Oracle 12c product licensing changes

by Paul Bullen, Senior License Consultant, Rocela

The long anticipated Oracle Database 12c has been released and, as expected, there are a number of changes to product licensing which you should be aware of. This is an initial assessment of the major changes, and there will no doubt be further information to add when we’ve played with 12c further.

Firstly, some good news: all editions of the database (note, not just Enterprise) now include ‘in transport’ encryption and authentication – so communication between clients and the database can be secured without extra cost. This basic feature used to be part of the extra cost ASO option so nice to see it included in the cost of the database; so you may soon realise you have Advanced Security licenses you no longer need: could be a chance for opex cost saving (check with us first).

Next, a keenly anticipated feature: pluggable databases/multi-tenancy database – this has been confirmed as an extra cost option (at just over £11.7k per processor). It could be well worth the cost given its benefits for upgrading and manageability. Note that a single tenant pluggable database is permitted in all editions.

There doesn’t appear to be much changed in the ‘classic’ management packs, you are still expected to set your Diagnostic and Tuning pack licenses for each database via command line (CONTROL_MANAGEMENT_PACK_ACCESS) but this still seems to be constrained to Diagnostics and Tuning only.

There doesn’t seem to be any change to the database editions: this is great news and means you can still consider Standard Edition as your edition of choice.

And finally (for now!), a new management pack: Oracle Test Data Management Pack for Oracle and, interestingly, non-Oracle Databases: this enables reduction of the size of your production database to keep your test and development environments smaller; sounds interesting in principle, though as with a lot of these less ‘mainstream’ packs it remains to be seen how much uptake there’ll be for it and how to build an effective business case to justify the cost.

There is currently no mention of any change in metric or a different approach to licensing for more flexible and modern architectures; so we appear to be stuck with Named User Plus or Processor for now. From a technical point of view, there are a number of other interesting new features which will no doubt have plenty of coverage in other blogs.

We’ll add more information to the blog as and when we’ve found out more; please let us know if you have any questions in the meantime.

PS – apparently you no longer get a restricted use license of Oracle Berkeley DB for use with Grid…



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