Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2) is now here...

After much speculation about both the release date and licence implications.  News is gradually being released by Oracle about the future direction of the Standard Database and the impact of on it's licencing.  As we noted in our July blog, Oracle caused quite a stir when hidden away in a support note about Standard Edition Oracle Standard Edition 2 was revealed.  It mentioned that it's long standing database products of Standard Edition (SE) and Standard Edition One (SE1) would be replaced by Standard Edition 2 (SE2).  

The key gotcha was that SE2 would only be able to run on systems with up to 2 processor sockets.  With the constant improvements in CPU processing power.  Standard Edition which can be licenced on servers with up to 4 processors was looking positively generous by Oracle.

Agile TS has witnessed a steady migration of basic Enterprise Edition users to the significatley cheaper SE products both in terms of licence and ongoing support and maintenance costs.  Now this approach isn't right for everyone, especially users of the advanced database options, However it has been made possible for a significant number of users with the arrival of complimentary solutions from the likes of Dbvisit with it's Standby solutions, an low cost alternative to Dataguard.  As well as SolarWinds with it's Database Performance Analyzer (DPA) toolset to rival Oracle tuning and diagnostic packs for Standard Edition.

We can understand that Oracle felt that it's Standard Edition licence restrictions were rather generous, especially with it becoming a viable alternative to Enterprise Edition for some.  Another popular choice was to use Standard Edition RAC which on older versions could support a cluster with up to 4 processor sockets.

Now SE2 has the following restrictions.

"Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 may only be licensed on servers that have a maximum capacity of 2 sockets. When used with Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 may only be licensed on a maximum of 2 one-socket servers. In addition, notwithstanding any provision in Your Oracle license agreement to the contrary, each Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 database may use a maximum of 16 CPU threads at any time. When used with Oracle Real Application Clusters, each Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 database may use a maximum of 8 CPU threads per instance at any time. The minimums when licensing by Named User Plus (NUP) metric are 10 NUP licenses per server."

This is relatively punative compared to the current rules with the introduction of thread limits and a doubling of the licence minimum level to 10 Named Users from 5.

Whilst no one is going to be forced to change their licences in the short term.  For those who will be installing it is well worth understanding the implications of upgrading to SE2 and how to make the most of your existing Oracle Licences.

The Original SE & SE1 are still available to purchase for clients wishing to run previous versions of the Standard Database so no cause for panic.  However, we wouldn't be surprised to find early adopters get the attention of Oracle's licence management teams - just to be sure of correct usage of course!

Whilst we have concentrated on the licence restrictions, another not so minor point is the SE2 is priced at the same point as SE or £11k per processor.  SE1 currently cost £3.6k per processor.  So from 12.1.02 the entry licence just gets a whole lot more expensive!

There are migration license migration paths available to SE2 - and whilst there may not be a cost implication for SE to SE2.  As SE2 is from a license perspective effectively a new product the Oracle Master Agreement (Oracle OMA) will need to be accepted to tie in the new terms.  This can very from the legacy Oracle Licence and Service Agreement (Oracle OLSA) which many users will be governed by.

To discuss the implications of SE2 and to plan your database licence strategy - please get in touch with Steve Bridle at AgileTS   steve.bridle@agilets.com




Oracle Standard Edition 2 (SE2) coming soon..

Dbvisit recently published a blog article about the future direction of Oracle Standard Edition based on recent announcements.  We think it's a cracking article and apart from localising it for the UK market we are pleased to re-publish.

The long awaited Oracle Database 12c was released on the 25th June 2013 with version, and back then this included the same key editions we are used to:

  • Standard Edition One,
  • Standard Edition and
  • Enterprise Edition

Oracle Multi-tenancy was one of the big discussion points. However, the options in the Oracle Standard Edition space were, once again, limited as you were only allowed one Pluggable Database (PDB) in your Container Database (CDB). There was no license cost for this, but you could only have one PDB. In some ways this gives you functionality, but not really the full benefit of Multi-tenancy – not even on a small scale. For the full experience you needed to stretch to Enterprise Edition, and on top of that, purchase an additional license option for the Multi-tenancy features.

Just over a year later on the 22nd July 2014, the first patch set was released… and this is where things got interesting. Many people were left wondering what Oracle was planning with its Editions, as the big change with this patch set release was that was Enterprise Edition only! This took many by surprise; you start the installer, and the option to install Standard Edition was simply not available… not a nice feeling when you are looking at updating to the latest.

Over the past year there has been much speculation on what might happen with SE: did this mark the end of Oracle Standard Edition? Surely not, there are too many customers out there using this powerful and cost effective edition. What about all the small to medium sized companies? Surely Oracle would not alienate them and leave them with no alternative but to move away from Oracle… so finally, after almost another entire year, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – Oracle is looking at continuing with Oracle Standard Edition – which is excellent news, but there are some licensing changes on the horizon.

On the 3rd July 2015 a new support note (announcement) was noticed on the Oracle Support site – “Oracle Database 12c Standard Edition 2 ( (Doc ID 2027072.1)”

In this note it is stated that the new Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2) will replace the Standard Edition (SE) and Standard Edition One (SE1) options, beginning from patch set

Further to that announcement, a glimpse of the licensing change was provided as well.  SE2 will run on systems with a maximum of 2 sockets, so gone is the option of having a 4 socket standard edition system.  BUT the good thing is that SE2 will still support Oracle RAC – up to a two-node cluster (the assumption is that each node can have a maximum of 2 sockets). The support note is not 100% clear on this, but it does look as if you can use two nodes for the RAC cluster with each having a max of 2 sockets – which brings you to the maximum of 4 sockets in total – if using Oracle RAC.

In summary this is stated in the announcement:

  • Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2) will replace SE and SE1 from
  • SE2 will have a limitation of maximum 2 socket systems
  • was the last SE and SE1 option and customers will need to upgrade to SE2 ( when released
  • SE2 is planned for release Q3 CY2015
  • SE and SE1 customers will have 6 months of patching support once SE2 is released with quarterly patches still being available in Oct 2015 and Jan 2016.
  • There are some changes in the licensing, but the key for most is that there is still an Oracle Standard Edition option, and that is great.

Interestingly, no pricing is mentioned and no mention of changes in features. Feature changes may be limited, but one key question remains – what will the cost implications be? There are a large number of small to medium sized companies using Oracle Standard Edition and it would be sad to see them move to alternatives due to major licensing changes or major price hikes in the standard edition space.

Fortunately, as SE2 is expected to be released Q3 2015 we won’t have to wait too long to get answers to all the questions being raised by this announcement.

We are interested to see more detail about the licensing structure and if there will be any feature changes as well as how the license price will be affected.  Currently an SE1 processor license is GBP £3,674 where the SE processor license is GBP £11,086

Many more would rather look at Oracle vs. alternatives if it is just GBP £3,674 – that is one attractive price tag for getting this amazing technology at your fingertips! But this is just wishful thinking for the moment, and we will have to wait and see. Another question that also arises is around support; what will happen with customers that have Oracle SE1 – will their support cost go up? We will just have to wait and see, but for now I am just happy to see that Oracle will continue with a Standard Edition version and that there are still options available for the smaller – and in many cases cost-constrained, companies out there.

For more details please see the following three Oracle Support notes:

  • Release Schedule of Current Database Releases (Doc ID 742060.1)
  • Oracle Database 12c Release 1 Patch set 1 ( is being released only as Enterprise Edition at this time (Doc ID 1905806.1)
  • Oracle Database 12c Standard Edition 2 ( (Doc ID 2027072.1)

To discuss the potential impact your licence estate and review the risks and opportunities then please drop us a note at licence@agilets.com