A Standard Way of Thinking – Final Part

Written by Paul Bullen, Senior License Consultant

In my previous blog posts on Standard Edition (Part 1, Part 2), I referred to the massive reduction in price from Enterprise Edition to Standard (92% in our typical example). Hopefully you’ve had some time to realise that Standard Edition is a viable database edition and could, with some discussion, potentially replace some use of Enterprise Edition in your company. In this last blog post, we’ll look at Named User Plus licensing for Standard Edition and summarise my previous blogs posts.

So, hopefully you’ll remember from my earlier blog post that Named User Plus licensing is not trivial, and needs careful management. With that in mind, let’s look at the differences with Named User Plus on Standard Edition.
With Enterprise Edition database, you have to license the greater of either the actual users of the software or the ‘Named User Plus minimums’. This can get messy; especially with database options (read this). Most people think of the minimums of 25 NUP per Processor when considering NUP licensing for DB EE.

So, what is the minimum for DB SE? The answer is a simple ‘5’; No, not 5 per Processor, you must own at least 5 NUP licenses in your company; if you have 5 Named Users, 5 NUP licenses and 1,000 servers running Standard Edition, you would be licensed correctly. So, 5 is the answer.

This lack of minimums makes a massive difference across a large estate. Consider that each set of 25 DB EE NUP will cost $23,750 (list price) and that for Standard Edition this will be zero, you can probably see that the savings soon start to mount.

It brings the Named User Plus metric back to a point of common sense: you buy an SE Named User Plus license for everyone who uses Oracle, simple as that. You have no minimums to calculate or track; you have no database options to mess things up. You get an effective and capable product for a reasonable price, and therefore reasonable on-going support costs.

So, to wrap things up:

  • Standard Edition database is a very capable product and can probably run most of your workload
  • SE is significantly cheaper than Enterprise Edition database: we are talking over 70% savings on capex and opex here
  • Unless you specifically need Oracle’s extra cost options or management packs, there are very mature and cheaper alternative products available

In my view, Standard Edition database should be your “Standard way of thinking” i.e. your database edition of choice if you want to get best value and reduce costs: Enterprise Edition should be used as an exception. As with any large change, it is always worth consulting the experts before you undertake a significant change to your current or future estate (as we could save you even more!)

Please feel free to ask me any questions on this or any other Oracle licensing related topics.

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4 Responses to A Standard Way of Thinking – Final Part

  1. Hello Paul. I just have one question: is there any restriction for a company in which it is obligated to buy oracle standard edition instead of oracle standard edition one???, or is it possible for any company (big or small) go to oracle web shop and buy any edition??? (of course other than the 2 socket and RAC limit in SE1).

    Thanks in advance.

    • Paul Bullen says:

      Hi Julio. Thanks for the question. I’ve never heard (and would be very surprised) to hear of any obligation (other than the technical ones mentioned above) to buy SE rather than SE1. Have Oracle said otherwise to you?? Cheers, Paul

  2. Paulo Iwata says:

    Hello Paul. I heard that we can use a EE license and licensing a SE and there is formula to converter. But I did find any document about it.

    • Paul Bullen says:

      Hi Paulo. There’s quite a lot of confusion about this — Oracle do not officially (i.e. there is no paperwork, contractual allowance, guidance, educational document etc) recognise using Enterprise Edition to licence a Standard Edition instance. However, anecdotally we have seen this be allowable. As with anything of this nature, it is best to understand what is ultimately in your contract. The worst possible case is that SE and EE are classed as different products and you need to licence each with a licence of the same edition. It would of course, be a ‘waste’ of Enterprise Edition licence to use against a Standard Edition installation!

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