then double-click Setup.exe.

  2. To upgrade an existing instance of SQL Server to a different edition, from the SQL Server Installation Center click Maintenance, and then select Edition Upgrade.

  3. If Setup support files are required, SQL Server Setup installs them. If you are instructed to restart your computer, restart before you continue.

  4. The System Configuration Checker runs a discovery operation on your computer. To continue, click OK.

  5. On the Product Key page, select a radio button to indicate whether you are upgrading to a free edition of SQL Server, or whether you have a PID key for a production version of the product. For more information, see Editions and Components of SQL Server and Supported Version and Edition Upgrades.

  6. On the License Terms page, read the license agreement, and then select the check box to accept the licensing terms and conditions. To continue, click Next. To end Setup, click Cancel.

  7. On the Select Instance page, specify the instance of SQL Server to upgrade.

  8. The Edition Upgrade Rules page validates your computer configuration before the edition upgrade operation begins.

  9. The Ready to Upgrade Edition page shows a tree view of installation options that were specified during Setup. To continue, click Upgrade.

  10. During the edition upgrade process, the services need to be restarted to pick up the new setting. After edition upgrade, the Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the edition upgrade. To close the wizard, click Close.

  11. The Complete page provides a link to the summary log file for the installation and other important notes.

  12. If you are instructed to restart the computer, do so now. It is important to read the message from the Installation Wizard when you are done with Setup. For information about Setup log files, see View and Read SQL Server Setup Log Files.

  13. If you upgraded from SQL Server Express, you must perform additional steps before you can use your upgraded instance of SQL Server:

  • Enable the SQL Server Agent service in Windows SCM.

  • Provision the SQL Server Agent service account by using SQL Server Configuration Manager.

The full details are available from Microsoft Docs here.

Once you complete the Edition Upgrade, you would be able to setup HA to the other Enterprise Edition server.

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