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EnterpriseDB License

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

The EnterpriseDB license breaks down into 3 licenses that define the level of support you receive from EnterpriseDB.  I want to make the point here that while I will try to make this as accurate as I can, I am not a lawyer or an employee of EnterpriseDB.  The licenses can change between the time I write this and the time it's published or anytime there after.  You can go to EnterpriseDB.com and subscribe (after reading the information carefully) or to get the exact details, call an EnterpriseDB sales person. 

First off, both Oracle and EnterpriseDB provide free servers for development and testing.  That means you can download it and create non-production applications and test them to verify they work.  If you use them for production purposes (over certain limitations that I speak to below), you need to buy a license.

EnterpriseDB provides a free, limited use license for low volume production.  Oracle also provides a scaled down version called Oracle 10g Express Edition.  These two editions have similar limitations.  The EnterpriseDB limits are:  6GB of disk space, 1GB of system RAM and 1 CPU.  These free versions are free to develop, test and run in production, provided you do not surpass the limits that have been set.  Once you need to scale up, you have to look at your requirements and needs. 

At this level with both Oracle 10g XE and EnterpriseDB, your support options are limited to the online forums.  Oracle's support forums are much more active at this time. However, EnterpriseDB is new so I expect the volume to pick up over time.  In general, response time on both is superior.

Oracle provides additional licensing that is further tiered by the number of CPUs and limitations on the feature set.  As this is not a book about Oracle, I will use the Oracle Enterprise Edition as the point of comparison as that is the version that most closely matched the EnterpriseDB model.

Beyond the free, limited use edition, EnterpriseDB has chosen a model of support per CPU.  What that means is that the CPU has a set cost and you get practically all the features of the database.  There are no feature tiers except for the optional Replication Server available with the premium license.  The cost per CPU is the same at 1 CPU as it is at 10 CPUs.

The current (Sep 2006) price at oraclestore.oracle.com has Oracle 10g Enterprise Edition (EE) at $40,000 per CPU.  According to the example on the store page, if you have 4 computers, each with 1 CPU and 1 computer with 8 CPUs, you would require a 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 8 (12) CPU license.  That would work out to 12 * 40000 = 480,000.  If you are running multi-core CPUs, the calculation gets a little tricky but to keep it as simple as possible, we can say that 12 Oracle EE licenses would cost us $480,000.  Remember that number. 

EnterpriseDB works the same but at a much lower price.  EnterpriseDB has two paid tiers of support.  You can buy a Basic License for $1500 per year or a Premium License for $5000 per year.

Using the same environment we discussed above (12 CPUs), the most expensive license you can buy from EnterpriseDB is 5000 * 12 = 60000.  Compare $480,000 to $60,000 and you can see where EnterpriseDB particularly shines.

To make fun of a popular public announcement commercial:

$480,000:  This is your database on Oracle.

  $60,000:  This is your database on EnterpriseDB.

Any questions?

Now let’s take a moment and see what you get with each type of license:

Basic - $1500/Year

A basic license gets you access to updates and patches (kind of like metalink support for the Oracle licensees), access to the forums and knowledge base, and Web-based Support from Monday thru Friday, 9am-6pm EST.

Premium - $5000/Year

Same as basic but with 24x7 phone and Web-based support, product performance tuning assistance, a designated contact person and access to the EnterpriseDB source code.  Premium also allows you to obtain the Replication Server for an additional charge.  In my opinion, this is the sweet spot for larger organizations and people just moving to EnterpriseDB for the first time.

So at the low-end of support (basic), you can run EnterpriseDB on your hardware for 12 * 1500, or $18,000 per year.   And if 1-day turn around on production issues is acceptable (and it is for many applications), basic is a perfect solution for you. 

The important thing to note is that you can decide what your support needs are and plan for them.  It's doubtful that your support needs will change as your application grows but it's possible that you will need to upgrade to bigger and better hardware over time. 

While you are considering what kind of license and what kind of support you will eventually need, you can download the free version and start developing your application.


This is an excerpt from the book "EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference" by Rampant TechPress.

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