Blog post by Paul Bullen, Version 1 Licensing Consultant

The current Standard Edition and Standard Edition One licenses are now only valid on Oracle 12c Release 1 and earlier versions of the Database product. To upgrade to Oracle 12c Release 2 and later Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 licenses must be used. For those clients with existing Standard Edition licenses the migration to Standard Edition 2 licenses is, currently, fee free. For those clients with Standard Edition One licences there is a “migration” fee to be paid.

Functionally, Standard Edition 2 licences provide the same features as a Standard Edition licence. There are however changes to the hardware restrictions imposed by Oracle to use Standard Edition 2 licenses. The main changes are:

  • Servers may have maximum of 2 sockets.
  • RAC Cluster limit is 2 single socket servers.
  • Databases limited to 16 active user threads.
  • The Named User Plus minimum is now 10 NUPs per server

The limit on the number of active user threads is likely to have the greatest impact on current client deployments. Particularly for those clients with Hyper-Threaded Intel processors, this limit effectively restricts each database to 8 cores of physical processor. Where a database is deployed in a RAC cluster, the effect is to limit each servers processing capacity to 4 physical processor cores on each server. Clients using AMD Opteron based servers should verify their processors are not multi-chip modules as some models may contain 2 processors in a single package, using more than one physical package in a server would breach the Standard Edition 2 socket limit.

Where Standard Edition 2 databases are deployed within a VMware environment, the Standard Edition 2 license will restrict each server in the environment to a 2 socket model.

The overall effect of these changes appears to place Standard Edition back into the market space it was originally intended to cover, that of departmental databases and workgroup environments.