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Should Dual Cores Require Dual Licenses?

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the symmetrical-multi-paying dept.

The Almighty Buck 425

sebFlyte writes "The multi-core debate continues. HP and Intel have laid into Oracle and (to a lesser extent) BEA over their their treatment of multi-core processers. Oracle's argument that 'a core is a CPU and therefore you should pay us all your money' isn't a popular one, it would seem. What does Oracle's stubbornness imply for the industry as a whole, with multicore chips coming to the fore so strongly?"

cancel ×

425 comments

Well.. (2)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652544)

What about licensing per machine instead of per CPU core?

Re:Well.. (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652582)

So get a 64 CPU server and you could save money.
64 is not enough ? get 128.

Re:Well.. (1)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652596)

I don't think they'll agree with this. With a SMP machine you can do the work of x similar machines, that would require separate licenses.

I can understand their comercial reasoning, but in this case, I think the answer is yet another argument for freedom and open source.

Re:Well.. (2)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652603)

With Blades ervers, do you count one machine per blade of for the whole box ... or for the whole cabinet ... or room ?
And does a Beowulf count as one "machine" ?

Re:Well.. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652705)

What about licensing per ALU/FPU/SIMD unit? Hmm... ?

Oracle Human Resources, my resume is available upon request, and I have more than a few other revenue-increasing ideas up my sleeve, email me.

Re:Well.. (1)

anon*127.0.0.1 (637224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652741)

I think they should go with a licensing per transistor scheme.

Re:Well.. (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652753)

Charge by how many pins the processor has on it.

Kinda gets screwy if you go to a BGA setup, though.

Processers? (5, Funny)

AddressException (187785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652546)

I'm not paying for any "processers"!

Re:Processers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652577)

Did they ever charge more for Multi - Pipeline CPUs? Or perhaps for each path through the ALU, or perhaps for each thread launched. It looks to me that their billing methods need an overhaul in general.

You asked a questions so my answer is.... (5, Insightful)

ninthwave (150430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652547)

Oracle's stubborness says, time to start looking at DB2.

Re:You asked a questions so my answer is.... (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652602)

I think that IBM also charge per CPU on many of their products. I'm not sure about DB2 but many of the Websphere range do charge per CPU eg mqsisetcapacity setmqcap etc

Portable code solves this problem (5, Interesting)

Decaff (42676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652699)

Oracle's stubborness says, time to start looking at DB2.

Absolutely. But how many can easily switch?

For a long time I have had (occasionally heated) arguments with SQL addicts who insist that almost everything about an application should be coded in SQL and stored procedures. Meanwhile I have been moving all my logic away from the database engine, using APIs such as Java Data Objects, which makes my code very rapidly portable between databases. Now I am in a position to switch my code (and data) easily between different database vendors if there is a licensing or price issue.

I strongly believe we should start to think of databases simply as engines for storing and retrieving inter-related objects and not as platforms for writing applications.

Re:You asked a questions so my answer is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652738)

DB2.. .Puhleeze... Postgres is Oracle without the price or the hordes of overpriced dba's, plus it has a community of free supporters that Oracle doesn't have.

I urge everyone to use Postgres [postgresql.org]

Re:You asked a questions so my answer is.... (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652815)

Soon as you show me how to range partion in postgres, I might consider it.

Re:You asked a questions so my answer is.... (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652833)

Whoops, I meant partition.

Competition (4, Insightful)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652552)

So people will move to competition if the competition is more cost effective for them.

Riiiight! (0, Troll)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652661)

> So people will move to competition if the competition is more cost effective for them.

Hah, hah! This is sooo funny!

If the world worked like that, we'd all be running Linux and GPL software.

Do you have any idea how painful it is for enterprise users to change their database vendor?
Even upgrading to the latest version is a nightmare.

Re:Riiiight! (3, Insightful)

sxpert (139117) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652756)

Even upgrading to the latest version is a nightmare.

thus, logic states that it's no harder to switch than to upgrade...

Re:Riiiight! (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652776)

thus, logic states that it's no harder to switch than to upgrade... What universe do you live in? Obviously not mine.

Re:Riiiight! (1)

Emugamer (143719) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652811)

wow thats an interesting jump, nightmare != "Unbelievable bleeping kill me now, makes horror movie seem comedy" move from one platform to another. I have nightmares. they are very bad dreams, but you get to wake up from them usually in less then 8 hours... they don't give me homicidal thoughts towords decision makers.... :)

logic states a lot of things but id doesn't state that it's no harder to switch than to upgrade...

I didn't know oracle even looked at processors (5, Funny)

ponds (728911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652560)

I thought that they just turned you upside down and saw how much money fell out of your pockets.

Re:I didn't know oracle even looked at processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652599)

Wow. Personally, I got a pat-down... must be a new for '05 technique. The bad news: they found some loot hidden in my money belt and all was lost. Guess I shoudda put my money under the mattress like grandpa used to suggest.

I offer a better deal (2, Funny)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652623)

I charge on a per logic gate basis.

I was going to charge on a per transistor basis but decided against it.

Yeah I realize I wont be utilizing all the logic gates per transaction .. but hey .. who says i have to care about that?

Re:I didn't know oracle even looked at processors (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652674)

That's only step 1...
Pants start coming off at step 2.

Obligatory Simspons Quote (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652827)

"Are you absolutely sure? Because legally I am allowed to shake him by ankles and see what falls out. It's established in the case of Lawyers v. Justice...that was a wonderful day for us."

Kinda torn (1, Insightful)

lordkuri (514498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652561)

I'm kinda torn on this one...

on one hand, a person with a dual core chip is likely to get slightly better performance than 2 actual chips.

on the other, if everything goes to dual core, then we've just handed Oracle, MS, et al. double (or more?) profits on their products. Support costs will remain somewhat constant, so wtf?

I dunno... it's a hard nut to crack

Re:Kinda torn (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652660)

well. the price on a software is pretty much as much as the client is willing to pay(or random on that), with the huge players anyhow.

it's just a pricing problem. there's a chance that these players on the software market would price their products too high - they won't do that, if they could get away with asking 2x the price from average customer WHY WOULD THEY NOT BE DOING IT ALREADY?

Re:Kinda torn (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652731)

On one hand, a person with a dual core chip is likely to get slightly better performance than 2 actual chips.

...And a person with a 2GHz processor will get better performance than a 1GHz processor (with the the same processor core, of course), so why not charge based on clock rate?

But then, a person with a bigger L1 cache will also get better performance, so why not charge based on transistor count?

Why not just charge based on MFLOPS or MIPS? Why not charge based on actual transaction throughput?


This amounts to nothing more than a quick-and-easy way to try to sneak through a regular doubling of their pricing structure. Realistically, we can expect Moore's law to start applying to number of cores, rather than number of transistors. So, in 20 years, will Larry expect their customers to pay more than the GDP of most smaller industrialized nations? In 30 years, will he let us use Oracle if we just make him "Emperor Ellison I, monarch of Earth and the Lunar Colonies"?


No. In a few years, Oracle will simply reverse this policy, and go back to their current approach of striking the corporate rock with a big stick until it runs out of blood. That, or they will cease to exist. In the meantime... Anyone currently dependant on Oracle would do well to start migrating now, because, of the three possible outcomes (no change; no per-core pricing; going under), two mean you'll need to change eventually, and the remaining option means you'll at least get raped over the short-term.

Re:Kinda torn (3, Informative)

whomeyup (635503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652819)

on the other, if everything goes to dual core, then we've just handed Oracle, MS, et al. double (or more?) profits on their products. Support costs will remain somewhat constant, so wtf?
MS charges per physical processor. [microsoft.com]

Re:Kinda torn (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652842)

on one hand, a person with a dual core chip is likely to get slightly better performance than 2 actual chips.

I payed about $20 for a copy of Doom in 1994. I recently dug it out and ran it on an Athlon XP with about 50X the speed of the original machine that I had when I bought the license. I guess by that logic I now owe id Software another $1000.

As long as.... (3, Insightful)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652562)

Dual core chips are sold in the "CPU" section of stores I'm going to consider them singular.

Central Processing Unit.

Theres no 's' on the end.

Re:As long as.... (3, Interesting)

servoled (174239) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652657)

Where they are sold is completely irrelevant. I think its more a question of how the chips are marketed (i.e. how does Intel/AMD define them) and to a greater extent how they interact with the OS. If the OS treats them as two individual processors then Oracle probably has a case. Someone with more of a CS background can probably shed more light on this area.

Also remember that you are entering into a contract with Oracle when you purchase their software. Oracle can define the terms of that contract however they want. If they want to start charging "per core" there is no reason why they can't. On the other hand, if you don't like the terms of their contract you can always find a new database to run things off of.

Re:As long as.... (1)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652671)

But if these chips become commonplace in the consumer market I seriously doubt people will pay twice for every piece of software they purchase.

It just won't happen.

Re:As long as.... (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652675)

Most importantly is hardware pricing. Currently you pay a pretty big premium for a 2-way over a 1-way system (often more than twice the price).

In the future, Intel/AMD Commodity 2-Core systems will cost the same as 1-Core systems do today. If you are buying the cheap-ass bottom-servers Dell servers, it doesn't make any sense for your licencing costs to double in one year.

Re:As long as.... (1)

Cobralisk (666114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652715)

It seems like this issue really pertains to large customers with existing Oracle licenses looking to upgrade hardware. Intel's complaint is that Oracle is pushing their weight around unfairly and that this will keep Intel's customers from upgrading to their new flagship products, because that would require a complete re-negotiation between end customer and Oracle.

Re:As long as.... (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652740)

I have to disagree. On a dual-core chip, can two lines of execution go on simultaneously? If so, then it is, for all intents and purposes, two processors. Basing your logic on how the acronym is spelled is weak, at best.

Re:As long as.... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652760)

What about pipelines and multi-threading?

I say, Oracle should sell license on the number of threads, so you can have 50cores if you want, so long as 49 of them are dishing out copies of worms and while the other 1 is running oracle.

Re:As long as.... (1)

canofbutter (843238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652778)

two lines of execution go on simultaneously

That's true, but why aren't they charging based on number of pipelines, then?

Re:As long as.... (1)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652805)

I have hyper threading on my P4 chip that allows an extra thread of execution - should I pay 2x? No. I don't do it currently. Currently, only dual chip mobo's require dual licenses - when I have more than 1 multicore chip then you can charge me more. 1 chip is 1 chip.

What I'm saying is, when these dual core chips become ubiquitous in the market and single core chips are phased out, are we going to pay 200 bucks for a single copy of windows? I think the answer is going to be a resounding "Fuck no" from consumers.

Oracle's salesman rallying cry (1, Funny)

yorkpaddy (830859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652567)

"Get The MOney, Get The Fucking Money"

Open Letters, Briefings, etc. (5, Insightful)

Trillan (597339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652568)

HP and Intel should manage their own business, and leave Oracle to mismanage theirs.

What have we come to that companies write open letters to themselves, using public opinion to try to damage competitors or enhance their own position... and the public eats it up and supports it?

Intel, this is your problem. Deal with it without whining to the public... or you'll look like whiners. It isn't like the wining is going to actually help your case anyway.

Re:Open Letters, Briefings, etc. (1)

ostiguy (63618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652704)

What is interesting is that Intel's problem in its business (getting single core cpus to run > 4 ghz) should somehow be oracle's problem.

ostiguy

MS.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652569)

Microsoft of all people did the right thing.. why can't Oracle?

Re:MS.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652626)

Oracle is greedier and much more unethical

Re:MS.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652659)

Never knew Microsoft was a people...

Re:MS.. (2, Insightful)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652664)

Because MS can loose customers and not Oracle.

Switching costs for desktop task are cheaper than for database processing. I work in corporate banking and a single application for a single banking business line contains a zillion lines of code of PL/SQL. If all I have to do to switch is forming my users to OpenOffice, the price of dual license for Windows will make switching to Linux VERY interesting.
But if I need to migrate ALL my softwares AND data in another database (if a database company who does not charge per core but per CPU ever exists), I won't be happy but I will have to pay.

Sad (1)

mpower1 (858744) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652587)

nothing like billionairs sitting around trying to figure out how to charge even more money. We need OPENSOURCE HARDWARE!!!

Re:Sad (2, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652650)

Ever hear of SPARC?

Essentially open source. Go join the consortium, and start building your own processor. Of course, you need your own Fab plant, engineers, material supply chains, circuit designers...

Oh, what do you know? Open source doesn't fix everything after all!

Wait... I thought it was $/user?!? (4, Interesting)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652597)

The ad on the back of the trade magazine I read said $149/user. Do I get a clone of myself when I use a dual processor machine?

Let them be stupid...the market will correct them.

--Mike--

Re:Wait... I thought it was $/user?!? (1)

ninthwave (150430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652631)

That is the best phrase I have heard in awhile, I am sure the thought has been about in many forms but that phrase is so simple and straight to the point.

I think I will quote it often now.

"Let them be stupid... the market will correct them." ka9dgx - slashdotorg

I wonder ... (1)

MorpheusAGN01 (581264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652598)

I wonder what happens if/when many, many nodes of a cluster could/would be considered "a core".

Oracle pricing scheme (1)

that_xmas (707449) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652600)

Obviously Oracle is going to price their product in whatever way will earn them the most money. Their pricing schemes are very opaque. The customer really doesn't know how much they are going to be charged until they see the price quote from Oracle. I think this is going to hurt them much more in the end.

It's blatant (1)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652604)

I feel that Oracle flexes semantics to justify greater fees. A two core system uses the same amount of Oracle's software and a one core system does.

Re:It's blatant (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652733)

Oracle licenses are already per-CPU. Somebody with a lightly-loaded single CPU PC is going to have different needs than sombody running it on some 100 processor Sun beast. The per-processor licensing is one way of adressing this issue.

The question isn't really as cut & dried as you'd want to think of it at first. While the difference between what you'd do with a single & dual machine is relatively minor, somebody upgrading a 4-way machine to an 8-way box is making a much larger jump - quite possibly resulting in the consolodation of several smaller servers (and the cancelling of their licenses).

There was a similar debate when Intel introduced Hyperthreading (which makes a single CPU appear as 2 virtual CPUs). A good example of how it worked out involves Windows. Workstation copies of Windows are licensed for 2 procs. In 2000, which doesn't know about HT, that means you can't use a 2-proc HT system. XP, OTOH, recognizes HT and allows for dual HT CPUs, giving you 4 virtual CPUs on the 2-CPU license.

It's blatant-Precedent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652767)

"I feel that Oracle flexes semantics to justify greater fees. A two core system uses the same amount of Oracle's software and a one core system does."

There is a precedent in the mainframe world for what Oracle is doing. IBM charges per a CPU, and so do others. And after all a multi-core is basically two (or more) Processing Units* in one package.

*A computer is basically the "PU" in CPU. The "C" isn't really needed.

There _Are_ Other DBMS's (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652605)

> What does Oracle's stubbornness imply for the
> industry as a whole, with multicore chips coming
> to the fore so strongly?"

PostgreSQL is coming along nicely...

Re:There _Are_ Other DBMS's (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652726)

PostgreSQL is coming along nicely...

It certainly is, and its the database I use for almost all situations, except...

Would you trust PostgreSQL for a high-volume high-turnover commercial project? I don't yet. In a couple of years, perhaps.

Re:There _Are_ Other DBMS's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652777)

Would you trust PostgreSQL for a high-volume high-turnover commercial project? I don't yet. In a couple of years, perhaps.

If you have a "high-volume high-turnover commercial project" and you can't cheap-out with PostgreSQL, then pay Oracle its damn money and get on with your business.

makes no sense (3, Interesting)

bird603568 (808629) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652607)

i just hope that isp's dont start charging double if you have multiple computers connected to the same connection. just like the software, your not paying per processor, its buy machine.

That's mainframe thinking... (5, Interesting)

Dinosaur Neil (86204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652614)

This is sort of scam is used on pricing for mainframes all the time. One place where I worked used this as an excuse to (finally!) dump some crappy and archaic Computer Associates products when they started charging us double for a dual processor, even though one processor was partitioned to another OS that didn't run any of their products.

Why license based on processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652615)

I've never understood why licensing for some software is based on the number of processors. Why not base it on the number of installs? One installation, one license, period.

Re:Why license based on processor? (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652677)

Kind of unfair for the guy who buys a single-processor pizza box for a local database to have to pay the same as someone running a fully populated Sunfire F25k (72 dual-core processors). If you're going to charge $100 per machine, then it doesn't matter, except that Oracle can't survive on $100/machine.

Re:Why license based on processor? (1)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652812)

fully populated Sunfire F25k (72 dual-core processors, nicknamed "the Gibson")

Not all companies have that policy (2, Interesting)

hckn (823975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652617)

The company that I work for has never had that policy. We have products for AIX, Linux and Solaris; while we charge per processor, it's never been our policy to charge per core. We had to tweak things recently for our Linux products to understand about multi-core processors. Before we did that, we'd issue the users licenses that would be double the number of processors if they were using hyperthreading.

So, what do you base your license on, then? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652621)

If you don't use the processor as the defining quality of "one computer" for the purpose of licensing, then what do you use?

For ages, for the purpose of licensing "one computer" has meant "a box with one cpu in it"; now that we have dual cores what qualityshould the license writers use to distinguish between a license for one computer, and (say) a site license?

Re:So, what do you base your license on, then? (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652695)

Most companies who base their licensing on processors don't _care_ how many computers you run it on. We've been buying licenses on a per-processor basis in large-scale SMP boxes for decades.

Re:So, what do you base your license on, then? (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652708)

How about MIPS or transactions per second? Rate the system based on its performance doing the specified task. Define a reference system and scale prices based on how the customer's system compares to the reference system.

Let's make a deal, if the price is right. (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652628)

Vendors charge what the market will bear. Buyers pay the least they can for value. Charging per-processor, or any other basis, is just a way to negotiate prices without saying "how much have you got?", which would make the buyer more resistant. It's arbitrary, except as a way of measuring buyer's willingness to pay. Trying to derive finer-grained sense from per-processor licenses to per-core licenses is treating the price model with more respect than it deserves, so no wonder it breaks down quickly.

What about Hyperthreading? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652630)

I mean, it's like 1 1/2 cores, so how do they handle that?

My fix (1)

joey.dale (796383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652634)

Why can't Intel/HP make the mutipule cores seen as a single cpu to the os. Like hardware SMP. -Joey

Re:My fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652687)

I hate to be flamish, but I have to ask - You don't understand much about software, do you?

well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652639)

with respect to Oracle: a tad of refactoring [postgresql.org]

Oracle License is Painful (5, Insightful)

nsxdavid (254126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652645)

I've always found Oracle's licensing to be pretty wrong-headed at every turn. You can sense that they really don't feel they need to compete on price, which is usually the ultimate undoing of an overly arrogant company.

My sense of things, though, is that to move from one database technology to another is a massive undertaking. You fight with these tools so much that you become an expert with them... warts and all... and even if someone else has a better and cheaper mouse-trap, mission-critical stuff just refuses to budge off the old workhorse.

The dual-core problem is just a new flavor of the Oracle licensing problem. It will be interesting to see if they budge.

Re:Oracle License is Painful (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652742)

But Oracle does compete on price.

What Oracle does is shows you their RDBMS, and shows you their absurd price. Give the mark^H^H^H^Hcustomer (preferably one who is a PHB) a chance to turn white. Then start talking about the cost of developing a database solution, and once you have asserted that a year of a programmer's time is also a very expensive thing, start pointing out all the cute little toys that Oracle includes that many competitors don't have.

Hey, it worked at the company I worked for.

Do you really have to ask????!? (1)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652655)

If you really have to ask? The answer is ...

NO! Of course....

(unless you're Larry Ellison)

Knock, knock... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652656)

I can live with dual-BSD or dual-GPL licenses. Won't slow me down a bit.

In the real world, while Oracle is a top player they are not alone. This is a perfect opportunity for DB2, Sybase and *shudder* Microsoft's SQL Server to make a serious play for marketshare.

That knocking sound you hear is opportunity.

-Charles

No problem. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652662)


Just keep two copies of the GPL on your system.

What about CELL? (0, Flamebait)

enigmatiX (858831) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652666)

Just imagine how much we'd have to pay for Cell's multiunit design...

Bloody hell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652793)

Does that mean I need to pay for four licenses of Donkey Kong on my new Sony game system?!?! Time to yell at my Congressman! :-)

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652668)

It means Oracle are greedy bastards and they should be boycotted. Liscencing schemes have always been ridiculous, to base a sftware price on hardware is just completely silly. You might as well complain that some single cpus might outperform dual core (at different clock speeds of course) and pay more for a lower return in productivity. Then if you base price on hardware, make brackets on the number of operations possible in a given time frame. . . . charge by cpu cycle while you're at it.

Microsoft is actually setting the example. Heh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652690)

Microsoft has set the example [microsoft.com] by continuing to charge per processor instead of per core.

Unless Oracle matches this policy, they run the risk of losing sales to Microsoft's SQLServer product.

I'm not usually an MS fanboy, but I'm rooting for them this time.

Per thread is much more likely (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652692)

The language of future licensing is likely going to be per thread of main functionality running on a system at once. Multiple CPUs won't help you unless you can make the system branch out into multiple threads cooperatively. The marketing of such systems would be interesting too - a nice attractive initial price, but with extra costs multiplied by the resources you want to take advantage of.

Ryan Fenton

Let them eat cake. (1)

Aredridel (93503) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652693)

Let them.

I'll keep using postgresql and smirking.

Consistency ... (1)

YankeeInExile (577704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652702)

If a vendor is going to charge per CPU, then they should charge per CPU whether the multiple processors are bonded into the same die, or assembled in multi-die packages, or in multiple packages.

Having run between 6 and 20-way SMP for ten years, I find per-CPU licenses distasteful and eschew products under such licenses. Such are market forces.

If a technological leap makes putting multiple processors into a machine suddenly affordable by having multiple cores on a die, that is a good thing. It will just force users to apply their force to the market that much sooner.

Cell processors (5, Insightful)

shatfield (199969) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652725)

Wait until Cell processors become the norm... when you have a process that runs around your network looking for resources to run on.... Oracle's sales reps are going to have a field day with that one!

Due to greed and stagnancy, Oracle has maybe 5 years left before the "smell of rot" is all pervasive. When MySQL and PostgreSQL become so common place (think Apache on the net today vs. Netscape's web server from the mid to late '90s) [netcraft.com] , Oracle will be lucky to be a million dollar company.

If you doubt my words, think of what MySQL and PostgreSQL were just a year ago. Then think "What will they be like with 5 more YEARS of development?". Then realize that they are free to everyone and you'll see why Oracle is doomed.

Of course, Microsoft will claim it as their victory, but you, me and everyone else not running SQL Server will know better.

Simple solution to simple problem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652728)

Don't patronize companies with licensing/pricing that you don't like.

Specifically, there are a number of alternatives for Oracle, both freeware and commercial. I haven't spec'ed Oracle for a client deployment in years thanks to DB2/Sybase/Postgresql.

Cheers,

dual user - yes, dual core lic's - NO (1)

zenst (558964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652739)

Costs per use of a program should be based upon the users and not what it runs on. If somebody wants to run Oracle on a single 900 cpu box then they should pay X amount. If two users access the database at a time on a single CPU box it should be twice X (although sliding sacale for colume usage). More users == more strain and support variations than a single user on some uber nutter box. Maybe when it comes to support a small premium per cpu given the slight increased coding and as such more code to go wrong due to process interaction across CPU's, beyond that the bigist fault in any error on a computer is always the user. Lets face it without the user would there be an error (think tree falling in an empty forrest ;). So no too per CPU costing and YES to per user costing.

If software ware were cars argument (again)... (1)

pilybaby (638883) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652747)

If you have a car that has an electric and internal combustion engine do you have to pay double the tax or car parking fees? No that would be silly. Unfortunatly in the State of Oracle there is muchos sillyness, alas no Ministry of Silly Walks =(

Sure why not... (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652755)

When Microsoft licenses its OS to large universities, they have to buy a license NOT for every computer, but one for every person who could possibly use a computer. Thus universities still have to buy licenses for students and janitors who would never use a computer.

Could you imagine if TVs were sold that way: "Sorry, kids, you can't use the TV. I could only afford once license."

Sellers of software can put any asinine restriction they want on their products. Consumers are free to accept or to say no.

Most licensing schemes are nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652764)

and that includes the seat or user licensing schemes as well. Server based software should be based on a maximum transaction rate which would be more realistic.

Why debate a non-issue... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652773)

Why debate the interaction between groups of hypotheticals?

Practically nobody uses dual-core chips now, so it doesn't make any difference what oracle says right now, does it? If the chips start getting widespread use, Oracle can just turn around and change their minds at any time.

Intel says dual-cores are the future, and AMD says dal-cores are the future, but they have been wrong plenty of times in the past, and it's entirely possible that dual-cores will be as short-lived as the Itanium, and this wont be an issue for anyone in the first place. Intel and their partner (HP) just have their PR machine going full-tilt, to hype their none-existant, but supposedly forthcomming dual-core processors.

Bah! There are many, many things of real importance that could be discussed rather than this.

Software changes for dual cores are significant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652774)

Switching to dual cores is a rewrite for most software. Basically software will have to save the chip manufacturer's bacon: the only reason dual core, multiple core, etc is gaining traction is because the chip manufacturers have hit a performance wall. Money is the only way to encourage software vendors to parellilise their software... so whining about it is counterproductive. While video encode and sound apps may see an improvement with dual core, don't expect most programs to easily.

Yep sounds like a really great idea to me (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652780)

Since I don't have to buy licenses for anything I run, why hell not yes double well why not even triple the price. While you are at it raise the cost of Windows by 200%, sounds really great to me.

Pricing model is all wrong! (1)

slobber (685169) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652788)

The problem is that per CPU price is the same regardless of CPU performace. How about they run a publicly available (GPLed?) becnhmark which reflects all aspects of the system related to database (CPU, disk, memory, bus, etc.) and then base their price on that benchmark. That would seem fair as long as they revise pricing every year due to ever-improving system performance.

Microsoft's approach (1)

bushidocoder (550265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652794)

I'm too lazy to Google for it, but last fall Microsoft modified their liscense for every product to state that dual core were NOT to be treated as dual processors.

On rare occasions, their secret desire to drive intel sales actually does help the rest of us out.

Oracle is asking for it... (2, Interesting)

keeboo (724305) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652814)

What does Oracle's stubbornness imply for the industry as a whole, with multicore chips coming to the fore so strongly?

I can't say about the whole thing... What I do know is that because Oracle inflexibility, high pricing and intrusive license-checking they will certainly lose clients on the long run.

And it's not just about multi-core processors...
Let me give an example:

I do work in a Federal University in Brazil, and we don't have exacly much money available.
Several months ago we bought a 4-CPU Sun E450 and we were going to pay for an Oracle license accordingly to that machine (a MHz-based license), it was just a matter of waiting the money to come for that.
In the meantime, Oracle decided to change the license so it's now based on the number of CPUs. When FINALLY the money arrived and we noticed the money wouldn't be enough anymore.
In the end we've got a 1-CPU license and we had to physically remove the other 3 CPUs from the machine.

Because of this and many other things (like a license-monitoring software from Oracle we HAD to install, as if we were some sort of criminals) we're now planning the migration to PostgreSQL and never again to use Oracle.

No. (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652817)

n/t

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652826)

Give me ten programmers and I'll put Oracle out of business.

Looking into the Oracle to find the future (1)

theolein (316044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11652829)

From the article: What does Oracle's stubbornness imply for the industry as a whole, with multicore chips coming to the fore so strongly?

That IBM's DB2 and MS' MSSQL Server will get more customers than Oracle in the future.

Bye bye, Larry.

Easy answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11652840)

Oracle -> Postgresql
BEA -> JBoss, Geronimo

Saves you a bunch of money.
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