This blog entry is 6th in a series about Oracle on AMD’s upcoming quad-core processor code named “Barcelona.” The following is a link to the other installments on this thread:
Got Quad-Core? Need Enterprise Edition Oracle?
There is quite a buzz today about Oracle’s changes to software licensing for the database products. According to this ZDNet article, the changes are specific to the Standard Edition family of database products. The article refers to Oracle’s multi-core pricing guide which was updated on February 16, 2007. Get out your slide rule and gulp a heaping helping of patience.
The ZDNet Article states:
Servers with four quad-core chips are relatively rare right now, but Intel and AMD plan to release processors for that segment later this year.
Um, the Xeon “Cloverdale” processors are quad-core and shipping already. AMD “Barcelona” is coming out this year. So what does this change really mean? If you use one of the Standard Edition products, you are longer limited based on cores, but sockets instead.
Misinformation—Lot’s of It
It’s Christmas for the bean counters. According to this News.com article, you can just simply switch out Enterprise Edition with Standard Edition:
Customers no longer must buy licenses for each of the 16 cores to run the top-end Enterprise Edition, but instead may buy licenses for the four sockets and run Standard Edition. That cuts list licensing prices from between $320,000 and $480,000–depending on Oracle adjustments that factor in multi-core processor performance–to $60,000.
I am still scratching my head about that one. Customers don’t swap out EE for SE at the drop of a hat—or do you? Since the choice would have never been there before to run SE on that many cores, could it be that SE will start to be the preferred multi-core edition? Can you live without the differences between EE and SE?
Folks that if have EE on a 4-Socket F (2200/8200) Opteron system today might be wise to think very hard about whether they can drop to SE because if they plug in Barcelona processors (they are socket-compatible), EE is going to be very, very expensive. That is, if you stay with EE and plug in Barcelona processors you will double your license cost.
I find this to be a very interesting policy change.