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RE: a really non-technical question, help?

From: Carel-Jan Engel <>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 23:17:13 +0200
Message-Id: <>

Hi Kevin, and all other posters of this thread,

There are a lot of rumours around this, as you can see: you get many different answers.

First of all, let's fix the confusion about cluster based and replication/recovery based 'standby systems'. Data Guard and active/passive standby (Poor Mens Rac) are different items.

To start with the first:
A Data Guard configuration needs to be licensed (EE) on every database server involved in the redo-forwarding. Open in read-only or not doesn't make any difference. When the redo get's applied, the instance is started, albeit in recovery mode. What counts is whether Oracle software is active in memory or just sitting in a directory tree on disk. When the software is in memory, a license is needed. The standby needs a license. People often think that the 'classical' hot standby doesn't need licenses for the standby server, but this is not true. The only advantage of classic standby is that you can use it when you have SE. Not as sophisticated as Data Guard, but much cheaper.

Then the active/passive failover.
The official Software Investment Guide says at page 21:

> 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.

Not 5 times, or 10 times, but 10 separate days. So, you can test every other month and still have 4 days available for DR without additional licensing.

This is the theory. In real life your mileage may vary: I've seen contracts where licenses for the standby(s) vary from 0 - 100% licensing cost. That's a matter of negotiation, as stated in this thread before. Just be sure that you get the deal in writing, signed by authorized Oracle sales rep/mgr, to be safe when the audit team pops up.

The official Software Investmennt Guide can be found at

The latest version is of April 11, 2005. It can and will be changed without notice, so, if you are up to renewal of your 'perpetual' licenses, be sure to go there and look for the last version.

Best regards,

Carel-Jan Engel

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. (Derek Bok) ===

On Tue, 2005-06-21 at 20:45, wrote:

> My understanding is that you don't have to license the standby server,
> UNLESS you bring it online more than X times per year, with X being a
> negotiated number. I believe it defaults to 5, and online means open to
> everyone for all purposes.
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of Kevin Closson
> Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 1:45 PM
> To:
> Subject: a really non-technical question, help?
> sorry, folks, but I though as many production DBAs
> as are on this list, I might be able to get an answer
> to this question. What I need to know is how Oracle
> licensing works on a hot-standby (e.g., a VCS failover node).
> In this case I'm thinking that the failover node will
> never be running oracle *unless* the primary is dead.
> Seems like a single system worht of CPUs to license
> in my mind...any feedback ?
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From:
> >[] On Behalf Of Ron Rogers
> >Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 10:27 AM
> >To:;;
> >
> >Cc:
> >Subject: RE: RMAN backups
> >
> >Ruth,
> > You are correct. a level 0 backup for me takes 14 min at 10.4
> >Gig disk used and the level1 backups takes 14 min at 3.7 Gig.
> >Ron
> >
> >>>> "Ruth Gramolini" <> 06/21/05 1:05 PM >>>
> >John,
> >
> >Unless something has changed with 10g, and incremental backup
> >doesn't actually save much time. Rman still has to read the
> >block headers to see if the block needs to be backed up. It
> >mostly saves space on disc if backing up to disk.
> >
> >Correct me if I am wrong!
> >Ruth
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From:
> >[]On
> >Behalf Of John Smiley
> >Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2005 11:19 AM
> >To:
> >Cc:
> >Subject: Re: RMAN backups
> >
> >
> >Backup times with RMAN are going to vary greatly depending
> >upon the hardware and how many blocks need to be backed up.
> >Even a very large database can be backed up incrementally if
> >very few blocks have changed since the last backup with RMAN.
> >
> >What might be a better yardstick is backup rate. The fastest
> >RMAN backup rate I've seen was published by Amazon a few years
> >back. They attained 2TB / hour.
> >
> >John Smiley
> >Technical Management Consultant
> >TUSC, Inc.
> >
> >--
> >
> >
> --
> --

Received on Tue Jun 21 2005 - 17:23:10 CDT

Original text of this message