Picking the right Oracle database for your requirements

Picking the right Oracle database for your requirements

Sep 16, 2014


Databases are vital for companies that need to manage the large quantities of business information required to run essential processes and applications.

Oracle has been a leading provider of solutions in this space for many years, offering a range of products catered towards enterprises of different sizes and needs.

However, selecting the right Oracle database requires research, planning and careful consideration to ensure the product you choose is fit for purpose.

Database technology can be expensive and purchasing the wrong edition could result in a significant over-spend. Similarly, performance and compliance issues could arise if you fail to invest in a system sophisticated enough for your internal processes.

About licensing

When purchasing an Oracle database, you will need to consider the available licensing metrics, which are defined through Named User Plus (NUP) and per processor (Processor) options.

NUP: These licenses are available across all Oracle databases and are judged on a 'per user' basis. This typically refers to the number of employees or contracts that have access to the database.

Processor: This metric is more commonly used when the number of database users cannot be counted, such as in an internet environment. Instead, the licensing cost is calculated by multiplying the number of cores of the processor by a licensing factor figure specified by Oracle.

There can be considerable cost variations between these two arrangements, depending on the database you choose - so it is important to understand the differences.

Database versions

Once you have researched the available licensing agreements, it is time to identify the right database version for your specific circumstances.

Here is a summary of the main products, as well as a brief description of the relevant features and benefits.

Oracle Enterprise Edition (EE): Often considered Oracle's flagship product, EE has comprehensive features and a wide range of management packs to increase functionality.

However, this additional power comes at a cost and EE licenses run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single server.

Many of the add-ons, such as Oracle disaster recovery product Data Guard, are also available more cost-effectively through other providers.

Oracle Standard Edition One (SE1): This introductory option is powerful and flexible enough to deliver department-level and web applications for single-server environments.

Suitable for a range of business sizes, it is licensed by NUP (a minimum of five are required) or Processor, with total processors calculated, ignoring the number of cores.

SE1 has all the essential features organizations require to develop mission-critical applications for their business operations.

Oracle Standard Edition (SE): Oracle SE has all of the functionality of SE1, but provides support for larger machines.

Licensing can again be by NUP (five minimum) or Processor. However, while SE1 can only be on a server with a maximum of two processor sockets, SE allows up to four sockets.

This can be on a single server or spread across two using Oracle Real Application Clusters, which is included in the price. 

Investing in Oracle disaster recovery

Businesses hoping to maximize use of their SE1 and SE products without upgrading to EE can purchase standby database software.

Dbvisit Standby can help organizations create 80 per cent savings on Oracle support and licensing costs, while offering functionality not available in Data Guard.

Standby databases provide comprehensive disaster recovery capabilities that help critical business systems get up and running as soon as possible following an incident.

Multiple standby databases can be managed and operated using the same source database, with simple failover features providing peace of mind when problems occur.

This ensures a cost-effective, seamless alternative for SE and SE1 users without needing to upgrade to a more expensive package.

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