Re: Restricting Oracle to one processor

From: Bradd Piontek <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 14:30:07 -0500
Message-ID: <>

In lieu of my finding a licensing expert, I am a bit troubled by this discussion. Maybe perplexed is a better term. I have read through the Global Price List, read the terms, read the Software Investment Guide, and I'm still confused on Standard Edition.

Oracle gives good Enterprise, multi-core examples, but not very good one's for Standard (on purpose? :) ). So here's a real-world example.

Let's say I'm going to buy a Sun T5220 (T2 chipset, 4 or 8 core). I have no need for any of the enterprise options and would like to run standard edition on this server. Is that even possible? I"m not sure how the T2 chipset is laid out. My first thought was to say 'yes', it has one socket and therefore is eligible. If I take the sticter view of the multi-chip module, I may tend to think that a 4-core T2 could run Standard (4 sockets) but the 8-core could not. Anyone have any insight to this specific example?

Bradd Piontek

On Fri, Jun 6, 2008 at 11:55 PM, Mark Brinsmead <>

> Jason,
> Sorry. I did not read closely enough the first time. I think I see now
> what is confusing you...
> *> A multi-core processor is still just one chip,*
> No. This is not correct. An Intel Quad-Core processor has (for now) *two
> * processor chips, each with one core. AMD quad-core processors have all
> processing units on one chip. For now. Three years from now, who knows
> what they might be marketing?
> Multi-core processors may, in fact, be implemented with any number of
> processor chips. I recall an announcement from Sun Microsystems a while
> back that could actually allow a *single* processor core to be implemented
> with *multiple* chips, although I doubt anybody would ever choose to do
> that.
> *> so my understanding of the "multi-chip module" wording would be
> something like a daughtercard with multiple processors on it.*
> That is *one* form that a MCM can take, but there are many others. Often,
> MCMs will appear as a small square or rectangle of fibre-glass circuit card,
> with a metal cap on top. Beneath the metal cap, there are multiple chips.
> As packaging technology has improved, MCMs can now appear as multiple chips
> embedded in ceramic or -- I expect -- even the "black goo" that has commonly
> been used to package single chips.
> The early MCMs from Intel (e.g., Pentium-II processors) looked very much
> like you describe -- a "card" mounted vertically in a "slot". But they now
> commonly appear as the standard pin-grid-array packages that most of of
> think of when we picture a "CPU" or a "chip". I suspect that you will find
> -- if you dig deeply enough -- that *most* modern CPUs are actually
> delivered as multi-chip-modules. I could be mistaken about that, though.
> By the way... What is a "chip"? Most people picture a black oblong with
> little metal legs on the side or a big grid of pins on the bottom when the
> envision a "chip". This is not correct. A chip is a (usually) oblong piece
> of (usually) silicon crystal, with integrated circuits etched on its
> surface. One or more of these "chips" go into one of those black oblong
> things (called "packages") with those legs or pins. When a package contains
> more than one "chip", we call it a multi-chip-module.
> *> One motherboard socket, but multiple physical CPUs. *
> Actually, most MCMs contain *only one* CPU chip, but may contain memory
> controllers, memory chips, GPUs, and many other things. Under the new
> licensing rules, every one of those chips now counts as a "occupied socket",
> that is a "CPU", for licensing purposes.
> *> However, if you were going to purchase SE or SE1 licenses, I would
> definitely ask a licensing expert to be sure.*
> Yes, you should! But be *certain *when you are consulting an "expert"
> that they actually (fully) understand what a Multi-Chip-Module is! (Note:
> your Oracle sales rep probably does not...)
<> --
Received on Thu Jun 12 2008 - 14:30:07 CDT

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