Posted by martijnl on February 12, 2008
Just like IBM for Websphere licensing there are all sorts of issues with licensing Oracle when used in a virtualized environment. Because the advantages of virtualizing Oracle outnumber the disadvantages in my experience so far it is highly recommended to specifically address the licensing consequences and the possible influence that this has on the final design. This prevents any nasty surprises afterwards when you get an Oracle licensing audit.
The current situation is as follows:
How to calculate your licensing needs for Oracle Application Server and Oracle Database Server products is described in the Software Investment Guide (
). Oracle database and application server both fall under the category of “Oracle Technology products”. Technology products have two forms of licensing: Named User Plus and Processor. If you have a larger deployment (> 50 users) than you will almost certainly user processor based licenses which is what I am focusing on in this post.
The software investment guide has the following quote regarding licensing Oracle within a virtualized environment:
“Oracle only recognizes hardware partitioning as a mean to install and license Oracle on fewer than the total number of processors in the box”.
This affects virtualization customers in the following way:
- Oracle categorizes x86 virtualization solutions as “software partitioning”
- If you use a cluster of virtualization hosts the term “box” as mentioned in the quote applies to the entire cluster of hosts
- With VMotion, DRS and HA you need to license all the servers that the virtual machine could end up on (this may or may not include passive HA nodes, I do not know that at this time)
- Oracle does not recognize locking a virtual machine to a host through the virtualization software with the goal to license only that cluster host. This also defeats much of the advantages of virtualizing the Oracle servers anyway.
Depending on the number of servers that have Oracle software you have the option to let them be physical servers or:
- Make a separate cluster for Oracle VM’s. You can add other vM’s ofcourse but you need to ensure Oracle VM’s do not go outside of that dedicated cluster
- Plan failover capacity for both clusters (this could mean more capacity than necessary if you place all the hosts in the same cluster so calculate VMWare licenses and hardware accordingly).
Posted in licensing | Tagged: licensing, oracle | 6 Comments »
Posted by martijnl on February 12, 2008
Company X has 20 physical servers with two dual core processors running 15 times Oracle database and 5 times Oracle Application Server (IAS). Their planned host cluster consists of four DL580′s with four quad core CPU’s running a mixed environment. Currently they have licensed 15 x 2 x 2 x 0,5 = 30 CPU’s database and 5 x 2 x 2 x 0,5 = 10 CPU’s Application Server. The processor metric for the new situation will become: 4 x 4 x 4 x 0,5 = 32 CPU’s for database and IAS. This means they have to license two extra CPU’s Oracle database and 22 extra CPU’s IAS. This would mean an extra cost of $80000 for the databases and $660000 for the IAS licenses.
Creating a two-node cluster for Oracle VM’s to get around the licensing issue they calculate they need an extra cluster host for the “other” servers making the total tot 5 hosts. This will cost an extra server + VI license but will have a positive effect on Oracle licensing by reducing the number of processors to: 2 x 4 x 4 x 0,5 = 16 CPU’s database and IAS.
This means they save 14 x $8800 in annual maintenance and support fee for the database vs. an additional investment for 4 CPU’s IAS at $30000 per CPU and $6600 per year in maintenance and support which means they can expect an ROI within roughly two years.
Company Y has five physical servers with two dual core processors running Oracle database software. In Oracle processor metric they need to license 5 x 2 x 2 x 0,5 CPU’s = 10 CPU’s. They want to virtualize these servers to one HP BL480 blade server with two quad core CPU’s. The processor metric for this server is 2 x 4 x 0,5 = 4 CPU’s. However if that one server fails than everything is gone. So they plan a second BL480 in a cluster making the total processor metric 2 x 2 x 4 x 0,5 = 8 CPU’s. This means 2 CPU’s less than they have currently licensed saving $8800 per CPU per year in maintenance and support (before discount).
Compared to the investment needed in extra hardware and VI licenses there would need to be significant other factors like a high valuation of the increased resilience of the environment (because of the added failover capacity) to make this business case work.
Disclaimer: These are theoretical examples based on my experience with Oracle licensing, please discuss your licensing needs with your local Oracle rep.
Posted in licensing | Tagged: licensing, oracle | 2 Comments »