Oracle Runaway Licenses, Catch Them If You Can

Posted by COLLIER IT on Jul 22, 2019 3:32:02 PM
Find me on:

One of the services Collier IT offers to our customers is Oracle licensing optimization, especially at the core technology (Database) tier. Some of the triggers for this are mergers, acquisitions, license audits, or budget cuts.

Runaway Oracle Licenses, Catch Them If You Can


As many of you may know Oracle licenses the Enterprise Edition database by the core, with either a named user ratio per core (or pair of cores) or unlimited processor licensing per core, or pairs, depending on the CPU.

  • The multipliers for popular CPU architectures are 0.5 for X86 and Solaris, and 1.0 for IBM P-series.
  • Put another way, you’ll owe one Oracle database license (along with Partitioning, Tuning, Diagnostics, Real Application Clusters, Advanced Security Option, etc., etc.) for every two cores on X86 and Solaris, or every single core on Power-X servers.
  • List price at the time of this writing, with the first year of support, is $133,590 per processor.

Figure in your typical discount, but regardless of your platform of choice, the licensing for database and options adds up very quickly.

Note: Pricing above is an example only to show value. This blog post may not be used as a quote for services or product either past, present or future from any vendor, partner, or provider), just to let you know.

This brings us to what Oracle does notcharge for in the hardware stack:

  • CPU speed
  • Amount of RAM
  • network between server and storage
  • or the storage latency

Depending on your use case, one of the above will be the bottleneck for your application (other than the obvious bad application code, SQL, connection strategy but we’ll save those for another day, since depending on the app, you may or may not be able to control those).

Collier IT Performance Assessments

In our performance assessments with majority of customers, the bottleneck for system performance has been IO; reading and writing bits to disk. In a majority of these engagements, it has been simply spinning round brown platters that were to blame. Worse when the storage is shared. In about half of these engagements, the network was upgraded between server and storage. Given the licensing discrepancies between, say SharePoint and Oracle, it makes no fiscal sense to share resources between the two.

Extreme Performance Storage for Free?!

This is where Violin stoFree-Violin-Storagerage enters the discussion. There is no licensing metric stating you need to pay more for a storage system that delivers data at nearly the same speed as if it were cached in RAM. Our testing indicates that for most use cases, you can halve or quarter the number of licensed cores and equal or outperform performance on equivalent CPUs with 2-4X more RAM. With the hardware price/performance ratio constantly shrinking and software increasing, enterprise software is now the most expensive component. Optimizing the stack by removing the IO bottle neck with Violin extreme performance storage, in order to minimize the software licenses required makes the most fiscal sense for our customers. So, by reducing licenses and even servers significantly the Violin storage is essentially free, paying for itself and them some!


Author: Terry Koch, Sr. Systems Architect, Collier IT


Topics: OLTP, Oracle, cost savings, AFA