When licensing Oracle, hardware processing capacity is taken into account. Standard Edition Two licenses may be used on a server or cluster with no more than two sockets. The software will utilise no more than 16 CPU threads at any time. Enterprise Edition does not place constraints on the hardware specification.
For Standard Edition Two, a license is required for each occupied socket (installed physical processor). The number of cores is irrelevant. Enterprise Edition requires a license for each processor / core. In the case of multi-core, a factor is applied to the core count to provide a ‘discount’. Oracle publishes a matrix that details the more common processor models and the factor that is to be applied in each case. The core count after ‘discount’ determines the number of licenses required.
NAMED USER PLUS LICENSES
A Named User Plus license is required for every individual human and non-human user (device) that connects either directly or indirectly to the database. This type of license does not accommodate sharing or concurrent usage. Standard Edition Two requires a minimum of 10 Named User Plus licenses per server. Enterprise has a minimum of 25 per CPU or ‘discounted’ core count.
PERPETUAL, TERM AND FINANCE OPTIONS
Term licensing and finance is available to lower initial outlay and minimise risk where future requirements are uncertain. These are useful for business start-ups and short term projects that need to keep costs down until properly established. Term licenses are available for 1 to 5 year periods. When the term expires, the user may purchase a further term or new perpetual license. The cost of term licenses is determined as a percentage of the cost of a perpetual license as follows:
5-Year Term License at 70% of Perpetual License
4-Year Term License at 60% of Perpetual License
3-Year Term License at 50% of Perpetual License
2-Year Term License at 35% of Perpetual License
1-Year Term License at 20% of Perpetual License
Oracle supports a number of 'Authorised Cloud Environments' including Amazon Web Services (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud - EC2 and Amazon Simple Storage Service - S3) and Microsoft Windows Azure. In these environments, each virtual core is counted as being equivalent to a physical core. Four or less virtual cores are counted as one socket. For instances with more than 4 virtual cores, every 4 virtual cores used (rounded up to the closest multiple of 4) is treated as being the equivalent of one socket. In all cases, a processor licence is required for each socket.
The Enterprise Edition of Oracle Database has a number of add-on Options and Management Packs that extend availability, performance and scalability. While the licensing for these is generally straight forward, please seek advice from a Grey Matter Oracle Licensing Specialist if you’re considering Database Options. In most cases, these add-ons are licensed using the same metric chosen for the database but there could be exceptions if the architecture is complex.
PARTITIONING AND VIRTUALISATION
Oracle only recognises certain technologies such as Solaris ‘capped’ Containers or Oracle VM as a valid way of restricting processing power to an integer number of cores to economise on licensing. Soft partitioning (e.g. VMware) is not recognised which means all CPUs must be licensed regardless of whether they are being used or not.
Clustered failover allows a secondary node to take over when the primary in the same cluster fails. This is active / passive and doesn't require additional licensing provided the failover node isn't active more than ten days per calendar year. Regardless of cluster size, this concession is limited to two database servers only, ie one live and one locally mirrored failover copy. Any other arrangement where additional databases are current and actively being maintained (eg hot standby or remote mirroring) requires each server to be licensed using the same licensing metric.
DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING
Non-collaborative development and testing by an individual doesn't require licensing for pre-deployment, non-production and non-commercial use cases. Licenses are required for any commercial aspect of the development process such as sales demos, training etc. Likewise, on-going development and testing of an existing system requires licenses where additional users or servers are involved.
AUTHORISATION AND INSTALLATION
Oracle licenses are not registered as part of the install routine. Instead, the end-user is required to sign an Online Master Agreement (OMA) at the point of purchase. Oracle takes care of this in the case of Standard Edition One and Standard Edition provided the order is placed via the Oracle One-Click ordering system. In the case of Enterprise Edition, Grey Matter is responsible for initiating the OMA process.
ALTERNATIVE LICENSE TYPES
Full Use (FU) licenses are unrestricted licenses that may be used for development, testing and running any of your applications. Application Specific Full Use (ASFU) and Embedded Software License (ESL) are cost-effective licenses for third party ISV applications that deploy Oracle technology. Their use is restricted to that single application only. In the case of ESL, there are restrictions to the functionality presented to the end-user as outlined in the Oracle Embedded Charter.
Standard Edition Two and Enterprise Edition have no database or RAM size restrictions. They both provide 64bit support and are available for Windows, Linux and Unix. They differ in terms of scalability as follows:
Standard Edition Two - max 2 occupied CPU sockets (across the entire cluster where applicable). The software will utilise a maximum of 16 CPU threads at any time.
Enterprise Edition - unlimited number of cores.
There is also a free edition called Oracle Database XE which has the following restrictions: Max 1 CPU, 1GB RAM, 11GB database size restriction, 32bit (only) Windows, 64bit Linux.
All editions of Oracle Database have been built on the same code base. Applications built on the free XE edition can be ported all the way up to the Enterprise edition without having to be altered.
There are a few functional differences between editions as follows:
Real Application Clusters (RAC)
This is only included with Standard Edition Two although it is available as an add-on for Enterprise. Customers must use Oracle Clusterware (as third-party clusterware is not supported) and Oracle Automatic Storage Management.
The following are included with Enterprise only:
Flashback Table, Database and Transaction Query (Diagnose and undo errors to reduce recovery time)
Secure Application Roles (Enable roles only after a user passes any number of security checks)
Virtual Private Database (Enforce data security and privacy with customisable, policy-based access control down to the row level)
Fine-Grained Auditing (Allows highly focused auditing with almost no 'background noise')
Transportable Tablespaces, Including Cross-Platform (Transport a set of tablespaces from one database to another, or from one database to itself)
Information Lifecycle Management (Understand how data evolves, determine how it grows, monitor how its usage changes and decide how long it should be kept)
Summary Management - Materialized View Query Rewrite (Automatically recognizing materialized view usage to satisfy requests)
Oracle Streams (Propagate and manage data, transactions and events in a data stream either within a database or from one database to another)
The following add-ons can be used with Standard Edition One, Standard and Enterprise:
Oracle Secure Backup (Secure, high performance tape backup management for the Oracle Database and heterogenous file systems reducing the cost and complexity of networked data protection)
Oracle Audit Vault (Automates the collection and analysis of audit data from multiple systems, turning audit data into a key security resource)
The following are only available as add-ons to the Enterprise Edition:
Total Recall (Provides secure, efficient, easy-to-use and application-transparent solution for long-term storage of historical data)
Active Data Guard (Enhances disaster protection investments by offloading resource intensive operations to a single physical standby database, enhancing overall quality of service)
Real Application Clusters (Run any packaged or custom application unchanged across multiple connected, or 'clustered,' servers)
Oracle Database Vault (Restricts super-user and privileged-user access across applications and data)
Oracle Advanced Security (Address privacy and compliance requirements)
Oracle Label Security (Provides out-of-the-box row-level security. Compare user security clearances with data classification labels attached to data rows)
Real Application Testing (Reduces risk and costs of adopting new technologies, whether it's operating systems, servers or software)
Advanced Compression (Compresses all types of data, including structured and unstructured data, to help you use resources more efficiently and lower storage costs)
OLAP (Use built-in analytical workspaces for Online Analytical Processing)
Partitioning (Enables large tables and indexes to be split into smaller, more manageable components, without requiring changes to underlying applications)
Data Mining (Enables efficient information extraction from the very largest databases and integration with business intelligence applications)
Spatial (Support for sophisticated GIS deployments)
Oracle Content Database (Ready-to-use Web services to seamlessly integrate content management capabilities into the business processes)
Advanced warehouse tools that include Enterprise ETL, Data Quality, and Connectors Options