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Oracle processor license rounding

Oracle processor license rounding
Dear Sam,
I’ve heard two conflicting points of view relating to Oracle processor licenses. Everyone seems to agree that licenses are rounded up. For example, if I have a machine with 2 cores of .75 factor each I need 1.5 licenses, which is rounded to 2. The disagreement is when you have multiples of those boxes. Let’s image we have 3 of those machines, each of which needs 1.5 licenses. Do we need a total of 6 (3 x 2) or of 5 (3 x 1.5 rounded up to 5) licenses?
The wording in the Oracle SIG is ambiguous, it reads: “All cores on all multi core chips for each licensed program are to be aggregated before multiplying by the appropriate core processor licensing factor and all fractions of a number are to be rounded up to the next whole number.”
The question is… is this all cores on all chips in the environment – or all cores on all chips per machine…? Every example given is for the calculation of licenses on a single server.
Confused by Oracle Licensing

Ask Sam Dear Confused by Oracle Licensing,

Sam has some well-connected minions, one of them reached out to two canonical sources in Oracle (who shall remain nameless). One came back and said that the number of processor licenses per machine should be rounded – and the other said that the number of processor licenses should be rounded on a core factor basis, not per machine (round all .25 factor cores up, then all .5 cores then all .75 cores, etc.).

So – there seems to be confusion on this even in the Oracle camp. The answer is important to customers… This is perhaps more easily explained in a video, we intend to create one real soon now… but right now, in text form:

If you have a HPUX server with two cores of .75 factor each… 0.75*2 = 1.5 – this must be rounded to 2 Oracle Processor Licenses (OPL).

If you have three of those machines, is the answer 3×2 = 6 or is it 1.5×2 = 4.5 rounds to 5?

The difference may seem minor, but if you have 30 of these servers, the question is:

30×2 = 60 OPL or 30×1.5 = 45 OPL. That 15 OPL delta is 15 x $47,500 (for Enterprise Edition) before you even factor in any options like Partitioning or RAC… That’s $712,500… even with an 80% discount (not unusual for large scale Oracle customers, the ROUNDING error is worth $142,500 – on just 30 servers!).

Now you can see why this is so interesting to Oracle customers…

The two respondents from Oracle had different roles. One was more commercial than the other. The commercial one had given the answer which equates to 60. The other (a very detailed oriented licensing expert from the License Managed Services (LMS) group, who trains LMS people on how to do their job…) was the more canonical source. Therefore, Sam believes that the correct answer is rounding per core factor – not per machine. This leads to the cheaper of the two possible outcomes.

Inside Oracle itself there seems to be ambiguity and disagreement on the specifics of this one – if you are in a situation where you’d like some Licensing Superhero help on this one, please reach out to Sam via the 1E SAO (Software Asset Optimization) team.

In 1E, the level of expertise is what makes the difference.

Resolutely Yours,


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