On 21 January 2015, Oracle announced Exadata X5, the sixth revision of Oracle’s database management system (DBMS) engineered system.
The entire Exadata configuration no longer needs to be licensed when using OracleVM. Instead, a minimum of 40% of the cores in a server must be licensed. This information has been published in an update of the partitioning document.
Gartner wrote a blogpost about this.
The purpose of this blogpost in front of you is just to inform about the changed licensing rule regarding Exadata x5-2 with OracleVM and I will stick to the official text in the partitioning document to avoid wrong interpretations:
On the Exadata Database Machine, at least 40% of the physical cores must be licensed to run Oracle programs. For example, the Exadata Database Machine X5-2 Quarter Rack has four (4) processors with eighteen (18) cores each, for a total of seventy-two (72) licensable physical cores. At least fourteen (14) Oracle program processor licenses (equivalent to 28 physical cores based on the current core factor of 0.5) must be licensed. Twenty-eight (28) cores allow the customer to run fifty-six (56) virtual CPUs (vCPUs). The Exadata Licensing Information guide documents the minimum number of processors that need to be licensed for each Exadata configuration.
So this is the case for Exadata, but what about other engineered systems with OracleVM:
What does this document say about these other engineered systems
The minimum for all other engineered systems is two (2) physical cores. For example, the Exalogic Elastic Cloud X3-2 Half Rack has 32 processors with eight cores each, for a total of 256 licensable cores. If a customer purchases three (3) processor licenses of WebLogic Suite (equivalent to 6 physical cores based on the current core factor of 0.50), then the customer is allowed to run 12 vCPUs across all servers (6 physical cores = 12 vCPUs), in any desired combination of virtual machines, e.g., twelve 1-vCPU configured VMs or six 2-vCPU configured VMs, etc., as long as the total of number of VMs times the number of vCPUs does not exceed the number of physical cores that are licensed.
No 40% for the other engineered system. Just 2 physical cores as a minimum.
– Partitioning document: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/partitioning-070609.pdf
– Exadata licensing doc: https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E15584_01/license.112/e25431/toc.htm