Oracle changes licensing for multi-core systems, again

By Justin Mann on December 19, 2005, 7:46 PM
Oracle, developer of one of the most popular industry database standards, is continuing to roll out their new licensing scheme for modern machines that are more and more becoming equipped with multi-core CPUs. We have 4 and 8 core CPUs already available at the extreme enterprise high-end, with even more promised. With many licenses based upon “physical” processors, how companies charge for their software on these new rigs can get a bit tricky. Oracle's plan is to give separate licenses for x86 and RISC chips, and give different “multipliers” based on what you choose. A dual-core Intel or AMD processor will have all the cores in the machine added up and multiplied by .75 and .50, respectively, whereas an UltraSPARC T1, which can have four times the number of cores that a Xeon or Opteron could, will be multiplied by .50.

As both servers and desktops begin to embrace dual-core platforms, including in configurations with more than one physical processor, licensing can become tricky when a lot of companies sell different licenses to products based on the number of “processors” the product sees. With companies like Microsoft committing to pricing their software based the amount of physical CPUs, many IT managers hope it stays that way, for future upgrade purposes and for current day costs. Oracle has taken some heat for introducing this model, but perhaps in the future they will change their tune.

User Comments: 4

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smtkr said:
I wonder why it is .75 and .5 for intel and amd, respectively. It doesn't make sense to me.
asphix said:
Smtkr, my guess is that the Intel chips have multi-threading enabled per core. So if you have a dual core INTEL CPU, you have 4 virtual cores, where as AMD's processor will only have two cores.I'm just speculating, so correct me if I'm wrong. I think sticking with physical CPU's is the smart thing to do. I work in I.T. and licensing and license management is already a pain when your dealing with hundreds of machines. Add onto that servers to run applications for those client machine with different license charges based on their hardware makeup down to the finest detail and your bound to mess up or get confused somewhere.We need easier solutions that help us get our work done, not more complex solutions to help the vendor make money.
PanicX said:
I'm not sure why, but it drives me nuts that software companies feel they should be able to charge more for their products because you spent more on the hardware. I can absolutely understand that if you need to modify your software or create new software to support hardware, that you feel justified in increasing the software pricing. However, with these mulitple CPU's/cores/threading you either need SMP or you don't. I can't see how a vender is justified in charging you more for the same software simply because they smell deeper pockets. Why should it be Sun's business that I run a 8 processor rig as opposed to a 2 processor machine? Perhaps I'm wrong, can anyone explain any SMP differences in software when running on a 2 processor machine as opposed to a 16 processor?
mentaljedi said:
I don't know much about this but from what i have read, i am dissapointed with Oracle. Its a bit too money minded for my tastes.
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