Oracle Announces Standard Edition 2

posted September 18, 2015, 11:19 AM by

Nick Walter, Principal Architect & David Woodard, Principal Architect

It’s been discussed and speculated about for a while, and on September 1st Oracle announced Standard Edition 2 (SE2) in a blog post by Mike Dietrich. SE2 is the only Standard Edition product available starting with release 12.1.0.2. Oracle database version 12.1.0.1 is the terminal release for those who have licenses for the Standard Edition and Standard Edition One (SE/SE1) products.

Information is still forthcoming, but we wanted to touch on this new development for those who are using SE or SE1. Licensing for SE2 is limited to servers with a maximum of two physical processor sockets, while SE & SE1 could be licensed against two or four socket servers respectively. SE also came bundled with Real Application Clusters (RAC), which allowed for a cluster of two servers with two sockets each, or four servers with one socket each. With SE2, this means you are limited to a two-socket server, or if you’re running RAC, a two-node cluster of single socket servers is the maximum.

Oracle is offering SE/SE1 -> SE2 license migrations for anyone on SE/SE1 who wants to move past 12.1.0.1. Some are reporting that the upgrade will be free, but we have not confirmed that ourselves. Oracle has also set an aggressive end-of-life for 12.1.0.1, and by August 2016 12.1.0.1 will stop receiving updates (including PSUs). At that time customers must be on 12.1.0.2 in order to continue receiving support. See MOS doc 2027072.1 for details.

Oracle database versions SE2 12.1.0.2 and Enterprise Edition (EE) 12.1.0.2 now have completely separate downloadable media sets. Regardless of the number of cores present in a physical processor, SE2 is limited to “16 concurrent threads” per Oracle.  We’re assuming that this is the reason for SE2 having a different install package as the SE2 binaries would have limitations on CPU usage built in.  Some are reporting that Resource Manager instance caging is the mechanism by which the CPU usage will be limited to 16 threads.

When licensing SE/SE1 by Named User Plus (NUP), the minimum you were required to purchase was five NUP licenses per company. However, SE2 now sets the NUP license minimum to 10 per server. It gets interesting because the minimums required for Oracle products are normally listed in a table in your Oracle contract. This implies that you will need to sign some sort of amendment, or new license agreement, since SE2 would obviously not even be discussed in older contracts.

Finally, the biggest news of all related to the announcement of SE2 is the price, and for those used to SE1, it causes a bit of sticker shock. SE2 has made its way in to the newly updated Oracle Technology Commercial Price List, and it is priced at $17,500 per socket. That is the same price that SE cost per socket, and about three times the $5,800 price per socket for SE1. There are rumors that SE2 will have more features available from Enterprise Edition, but as we see it right now, there is nothing that benefits the consumer in this new packaging/pricing structure for SE2.

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2 Comments

  • Vince says:

    What I’m having trouble interpreting is the stipulation that SE2 when used with Oracle RAC may only be licensed on a maximum of 2 one socket servers.

    The trouble is the contract has a specific definition of socket, but no definition of server. I can’t tell if it refers to “server” as a hardware concept or if a virtual machine with no more virtual cpus than a single socket can provide would count as a “one socket server”.

  • Brian says:

    what a bitter pill to swallow… so when sales are down, punish your customers.

    Instead of making the product more attractive for potential customers, hurt the user base.

    Makes me want to use PostgresSQL. Just goes to show Oracle’s poor response to loosing the OpenSource database battle.

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