Multi-core Oracle Licensing. Proc/Sock/Core…What a Bore!

In this AMD webpage regarding software licensing, AMD is appealing to software vendors to license products by the socket as opposed to core. I wish Oracle would go this way because the .25 (Sun T1), .50 (Intel/AMD) and .75 (Power) core factoring is tedious. The webpage specifically states:

AMD is providing industry-thought leadership by recommending software developers license their software by socket […]

It is hard to tell if this recommendation from AMD has Barcelona in mind or not. As I blogged about in this post about Oracle per-core licensing with regard to Barcelona, I think the performance per Oracle license on Barcelona will be in trouble.

How can we expect normal humans to make good decisions about server purchases for Oracle when the topic of per-core performance—as it applies to Oracle per-core licensing—is so hard to grasp? As I have found in a comment from a reader on my blog, some people don’t even understand the difference between the terms “processor”, “core” and “socket”. The reader of this post comments:

check you math on the xeon system. tpc is 331,087 and the box has 4 dual core processors for a total of 8 physical processors. 331,087/8 = 41386.

now compare that to the 2 way dual core opteron system. tpc is 139,693 (multiply by 1.7 to estimate barcalona ) = 237478 for 4 physical cpus or 59367.

the barcelona@59367 > xeon@41386 by a factor of 1.44

your welcome… and i’m glad you aren’t my IT buyer.

The comment has been quoted verbatim. As far as the bit about being their IT buyer, I’m sure all of you who know me well are certain I wouldn’t buy this person so much as a bottle of water—even if his hair was on fire—after commenting like this on my blog. I did follow up with even more clarification though because it is a difficult topic:

The Xeon system at 331,087 is 4 socket, 8 core not “8 physical processors” as you state. The terminology is very important and the term “physical processors” has generally been replaced with the term “socket.”

The Opteron number is 139,693 for 2 sockets, 4 cores. AMD expects an increase of 70% per socket, not core. So you are right, the projected Barcelona number is 1.7x or 237,478, but that would be for a 2 socket system–albeit 8 cores.

This is an Oracle blog and I’m blogging about performance per core. So I’ll reiterate:

Opteron 2200 34,923 TpmC per core (139,693/4)
Barcelona ~29,684 TpmC per core (237,478/8)
Tulsa 41,385 TpmC per core (331,087/8)

Oracle licenses by the core. That is all that matters on this blog.

Performance per Oracle license really is all that matters here.

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