Re: Failsafe + Active/Passive + Licensing

From: Mark Brinsmead <>
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 22:03:59 -0700
Message-ID: <>

The text quoted by Gints is pretty much definitive, unless your site (or some of your databases) happen to be covered by a specially negotiated license agreement. Of course, rather than referring to the "Software Investment Guide" (which is helpful, but completely non-binding) you really should refer to the license agreement itself. In this particular case, the language is pretty much in agreement, I think.

The restrictions stated in the license are pretty clear. Basically: (*) Only one "passive" node per cluster is exempt from being licensed. (*) The rule applies *only* to clusters with shared disks. (Clusters built, for example, with software / firmware mirroring between two storage arrays do *not* qualify under this section of the license.) (*) The "passive" node can only be activated on ten *individual* days, or parts thereof, in any calendar year. (But it does not say *whose*calendar. :-) ) Although it is not (quite) stated here, a one-hour
activation of the passive node starting at 23:30 on January 31 and ending at 00:30 on February 1 will count as *two* days! (It may have been more accurate here to say "calendar date" rather than "day".) (*) Running any oracle licensed programs (with occasional exclusions such as clusterware, I believe) on the passive node constitutes an "activation". Starting an instance -- or even starting a listener -- counts, even if you do not *mount* or *open* the database.

(Of course, you must read the license for yourself -- don't rely on me to get it right. I may be stupid, illiterate, or just simply *wrong*, and I will accept no blame whatsoever if any combination of these proves to be the case.)

People contemplating active/passive clusters may want to consider carefully how they plan to monitor (and prove) their compliance with their license agreement.

Note: there are similar provisions (with differing details) for running Oracle software on an (otherwise) unlicensed server for the purpose of testing the recovery of backups. There, you are limited to 4 calendar dates per calendar year, if I recall correctly.

Curiously, the license says nothing about timezones. :-) (well, nothing that I have noticed.)

On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 7:48 AM, Shaw, John <>wrote:

> If the node is up and oracle is running - Oracle says it has to be
> licensed.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: D'Hooge Freek []
> Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 8:44 AM
> To:; 'Oracle L'
> Subject: RE: Failsafe + Active/Passive + Licensing
> Chris,
> X-archive-position: 25125
> X-ecartis-version: Ecartis v1.0.0
> Sender:
> Errors-to:
> X-original-sender:
> Precedence: normal
> Reply-to:
> List-help: <>
> List-unsubscribe: <>
> List-software: Ecartis version 1.0.0
> List-Id: oracle-l <>
> X-List-ID: oracle-l <>
> List-subscribe: <>
> List-owner: <>
> List-post: <>
> List-archive: <>
> X-list: oracle-l
> You can indeed only run for 10 days on the other node.
> I remember that there where some more restrictions on how the 10 days where
> filled in, but I don't remember what they are. I think it had something to
> do that each failover counted as an entire day, even it you would run only 1
> hour on the other node. But I'm not sure.
> Regards,
> Freek D'Hooge
> Uptime
> Oracle Database Administrator
> email:
> tel +32(0)3 451 23 82
> disclaimer:
> ________________________________________
> From: []
> On Behalf Of Taylor, Chris David
> Sent: vrijdag 29 januari 2010 15:15
> To: 'Oracle L'
> Subject: Failsafe + Active/Passive + Licensing
> Guys/gals,
> What is your understanding of Oracle licensing regarding Actve/Passive
> nodes in a Failsafe environment?
> It was my understanding that only the Active server had to be licensed, and
> the license went with the Active node so you could failover and run on the
> formerly passive node without violating any license agreements.
> Recently I've read that you can only run on the formerly passive node for
> 10 consecutive days. I thought the Proc license would cover either node
> that was Active and it didn't matter as long as the other node was Passive.
> Thoughts?
> Chris Taylor
> Sr. Oracle DBA
> Ingram Barge Company
> Nashville, TN 37205
> Office: 615-517-3355
> Cell: 615-354-4799
> Email:
> CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail and any attachments are confidential
> and may also be privileged. If you are not the named recipient, please
> notify the sender immediately and delete the contents of this message
> without disclosing the contents to anyone, using them for any purpose, or
> storing or copying the information on any medium.
> --
> -----------------------------------------
> (i) This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential
> and intended solely for the use of the intended recipient(s). If
> you have received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender
> immediately and delete this e-mail and any associated files from
> your system. (ii) Views or opinions presented in this e-mail are
> solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those
> of Corrections Corporation of America. (iii) The recipient should
> check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.
> The company accepts no liability for errors or omissions caused by
> e-mail transmission or any damage caused by any virus transmitted
> by or with this e-mail. This email has been scanned for content and
> viruses by the CipherTrust Email Security System.
> --

-- Mark Brinsmead
  Senior DBA,
  The Pythian Group

Received on Sat Jan 30 2010 - 23:03:59 CST

Original text of this message