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According to our licensing expert, some features of the new release may imply the termination of Oracle Database SE2. Tamás Hegedűs published his opinion on the pages of Bitport.hu.

The latest release of Oracle’s popular database management solution is already available for Linux. Based on the release cycle and the versioning scheme introduced from release 12.2.0.1, new releases are to be published annually, and their names incorporate the last two digits of the year of release. Release 19c (according to the former versioning scheme: 12.2.0.3) is a so-called LTS release, that is, the vendor provides Premier Support for four years and Extended Support for an additional three years. (In contrast, Premier Support for 18c is available for only a year after releasing 19c, that is, till April 25, 2020, and Extended Support is not available at all.)

Cloud Is The Primary Version

Release 19c has brought several new comfort features for users, among the automatic indexing for example. But novelties are not available any more on-premise, only in the cloud. However, this can question the usefulness of the new version for many users.

However, besides limiting the useful novelties to the cloud version, other unpleasant surprises may also come to database users. One is the removal of Streams feature that facilitates communication between databases. The other one is that Oracle has further reduced the functionality of the Standard Edition 2 (SE2), the ‘stepchild’ of the Database family.

One sensitive point might be that from 19c onwards, neither Real Application Clusters (RAC) nor RAC One Node is available in SE2. So if someone decides to upgrade to Database 19c, two options remain: abandon using RAC or change to the much more expensive Enterprise Edition.

If you decide to use the latter option, you have to consider one more thing: the Enterprise Edition license alone allows the user to buy RAC separately only. A DBSE2 license covering 1 processor socket costs $ 17,500, an Enterprise Edition license together with RAC license cost 47,500 + 23,000 = $ 70,500 dollár, and only a factorized processor core is licensed this way. In light of this, we should calculate with a price increase of at least 402 percent (!).

Will SE2 Be Terminated?

The way the new version is released, namely that the new features can only be accessed from the cloud fits Oracle’s ambition to get customers into their cloud as quickly as possible. There is nothing new about it, the company has been saying for years that they are working on that. For example, the spectacular turnaround in database filed has already taken place in 2016: cloud version of 12c Release 2 was published earlier than the on-premise version.

Developments around Database SE2, especially in the light of previous restrictions – for example, reducing the maximum CPU sockets –, suggest that Oracle would like to terminate Standard Edition 2 in the long run.

All in all, therefore, companies using RAC with SE2 release currently should also consider these scenarios when deciding whether to upgrade to 19c.

Dr. Hegedüs Tamás

Dr. Hegedüs Tamás

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