The ORACLE© SE2 Tea Party

November 24, 2015

Contributed by Keith Alsheimer

As of December 1, 2015, Oracle® is no longer offering two of its most popular database license options, SE and SE1; replacing them instead with a new SE2 version which effectively increases license limitations to force more customers onto their Enterprise Edition—at an enormous cost increase. This dramatic change is forcing many existing Oracle SE and SE1 users into the unwelcome dilemma of having to choose the least bad of the costly and disruptive options available to them. This is just one more example of the tyrannical practices that have given Oracle such an infamously gluttonous reputation for so many years. But just as fed-up American colonists once threw a shipload of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest excessive taxation, sometimes tyranny can be a forge for unexpected liberation. 

EnterpriseDB (EDB), a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for ODBMS, is offering users a better option. For a limited time, qualifying Oracle SE users can deploy EDB’s Postgres Enterprise solution with Oracle compatibility for the same price they are currently paying in maintenance fees to Oracle*. Imagine moving to an equally capable DBMS with a simple migration path, continuing to use your existing DBA skills, and all without additional license fees, usage limitations, or penalties. Not only will this solve pending SE2 crises, but it will also eliminate future growth barriers and ongoing concerns about what Oracle will do next with their licensing practices.

For those who may not yet know all the details, Oracle has eliminated SE and SE1 database license options beginning with its release and replaced them with a new version called Oracle SE2. SE2 will cost 20% more than SE1, and while the same price as SE, will provide 50% less capacity by reducing the maximum allowable footprint from 4 sockets down to just 2 with a maximum of 16 CPU threads per instance. Minimum named user plus licenses are also increased from 5 to 10 and Real Application Cluster (RAC) maximum deployments are now limited to 2 clusters of one socket each with a maximum of 8 CPU threads per instance at any time. After a long string of disappointing earnings results, Oracle seems intent on forcing more Oracle Enterprise Edition license sales at far greater cost ($47,500 per core plus add-ons vs. $17,500 per socket) along with higher ongoing maintenance fees (22% of license cost).   

While this will certainly affect purchasing decision options for prospective new customers, it has a far bigger impact on existing users, particularly those with an Oracle SE license. Here’s what it means for an average Oracle customer running SE on a 4-socket server using 8-core processors per socket. Since a Oracle SE2 maximum deployment is a 2-socket server, the user must pay an astonishing 4,000% cost increase to move to Enterprise Edition and license 32 cores, or “upgrade” to SE2 and buy two new database servers each with a maximum capacity of 2 sockets then split the deployment across the two servers. However, if Oracle RAC were part of the deployment, then the SE2 limitation would only allow 1 socket per node with a maximum limit of 2 nodes and 8 CPU threads per instance. This would therefore most likely require either reengineering the application or accepting reduced performance capacity of the cluster.   

Another option would be to just keep the existing Oracle SE license without upgrading to SE2. But after August 31, 2016 Oracle will no longer provide support or ongoing security patches and upgrades. Even more troubling, according to Palisade Compliance, an Oracle licensing consulting company founded by Craig Guarente, former VP for Oracle contracts and audits worldwide, Oracle customers choosing to stay on SE may likely still have to continue paying support fees—even though they would no longer be receiving any support. (Palisade explores this in depth on their blog.) Craig explains, “Oracle audit teams (LMS) like to go where the money is. Customers not upgrading to SE2 may expose themselves to higher risk of audit either now or in the near future.” 

So, Oracle is effectively rearranging the playing field to tilt in their favor at the expense of their existing customers. Essentially forcing SE users to perhaps pay for support they are not receiving; buy new hardware and reconfigure their applications; suffer potential performance degradation; and face enormous cost increases for upgrading to Enterprise Edition if they exceed license restrictions either now or in the future. Amazing.

Take Control Back

But maybe there is a silver lining in all this. What if there was an alternative without all the restrictions, hassles and extra costs? One that companies could depend on to grow with their businesses without major penalties or dramatic cost increases? Wouldn’t it be ironic if Oracle’s strategy backfired and instead of forcing once loyal customers into paying Oracle more money for less in return, those customers actually found a way to get more and pay less without Oracle? 

EDB enables customers to take control back from Oracle with an attractive open source based alternative that achieves all of these goals.

EDB provides an enterprise version of open-source PostgreSQL modified to include native PL-SQL programming language along with performance and security enhancements and integrated tool suites for management, integration, high availability and migration. Most Oracle applications can be easily migrated over to EDB Postgres with minimal time and effort using EDB’s Migration Toolkit. The native PL-SQL and stored procedures in EDB Postgres enable use of existing Oracle DBA resources with minimal disruption to ongoing operations, and EDB Postgres can integrate with other Oracle applications seamlessly.

But how much risk is there in moving from Oracle to an open-source based alternative?  Truth is, open source relational DBMSs are now just as capable as expensive commercial options for 80% of typical enterprise workloads. Gartner verifies this in their State of Open Source RDBMS 2015. In this report, Gartner predicts that by 2018, 70% of all new and 50% of all existing workloads will be running on open source RDBMSs, and further recommends moving all available workloads to open source RDBMSs alternatives immediately.   

And what about EDB’s credentials? EDB provides Enterprise Postgres to thousands of enterprise and government accounts worldwide including over 10% of the F500/G2000. EDB has been a commercial PostgreSQL leader since 2004, and is the only open-source relational database vendor named as a Leader in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant report.

The EDB Postgres platform enables companies to get the value of open source along with all the support, tools, performance and resources they are used to getting from commercial DBMS vendors. Plus the EDB Postgres platform offers features not contained in Oracle SE such as partitioning and virtual private database. EDB customers pay one low annual subscription price that includes all license and support costs. There are no additional up-front license fees, no limitations on feature usage, no penalties for making changes, and no restrictions on installation sizes. Simply pay for what you use and grow as you go. 

The Time is Now

So, the real question is why not move to an open source based Oracle alternative now?  If liberation from Oracle license restrictions, penalties and upgrade traps were not incentive enough in the past, certainly this forced move to SE2 is a blaring call to action now. The limited time promotion from EDB is icing on the cake to make the move even sweeter.  

EDB offers an Oracle migration assessment service that scores Oracle applications for time, difficulty and cost of migration to identify the easiest to migrate first. For most Oracle SE installations, migrations can be quickly and easily implemented in a matter of days using EDB’s Migration Toolkit. EDB also provides Postgres engineer consultants to walk you through the process.

Think about it: liberation or tyranny. You have the power to take back control. Just click here to begin planning your own revolutionary tea party.

Keith Alsheimer is Chief Marketing Officer of EnterpriseDB.


*For a limited time – this promotion may be canceled or modified at any time with or without notice.  EDB is offering existing qualifying Oracle SE users an opportunity to use EDB Postgresäfor the same annual maintenance costs being paid currently to Oracle.  This promotion is applicable to systems that have a maximum of four cores per socket.  This promotion does not apply to Oracle SE1 users.  This promotion is subject to the end user entering into EnterpriseDB’s standard terms and conditions of use for EDB Postgres. 

EnterpriseDB is a registered Trademark of EnterpriseDB; EDB and EDB Postgres are Trademarks of EnterpriseDB; and Oracle is a registered Trademark of Oracle Corporation.  All other names are the property of their respective owners.

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