License By Core

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 718085

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item License By Core

  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5000

    The only advantage ms sql server has over oracle is it's price. Some would perhaps make an argument for the user interface as well. If ms sql server were to become closer in price to oracle, there is no reason at all to stay with ms sql server since it's inferior in every way.

  • paul.goldstraw

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2566

    I don't like this move, and it's not just because it might prove more expensive, it just seems fundamentally wrong to start counting cores, and here's why.

    Multi-core CPUs were largely introduced to cater for the fact that the chip manufacturers were largely finding they couldn't ramp up the clock speeds on their CPUs like they used to, and to keep the raw speeds going up, they started throwing more cores at the problem instead. Since this is effectively the natural progression of things and no real indication of additional power (in 5 years time we may well have 32 core CPUs etc), it is as senseless as expecting a user to pay more a decade ago for a 2GHz server than for a 1GHz server.

    I believe physical CPU sockets should remain the way this is calculated as clearly adding additional CPUs is something that is outside the normal trend of CPU development. Additional cores however are the way the market has been going for some years now and it doesn't seem right to financially penalise someone just for having a more up-to-date CPU which naturally will have more cores

  • Andeavour

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2570

    The new SQL boxes we're moving to now (with hyperthreading) report 80 cores, (I believe they are running 2 - 20 core processors). If this means that we would move from 2 per processor licenses under the current model to 40 (or even 80) under the new model, unless the cost of a per processor license is coming down, then SQL is going to price itself out of the game. With those kind of licensing costs it would be more cost effective to run Oracle...

    Is this definitely a given, or just a rumour? How sure are we that Microsoft is going to slit SQL's throat like this?

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125074

    IceDread (11/8/2011)


    The only advantage ms sql server has over oracle is it's price. Some would perhaps make an argument for the user interface as well. If ms sql server were to become closer in price to oracle, there is no reason at all to stay with ms sql server since it's inferior in every way.

    The usability of SQL Server compared to Oracle is deeper than just the GUI tools. It has to do with the underlying architecture. SQL Server is much easier to configure, secure, maintain, learn, and develope on. Even if the licensing cost of SQL Server and Oracle were identical, SQL Server would still be a more cost effective platform for developing and supporting database applications.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Mattrick

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1176

    At first glance, it appears that Microsoft is getting rid of the most visible advantage they have over Oracle, price point. I really do not like this move.

    However, in 2008R2 EE, there were hidden benefits provided while licensing for CPUs:

    1. Disaster Recovery servers are included, as long as users do not connect to those instances.

    2. If you license all CPUs, you were entitled to 7 additional Operating System Environments (OSEs) with SQL Server installed, as long as it is on the same hardware.

    2a. If you had Software Assurance, you were entitled to unlimited OSEs.

    I am sure I missed some additional benefits as well. The only thing mentioned in the licensing datasheet for 2012 is item 2a. If the DR and 7 OSE entitlements are gone, the value of SQL Server is gone with them, in my opinion.

    This is just like Microsoft though. They announce a fantastic product that gets professionals excited about upgrading. By all indications, this is a product that they seemed to have gotten right. Then they allow their licensing team to ruin it by following Oracle's lead, instead of dictating to Oracle how licensing should and will be done in this industry. I am disappointed by this.

    They are stating, in their licensing datasheet, that 4 2012 core licenses will be equivalent, in price, to 1 CPU socket license from 2008R2. Therefore, if you have 2 CPUs with 8 cores each (not uncommon), you are essentially doubling your licensing cost. Just in time for budgets too!

    Sorry for the rant,

    Matt

  • Dizzy Desi

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1031

    Eric M Russell (11/9/2011)


    IceDread (11/8/2011)


    The only advantage ms sql server has over oracle is it's price. Some would perhaps make an argument for the user interface as well. If ms sql server were to become closer in price to oracle, there is no reason at all to stay with ms sql server since it's inferior in every way.

    The usability of SQL Server compared to Oracle is deeper than just the GUI tools. It has to do with the underlying architecture. SQL Server is much easier to configure, secure, maintain, learn, and develope on. Even if the licensing cost of SQL Server and Oracle were identical, SQL Server would still be a more cost effective platform for developing and supporting database applications.

    I must agree with you, Eric. Considering that my company has seven full-time Oracle DBAs who manage approximately 20 servers and 100 databases, and only two SQL Server DBAs (one full- and one part-time) who manage approximately 100 servers and 1000 databases, there is clearly a cost advantage for SQL Server administration. And by the way, our largest Oracle database is 200GB, and our largest SQL database is over 1TB, so it's not a matter of all of the smaller databases going into SQL.

    I would love to hear from IceDread, what makes him think SQL is so inferior to Oracle (other than maybe he is more familiar with Oracle). As a DBA (both SQL and Oracle) who also develops applications, I can tell you that Oracle is very difficult to create connections for - worrying about having the client on every platform (development, acceptance, production), and worrying about the versions of the client... I find that Oracle is just more complicated than it needs to be all the way around.

  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5000

    Eric M Russell (11/9/2011)


    IceDread (11/8/2011)


    The only advantage ms sql server has over oracle is it's price. Some would perhaps make an argument for the user interface as well. If ms sql server were to become closer in price to oracle, there is no reason at all to stay with ms sql server since it's inferior in every way.

    The usability of SQL Server compared to Oracle is deeper than just the GUI tools. It has to do with the underlying architecture. SQL Server is much easier to configure, secure, maintain, learn, and develope on. Even if the licensing cost of SQL Server and Oracle were identical, SQL Server would still be a more cost effective platform for developing and supporting database applications.

    Are there some parts in specific you think about when you say that it's easier to learn ms sql server?

    I view Oracle as a better database in general because it's more effective and has, to my knowledge, fewer bugs. In oracle you can also do load balancing, I have not found a way to load balance an sp in sql server. However, sql server is as you mention proven to be more secure.

  • Gail Shaw

    SSC Guru

    Points: 1004474

    Andeavour (11/9/2011)


    Is this definitely a given, or just a rumour?

    Definite given.

    How sure are we that Microsoft is going to slit SQL's throat like this?

    Speak with your MS rep (If you're running that kinda architecture you should have some enterprise agreement) and see what they can do for you re processor -> core licences. A core license is not the same price as a socket licence used to be. That would be a stupid move.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5000

    Dizzy Desi (11/9/2011)


    Eric M Russell (11/9/2011)


    IceDread (11/8/2011)


    The only advantage ms sql server has over oracle is it's price. Some would perhaps make an argument for the user interface as well. If ms sql server were to become closer in price to oracle, there is no reason at all to stay with ms sql server since it's inferior in every way.

    The usability of SQL Server compared to Oracle is deeper than just the GUI tools. It has to do with the underlying architecture. SQL Server is much easier to configure, secure, maintain, learn, and develope on. Even if the licensing cost of SQL Server and Oracle were identical, SQL Server would still be a more cost effective platform for developing and supporting database applications.

    I must agree with you, Eric. Considering that my company has seven full-time Oracle DBAs who manage approximately 20 servers and 100 databases, and only two SQL Server DBAs (one full- and one part-time) who manage approximately 100 servers and 1000 databases, there is clearly a cost advantage for SQL Server administration. And by the way, our largest Oracle database is 200GB, and our largest SQL database is over 1TB, so it's not a matter of all of the smaller databases going into SQL.

    I would love to hear from IceDread, what makes him think SQL is so inferior to Oracle (other than maybe he is more familiar with Oracle). As a DBA (both SQL and Oracle) who also develops applications, I can tell you that Oracle is very difficult to create connections for - worrying about having the client on every platform (development, acceptance, production), and worrying about the versions of the client... I find that Oracle is just more complicated than it needs to be all the way around.

    I view sql server as inferior because it's less effective, it can not really compete with Oracle in processing power.

    I am not familiar with Oracle, I work with ms sql server and various applications and web applications done in .net.

    I maintain my view on ms sql server as inferior simply because I view processing power as important and because I dislike sql servers effectivity and reporting servers bugs and ssis sometimes extremely lacking processing power.

    Concerning ssis, maybe it only should be used for importing and exporting data, at which I find it fast enough. Traversing file systems are however extremely slow and done with a few rows of c# both developed fast and in practice also much faster.

    As a side note I also prefer how Oracle handles null over sql server.

    Edit: Concerning the dba perspective, I can not give much input there because I've worked with maybe 20 databases in total this far in my career, not hundreds, and I usually find the issues to be with the written code and how implementations are done.

  • GSquared

    SSC Guru

    Points: 260824

    IceDread (11/9/2011)


    Eric M Russell (11/9/2011)


    IceDread (11/8/2011)


    The only advantage ms sql server has over oracle is it's price. Some would perhaps make an argument for the user interface as well. If ms sql server were to become closer in price to oracle, there is no reason at all to stay with ms sql server since it's inferior in every way.

    The usability of SQL Server compared to Oracle is deeper than just the GUI tools. It has to do with the underlying architecture. SQL Server is much easier to configure, secure, maintain, learn, and develope on. Even if the licensing cost of SQL Server and Oracle were identical, SQL Server would still be a more cost effective platform for developing and supporting database applications.

    Are there some parts in specific you think about when you say that it's easier to learn ms sql server?

    I view Oracle as a better database in general because it's more effective and has, to my knowledge, fewer bugs. In oracle you can also do load balancing, I have not found a way to load balance an sp in sql server. However, sql server is as you mention proven to be more secure.

    Can't speak to the number of bugs in Oracle, since they very specifically do not publish that information. "More effective" is an opinion, and thus subjective. Yes, Oracle has some features that SQL Server does not, which undoubtedly makes it more effective in solutions that require that. On the other hand, small and medium businesses often find SQL Server "more effective" because of ease-of-implementation and TCO. So, it depends on point of view and what a company needs.

    There are ways to load ballance SQL Server, including database federation. They aren't necessarily easy to implement, but they do allow all the scale-out most companies need. This is also becoming less and less of an issue as virtualization replaces more traditional load ballancing and clustering options.

    On the original question, I dislike it. Licensing by core doesn't actually "play fair" with modern CPU trends (as already mentioned in a previous post in this thread). The "you have to buy 4 for a socket, even if it's only 2-core" also defeats the purpose of per-core licensing. Worst of both worlds, if you ask me. I bet Microsoft sales numbers on SQL 2012 (or whatever they're calling it this week) are lower than they expect, simply because of this licensing change.

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  • IceDread

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5000

    Can't speak to the number of bugs in Oracle, since they very specifically do not publish that information. "More effective" is an opinion, and thus subjective. Yes, Oracle has some features that SQL Server does not, which undoubtedly makes it more effective in solutions that require that. On the other hand, small and medium businesses often find SQL Server "more effective" because of ease-of-implementation and TCO. So, it depends on point of view and what a company needs.

    There are ways to load ballance SQL Server, including database federation. They aren't necessarily easy to implement, but they do allow all the scale-out most companies need. This is also becoming less and less of an issue as virtualization replaces more traditional load ballancing and clustering options.

    I seem to recall having read somewhere that microsoft wrote themselves that oracle is 20% faster in general. A friend of mine that works with a lot of data processing however laugh at that. So I do not regard that as subjective or relative.

    I do however agree that for most companies sql server is the better choice because of the cost.

    Load balancing with virtualization does become less of an issue, but it has been and for some, still is an issue and thus I find it bad that ms has not managed to implement a good way of handling it. That they haven't done this makes me question their competence and also the state of the sql server code. If it however is a very low customer demand for it, then I yield.

  • jay-h

    SSCoach

    Points: 18816

    This had to come about.

    With more and more virtualization, what exactly IS a socket in a VM? What IS a core in a VM? They're just arbitray assignments of processing power. Strictly speaking a VM doesn't have any sockets, just a pretend socket which is more like a core shared with other unrelated machines.

    Licensing needs to make simple sense in an ambiguous world. Perhaps license incrementally by db size, or by maximum number of threads/processes. Give users the ability to easily open up more functionality as their requirements change.

    ...

    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • Summer90

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 32826

    I saw this topic elsewhere the other day and forwarded this info to the guy here that buys our licenses here. Needless to say he was not happy. Next week we are going to have a meeting to discuss what systems we plan on upgrading to SQL2008R2 the first part of the year and plan on buying the licenses this year to avoid this price model. I have heard more and more about companies skipping one release of SQL Server due to the three year life cycle of SQL Server and this certainly will start to be more and more common to do.

  • EricEyster

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2974

    I do not see a major impact to our organization from these changes. It is a one-time exchange for socket to core and then you start counting cores instead. This process will be easier than tracking both sockets and cores. It does change licensing in general to be tied to CPU capacity, which has been the case for mainframe systems for many years.

    As far as VM is concerned, if you have a good ratio between VM to physical ( we run about 10:1), licensing the physical is the way to go and does not appear to change the cost for a given amount of CPU capacity.

    In general, Microsoft has to do something to keep revenue flowing. We have dropped license counts by consolidating to higher core counts and the feedback from our TAM is that many organizations have done the same.

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