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Virtualization: Oracle licensing remains a hurdle

On the licensing front, Oracle requires users to pay fees for each CPU installed on a server, even if the virtualization software has assigned Oracle a fraction of the total number of physical processor cores. This adds expense for users running Oracle applications on large eight-CPU or 16-CPU Sun Microsystems servers, Portnoy said.

Martijn Lohmeijer, an infrastructure coordinator for a large Dutch IT services provider who is implementing Oracle on VMware Virtual Infrastructure, said he "received word from Oracle headquarters [on] Oct. 16. They still will not budge on the licensing issue and state that we have to license the entire cluster of 24 CPUs instead of just the four-CPU box that is running the Oracle VMs."

"Oracle proposed making a dedicated, separate cluster from the production cluster with two hosts to keep our failover capacity. But that would still mean doubling our Oracle licensing instead of maintaining our existing fee," he said.

Lohmeijer said he suggested putting Oracle VMs in a separate VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler pool with only manual failover to prove the VMs all reside on the same box and will not leave the box unless they fail over to another server in case of disaster, but that idea was rejected.


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