Feeds

Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU

On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Oracle has released "the most comprehensive patch set" ever for its database software – but its users should be aware of potentially wallet-busting features in the batch.

Version 12.1.0.2 of the database came out on Tuesday and brought with it a range of new features, including Oracle's hotly anticipated "in memory" tech.

The "in memory" feature, as the name suggests, ensures crucial data – such as frequently accessed records – is kept present in as much RAM as possible, thus accelerating operations. It's been in development for several years and Oracle had to rewrite "the brain" of its database to make the feature available.

But you don't just rewrite a brain for free – the in-memory feature costs money, setting you back at least $23,000 per Oracle SPARC processor it's installed on, we've heard.

Where it gets concerning is that in the 12.1.0.2 patch release of the database, the INMEMORY_QUERY switch is enabled by default, according to an analysis of the install by database platform expert Kevin Closson.

This means that once the release – which has a naming scheme that is typically associated with straightforward patch and performance distributions – has been downloaded by IT and the internal database systems have been updated, a less careful database administrator could create an in-memory database table with a single command, thereby sticking their organization with a hefty bill next time Oracle chooses to carry out a license fee audit.

Oracle did not respond to multiple requests for comment over the past two days, but we can imagine it arguing that the onus for knowing which features require extra payment is on the IT dept. We reckon that when a feature is as pricey as this, it's the duty of the vendor to make it absolutely clear to the administrator that a feature costs money.

"It really should have a default initialization setting that renders the option/feature nascent – but the reality is quite the opposite," Closson writes.

Another source agreed. "It's a very easy option to use, like a lot of Oracle extra cost options; requiring only very minor changes to syntax and parameters... sadly it is very easy to use many options without much thought," a database licensing consultant in the UK, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Register.

In Oracle's most recent financial report, new software licenses remained flat while software license updates – the money Oracle makes from businesses using new pay-for-play technologies like the in-memory option – and product support revenues climbed seven per cent year on year.

Though the in-memory feature has received a lot of media attention, it may not be used incredibly widely. "I think a lot of people will be interested in it," our consultant said.

"Having said that, I think the feature requires specific business circumstances to justify implementing in production systems and so I don't think it'll easily spread into a large proportion of databases, unlike Diagnostics or Tuning Packs." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
Ploppr: The #VultureTRENDING App of the Now
This organic crowd sourced viro- social fertiliser just got REAL
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.