Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 released

10 sep '15 - Andra Tarata - share: LinkedIN Mail
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After a memorable amount of years, Oracle Database Standard Edition and Standard Edition One will no longer be part of the Oracle Database Edition pricelist. No worries, this just means a warm welcome to Oracle Database Standard Edition TWO!

Oracle Standard Edition One & Oracle Database Standard Edition 

Before looking into the new Oracle Database Standard Edition 2, let’s first recap the licensing rules and definitions of the “old” Oracle Standard Edition One and Oracle Database Standard Edition programs.

  • Oracle Standard Edition One may only be licensed on servers that have a maximum capacity of 2 sockets. 
  • Oracle Database Standard Edition is only to be licensed on servers that have a maximum capacity of 4 sockets. 
  • Oracle Database Enterprise Edition can be licensed on any server. If you install the Oracle Database Standard Edition on a server with a maximum capacity of for example 8 sockets, you will be required to license Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.
  • If licensed by Named User Plus, Oracle Database Standard Edition One and Oracle Database Standard Edition both require each a minimum of 5 Named User Plus licenses. This minimum is not per Processor as many believe, but simply 5 Named User Plus.
  • If licensed by Processor licenses, Oracle Database Standard Edition One and Oracle Database Standard Edition both require to count the amount of occupied sockets to determine the number of Processor licenses. The number of “Processors” for Oracle Standard Edition One or Oracle Database Standard Edition is NOT dependent of the amount of cores, as it is for Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.
  • With the release of 10g, the Oracle Database Standard Edition product includes the database option Real Applications Clusters. This option was not available in any Standard Edition versions prior to 10g.  Organizations that obtained Oracle’s Software Updates License & Support for the Standard Edition Database have the right to upgrade to the 10g version of the product for the supported licenses. Moreover, you must use Oracle Cluster Ready Services as the clusterware since any other third party solution is not supported, AND you need to deploy Automatic Storage Management to manage all data.
  • For organizations running Oracle Database  Standard Edition or Standard Edition One on virtual machines: Oracle classifies VMware as soft-partitioning technology, which means that you need to license all the physical sockets of the servers on which the virtual machine can be hosted, of course with the Oracle software installed. After licensing the full capacity of the entire physical server, multiple instances of Oracle databases can be installed without additional costs. This is an attractive option for x86 deployments. For example:  in case you want to create a vCenter Server Instance with for example 100 physical servers and every physical server has not more than 2 sockets, your organization is entitled to deploy Database Standard Edition One as long as all the sockets of all the physical servers are listed. At the same time, if these 100 servers all do not have a higher capacity of 4 sockets, the customer is entitled to deploy Oracle Database Standard Edition.

Oracle Database Standard Edition TWO

What happened?
On July 22, 2014, the first patch set 12.1.0.2 was released, but solely for the Oracle Database Enterprise Edition. This took many customers by surprise: when they started the installer, the Oracle Database Standard Edition option simply wasn’t there anymore. As a result, speculation arose on what might happen with Oracle Database Standard Edition which is typically used by small to medium sized companies.

At the start of July, Oracle published a note related to the release of Oracle Database 12c Standard Edition 2 (12.1.0.2). In summary:

  • Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2) will replace SE and SE1 from 12.1.0.2.
  • 12.1.0.1 was the last release of Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE) and Standard Edition One (SE1 and end-users that want to make use of a newer release (12.1.0.2) will need to upgrade to Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2) when released.
  • Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2) is planned for release September 2015.
  • Oracle Database Standard Edition 12.1.0.1 and Oracle Standard Edition One customers will have 6 months of patching support once SE2 12.1.0.2 is released with quarterly patches still being available in Oct 2015 and Jan 2016.
  • Organizations running Oracle Database Standard Edition or Oracle Standard Edition One will need to migrate their licenses to Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2) to be able to upgrade to 12.1.0.2.

What’s new?
The big news arrived on September 1 of 2015, when Oracles published its new Global Technology pricelist and an update to the Oracle Database Licensing documentation. Although the current Global Technology pricelist still includes Oracle Database Standard Edition and Standard Edition One, it introduces Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 as well. The license and support fees for a Named User Plus or a Processor license for Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 are currently the same as the license and support fees for a Named User Plus or Processor license for Oracle Database Standard Edition. 

The new Global Technology pricelist states:

Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 may only be licensed on servers that have a maximum capacity of 2 sockets. When used with Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 may only be licensed on a maximum of 2 one-socket servers. In addition, notwithstanding any provision in Your Oracle license agreement to the contrary, each Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 database may use a maximum of 16 CPU threads at any time. When used with Oracle Real Application Clusters, each Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 database may use a maximum of 8 CPU threads per instance at any time. The minimums when licensing by Named User Plus (NUP) metric are 10 NUP licenses per server.

Although the Oracle Technology pricelist and pricelist supplement includes all three database versions – Standard Edition, standard Edition One and Standard Edition 2 – the Oracle Database Licensing Information document only includes the new Oracle Database Standard Edition 2. The release note specifies that Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 is available starting with Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.2). For 12.1.0.1, Oracle Database Standard Edition One and Oracle Database Standard Edition are still available. 

In terms of specific products and components as included in a license, Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 includes the same features and components as Oracle Database Standard Edition, including also Oracle Real Application Clusters as a free component. 

One major change is the Named User Plus license minimums: while the minimum for the “old” Oracle Standard Edition One and Oracle Database Standard Edition was 5 Named User Plus (NUP) licenses, the minimums for Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 are 10 NUP licenses per server.

So what can this mean for my specific situation?
The limitation of 2 sockets for Oracle’s Database Standard Edition 2 can result in the following seven scenarios: 

  • If you have currently deployed Oracle Database Standard Edition on a server with a maximum capacity of 2 sockets and you want to make use of the latest version (12.1.0.2) and you have an active support maintenance contract, then you can install Oracle’s Database Standard Edition 2 version 12.1.0.2 without any additional cost.
  • If you have currently deployed Oracle Database Standard Edition on a cluster (by making use of Real Application Clusters) with 2 servers having 1 socket each and you want to make use of the latest version (12.1.0.2) and you have an active support maintenance contract, then you can install Oracle’s Database Standard Edition 2 version 12.1.0.2 without additional cost.
  • If you have currently deployed Oracle Standard Edition One and you want to use the latest version (12.1.0.2), you have to upgrade your existing Oracle Standard Edition One licenses to Oracle Database Standard Edition Two, which most likely will require additional license and support upgrade fees.
  • If you have currently deployed Oracle Database Standard Edition on a cluster (by making use of Real Application Clusters) with 4 servers having 1 socket each, and you want to make use of the latest version (12.1.0.2), then you have to remove 2 servers from your cluster, before deploying Oracle’s Database Standard Edition 2 version 12.1.0.2. This in order to meet the requirement that Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 may only be licensed on a maximum of 2 one-socket servers.
  • If you have currently deployed Oracle Database Standard Edition on a cluster (by making use of Real Application Clusters) with 2 servers each having a maximum capacity of 2 sockets, and you want to make use of the latest version (12.1.0.2), then you have to change your hardware (to a cluster with 2 servers each having a maximum capacity of 1 socket) before deploying Oracle’s Database Standard Edition 2 version 12.1.0.2.
  • If you have currently deployed Oracle Database Standard Edition on a server with a maximum capacity of 4 sockets, then you have to change hardware and replace your server for another server with a maximum capacity of 2 sockets before deploying Oracle’s Database Standard Edition 2 version 12.1.0.2.
  • If you want to start deploying Oracle Database Standard Edition Two (as a new user), you can only deploy this on servers with a maximum capacity of 2 sockets. If you want to use the feature Real Application Clusters, you can only create a cluster of 2 machines containing one socket each. In addition, you may only use a maximum of 16 CPU threads at any time and in a cluster each database may use a maximum of 8 CPU threads per instance at any time. To conclude, instead of the old minimum of 5 Named User Plus licenses, a minimum of 10 Named User Plus licenses per server should be taken into account.

But what about support on my “older” licenses?
As per Oracle’s Technical Support policies, the 12.1.0.1 release will no longer be under Premier Support as of August 2016. This means that if you would want to extend the full level of services of Oracle’s Premier Support for the older Oracle Standard Edition One or Oracle Database Standard Edition licenses, your organization would be required to enter into an Extended Support contract as per September 2016. For clarity sake, Premier Support is typically available for a period of five years upon the general availability or release date. 

The fees for the Extended Support are as follows:

  • Year 6 after product release: 10% of current year's Software Update License & Support.
  • Year 7 after product release: 20% of current year's Software Update License & Support.
  • Year 8 after product release: 20% of current year's Software Update License & Support.

Full details of Oracle’s Technical Support policies can be found here.

What about licensing Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 in cloud environments?
Another interesting aspect is what will be the best practices for running Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 in Cloud. For the purposes of licensing Oracle programs in an Authorized Cloud Environment (including Amazon Web Services – Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Microsoft Windows Azure Platform) you are required to count each virtual core as the equivalent of a physical core. This policy applies to all Oracle products available on a Processor metric.


When licensing Oracle programs with Standard Edition One or Standard Edition in the product name, the pricing is based on the size of the instance. Authorized Cloud Environment instances with 4 or fewer virtual cores are counted as 1 socket, which is considered equivalent to a processor license. For Authorized Cloud Environment instances with more than 4 virtual cores, every 4 virtual cores used (rounded up to the closest multiple of 4) equate to a licensing requirement of 1 socket. Under this cloud computing policy, Oracle Database Standard Edition may only be licensed on Authorized Cloud Environment instances up to 16 virtual cores and Oracle Standard Edition One may only be licensed on Authorized Cloud Environment instances up to 8 virtual cores.

The Oracle Cloud Policy (which can be found here) has not been updated yet with the new Oracle Database Standard Edition 2, so it’s safe to assume that a new policy will be released soon.

B-lay – The License Management Company – will keep you informed of the latest news regarding this release, and once new updates will be published by Oracle, a full and complete assessment including all the risks, benefits and downsides of deploying this new product will be published.

Where can I find all this information?
Below an overview of the most relevant and useful resources which can be found online:

 

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