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Re: Disaster Recovery options

From: Brian Wisniewski <>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 17:00:32 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

Thanks Carel-Jan.  

I like the idea of a small standby server for the remote site for a true disaster. We will need to use the standby for one of our databases - multi-national clients hitting throughout the day - but for the rest of our db's I don't see any reason why we can't use just a single CPU machine.  

My director is going to be talking to our sales rep and working him over the coals about this so I'm glad we're closing in on Oracle fiscal year-end.  

Thanks again - Brian.
Carel-Jan Engel <> wrote: Hi Brian,
Licensing for Standby and Data Guard is a grey area. I've seen sites were Oracle didn't charge for the standby server at all, or granted discounts of 40-75 %. It all depends on size and moment of license purchasing. Of course the last week of May is the week to close the deal.

A standby solution as you suggest needs to be licensed for the standby as well. This comes with other experiences as well. Sometimes sites don't have to pay for their old-fashioned scripted archive shipping standby solution. However, as the SIG quote states: when the software is running on the server, you need to pay for it.

In Oracle's terms of a failover you are running an active/passive cluster. The software sits on the disks, but doesn't run in memory. As long as you do not failover for more than 10 days/year, you don't have to license the failover server. Of course your storage is a SPOF in this configuration. There is no Data Guard involved in this setup.

If you say that Data Guard 'just takes care of logfile shipping and applying' you are basically right. However, 'just' creating and maintaining your own scripts for this, including gap detection, gracefull switchover (and back!) and instantiation should not be underestimated. You need to license the SE One at the standby as well.

Consider another option: Why not run a relatively small single instance server at the remote site, without RAC and RAC license? You can run fewer applications on the stanby, but after a real disaster you can expand the remote system and license it by then, or transfer the licenses of the lost primary site to the remote site. One of my customers runs on 4 CPU's (10g NAC, Not A Cluster) on the primary site, and 1 CPU on the remote site. It is enough to survive the first day, and if needed extra CPU's will be added to the remote server.

Best regards, Carel-Jan

On Tue, 2005-03-22 at 16:11, Brian Wisniewski wrote:

> I'm currently evaluating Data Guard for our DR setup and initial tests seem to work fine. However, I made the mistake of asking Oracle about the licensing of the failover machines and was shocked by their response.
> Here it is.
> Failover In this type of recovery, nodes are configured in "cluster;" the first installed node acts as a primary node. If the primary node fails, one of the nodes in the cluster acts as the primary node. In this type of environment, Oracle permits licensed Oracle Database customers to run the Database on an unlicensed spare computer for up to a total of ten separate days in any given calendar year. Any other use requires the environment to be fully licensed. Additionally, the same metric must be used when licensing the databases in a failover environment.
> Standby In this type of recovery, a copy of the primary database is maintained on a separate server at all times. These systems are configured for disaster recovery purposes. If the primary database fails, the standby database is activated to act as the new primary database. In this environment, both the primary and the standby databases must be fully licensed. Additionally, the same metric must be used when licensing the databases in a standby environment.
> So I'm supposed to fully-license Enterprise Edition w/ RAC of course on a 2 or 3 node cluster sitting in a remote datacenter that isn't going to ever do anything unless there's a disaster? Oracle is pricing themselves right out of our shop if their licensing model continues. Anyone have know where I can find the Sqlserver-L mailing list?
> How is Data Guard used in Oracle's defintions of a 'Failover'? Seems like you're using the same disks out of the cluster and Data Guard wouldn't even be used there?
> I'm wondering if I should go with Oracle 10G standard Edition where possible w/ RAC since it's included in the license and then manually ship the logs up to a standby database instead of using Data Guard. Data Guard just seems to take care of the log shipment and applying for me. I haven't had a standby database since V7 but from what I've read it seems like I could manually ship and apply the logs using SE vs EE since 'Data Guard' isn't part of SE.
> We have an SLA where a 4 hour data loss would be 'acceptable' so I don't think it would be too hard to write something to ship the logs and apply them if I have a 4-hour window to do it in.
> Any input would be appreciated.
> Thanks - Brian
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Received on Tue Mar 22 2005 - 20:04:24 CST

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