Since December 2015, Oracle released Oracle Standard Edition 2 (SE2), replacing the previous Standard Edition (SE) and Standard Edition One (SE1) releases. Customers on versions before 126.96.36.199 (running Standard Edition or Standard Edition One (SE1)), and who want to upgrade to a more recent version, will have to switch to Standard Edition Two (SE2). In addition to installing SE2, existing Standard Edition (SE) and Standard Edition One (SE1) licenses will also have to be upgraded. This is free, only the support fee for SE1 customers will increase.
The major changes from SE to SE2 are primarily the limitation in the total number of CPU sockets and the maximum number of 16 CPU threads per database instance that can be used at any time. Where in the past SE allowed the use of 4 sockets (2 sockets for SE1) without any limitation on the number of CPU threads. In SE2, the number of sockets was reduced to 2. In practice, this means that we could still set up a RAC (Real Application Cluster), but with only one CPU socket per server and no more than 8 CPU threads that can be used by each database instance.
Big important change in the usage of Standard Edition Two (SE2) RAC:
Oracle 18c and below
Companies who are still running version 18c or below are safe. This version still allows SE2 to run perfectly in addition with RAC. However, Oracle has not yet determined when the Premier Support would end for 18c, but in Oracle terms, this will probably be two years after the release of 19c: namely March or April 2021. If you know that most companies are migrating their hardware for about three to five years, you notice Oracle 18c will need an upgrade to 19c to make sure it’s still covered by Oracle Premier Support during the lifespan of the hardware, if a new installation is upcoming.
Effectively from Oracle version 19c, the usage of Oracle RAC will not be allowed anymore within Standard Edition Two (SE2). The “Database Licensing Information User Manual” shows more information: https://docs.oracle.com/en/database/oracle/oracle-database/19/dblic/Licensing-Information.html#GUID-B6113390-9586-46D7-9008-DCC9EDA45AB4 (see Table 1.9 Scalability). Annoying, if you know that Oracle 19c enjoys ‘Premier Support’ for the longest time and is, therefore, preferable for an upgrade.
What should you do as a company if an upgrade is imminent?
Evaluating / auditing why your company is using RAC today. Are there certain business requirements such as no downtime or online patching? Or is load balancing one of the reasons why your company should run on RAC? If you wish, we can help to take all your company requirements and desires into consideration, so we can provide your company with the best solution.
What if RAC is still necessary:
- Option 1: Keep your existing Standard Edition licenses and start using the Oracle Autonomous Database (Online Transaction Processing (OTP)), which runs on dynamic Exadata Infrastructure with RAC. For each supported Processor License of Oracle Database Standard Edition Programs (where a Processor is defined as equivalent to an occupied socket), You may activate up to 4 OCPUs of the BYOL Cloud Service. For every 10 supported Named User Plus licenses of Oracle Database Standard Edition Programs, you may activate 1 OCPU of the BYOL Cloud Service. Each Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing Service instance may not exceed 8 OCPUs. The aggregate of all Autonomous Transaction Processing Service Instances may exceed this limit. Just try the Autonomous database for free: https://cloud.oracle.com/tryit, and ask us for any help whenever needed.
- Option 2: Switch to Oracle Enterprise Edition (EE) with RAC option. Monin can offer advice about the number of Enterprise Edition and RAC licenses needed (without loss of performance and functionality used), which licensing metric would be the best option for you and an offer to upgrade your existing SE, SE1 or SE2 licenses to Enterprise Edition (EE).
- Option 3: Switch to the public cloud. Next to autonomous, depending on the chosen cloud solution, RAC will also be available. Please note that the necessary licenses must be present or purchased within the cloud. The big advantage of cloud is, that it is possible to spread the costs and that you only pay for the period that the systems are running. If after a while you would like to stop, you can just stop the billing and you will not have a useless license, which you pay for. Our certified Oracle Cloud consultants can provide you with the necessary advice and can guide you in your journey to the cloud.
If RAC would not be necessary
If your company does not need RAC, you can migrate/upgrade to Oracle 19c SE2 if using a Single Instance database, with the hardware limitations specifically for SE2 (maximum 2 sockets/server and usage of maximum 16 CPU threads per instance Do you still have questions about the usage of Real Application Clusters (RAC) within your organization? Or just need some more clarification about the changes for SE2? Or do you want a quote for Oracle licenses and/or Dbvist Standby? Just ask us for more information or help about RAC, Dataguard, Licensing and Dbvisit Standby. As an Oracle Platinum Partner and Dbvisit partner, we have the proven knowledge and experience to provide you advice, consultancy and/or a quote for Oracle licenses and/or Dbvisit Standby whenever needed.at any time).
What about Disaster Recovery (DR)?
RAC is a high availability (HA) option. When Disaster Recovery (DR) is needed, Enterprise Edition (EE) customers can configure an Oracle Dataguard setup, keeping their primary databases in sync with a standby/failover database located somewhere else (on other hardware, optionally also within another datacenter). Whenever something happens with the primary database, a HAfailover to the standby database can be initiated.
Some interesting links:
- Oracle Database Licensing User Manual: https://docs.oracle.com/en/database/oracle/oracle-database/19/dblic/Licensing-Information.html#GUID-B6113390-9586-46D7-9008-DCC9EDA45AB4
- Info about Oracle Autonomous database: https://www.oracle.com/database/autonomous-database.htmll
- Oracle Support notes:
- Desupport of Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) with Oracle Database Standard Edition 19c (Doc ID 2504078.1)
- Release Schedule of Current Database Releases (Doc ID 742060.1)