oracle database licensing

Oracle Advanced Compression Licensing and DataPump

Oracle Advanced Compression licensing works as follows:

  • Extra Feature for Oracle Enterprise Edition: Advanced Compression is an additional feature for Oracle Enterprise Edition.
  • Cost: The licensing cost is $11,500 per processor license.
  • License Model Matching: The license model and quantities for Oracle Advanced Compression must match the database license.
  • Non-Transferable Licenses: Oracle licenses are generally non-transferable, but exceptions may apply based on the agreement.
  • Easy Non-Compliance: Using features like Oracle Data Pump without the metadata_only Parameter can trigger Advanced Compression, leading to potential non-compliance.

Oracle Advanced Compression Licensing and Avoiding Compliance Pitfalls

Oracle Advanced Compression Licensing and Avoiding Compliance Pitfalls

Oracle Advanced Compression Licensing often becomes a stumbling block for Oracle database customers, leading them to unintentionally fall out of compliance with their Oracle licenses.

As an Oracle database administrator, you’re likely well-versed in the benefits of data compression.

Oracle Advanced Compression provides a comprehensive suite of data compression and Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) capabilities for all data types, including structured and unstructured data, backup, network, archive, and Data Guard Redo Transport traffic.

Here are some common ways companies can inadvertently become non-compliant with Advanced Compression:

  1. Accidental Activation: Companies can unknowingly activate Advanced Compression. This often happens when using Oracle Data Pump and organizations are not using the metadata_only” parameter, which triggers the Advanced Compression option.
  2. Misunderstanding License Terms: Non-compliance can occur if companies don’t fully grasp their Oracle license terms. It’s crucial to understand precisely what Oracle options your license covers.
  3. Usage of Table Compression: Table compression is another area known to cause non-compliance issues. Companies must ensure they have the appropriate licensing if using this feature.
  4. Lack of Team Awareness: If team members working with Oracle Data Pump aren’t aware of the potential licensing issues, they might unintentionally breach the license agreement.
  5. Inadequate Auditing: Regular audits are key to maintaining compliance. Oracle LMS scripts can detect active and historical use, helping identify and rectify non-compliance issues.

By being aware of these potential pitfalls, companies can better manage their Oracle Advanced Compression licenses, ensuring they remain compliant and avoid unnecessary costs.

The Features of Oracle Advanced Compression

what is advanced compression

Oracle Advanced Compression is a powerful tool that comes with a wide array of features. These features are designed to automate Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), helping organizations maintain data usage statistics and set automatic data compression and movement policies.

Let’s break down these features for a better understanding:

  1. Advanced Row Compression: This feature helps to minimize the space required to store data in a row format.
  2. Advanced LOB Compression: Large Objects (LOBs) can take up significant space. This feature compresses them to save storage.
  3. Advanced LOB Deduplication: This feature eliminates duplicate LOB data to further optimize storage.
  4. RMAN Backup Compression: This feature compresses backup data. The ‘RMANDEFAULT COMPRESS’ setting does not require the Advanced Compression option.
  5. Data Pump Data Compression: This feature compresses metadata during data pump operations. Using the ‘COMPRESSION=METADATA_ONLY’ setting does not require the Advanced Compression option.
  6. Heat Map: This feature tracks data usage, providing valuable insights for managing data storage and lifecycle.
  7. Automatic Data Optimization: This feature optimizes data storage and compression based on usage patterns and pre-set policies.
  8. Data Guard Redo Transport Compression: This feature compresses data during redo transport operations, reducing network bandwidth requirements.
  9. Advanced Network Compression: This feature compresses network traffic, improving network efficiency.
  10. Optimization for Flashback Data Archive History Tables: This feature optimizes storing historical data in Flashback Data Archive tables.
  11. Storage Snapshot Optimization: This feature optimizes creating and managing storage snapshots.
  12. Online Move Partition: This feature lets you move partitions online to any compressed format.
  13. Exadata Flash Cache Compression: This feature compresses data in the Exadata Flash Cache. Note that it requires Exadata storage servers and all database processors accessing the Exadata storage servers to be licensed for Oracle Advanced Compression.
  14. Advanced Index Compression: This feature compresses indexes, reducing their storage footprint.
  15. Hybrid Columnar Compression Row-Level Locking: This feature provides row-level locking for hybrid columnar compressed data. It requires Exadata, Supercluster, ZFS, or FS1 storage.
  16. Data Pump Compression Feature: This feature compresses data during data pump operations.

Database Administrators (DBAs) must ensure they are properly licensed when using these features. This helps avoid any compliance issues.

Understanding and effectively managing your Oracle Advanced Compression features can lead to significant storage savings and improved efficiency.

Understanding Oracle Advanced Compression and DataPump

Oracle Advanced Compression and DataPump license

Oracle Data Pump is a handy tool in Oracle Database. Think of it as a personal courier service for your data, helping to move data and metadata between databases.

But here’s the catch: Oracle Data Pump might unintentionally activate the Advanced Compression option.

This is a separate feature of Oracle Database that offers enhanced data compression capabilities and requires a separate license.

Why does this happen?

The reason lies in Oracle Data Pump’s compression methods. It reduces the size of dump files during data transfer. Setting the “compress” parameter to “all” triggers the Advanced Compression option.

So, if you’ve used this set but don’t have a license for Advanced Compression, you might accidentally violate your Oracle license agreement.

Remember, using Oracle DataPump with the setting COMPRESSION=ALL does require Advanced Compression.

How can you avoid this licensing pitfall?

  1. Understand Your Parameters: Be aware of the implications of the parameters you’re using with Oracle Data Pump. If you don’t have an Advanced Compression license, To avoid triggering a license for advanced compression when utilizing Data Pump, you need to use the parameter MetaData_Only.
  2. Verify Your License: Know what Oracle options your license covers. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to contact your Oracle licensing consultant.
  3. Educate Your Team: Make sure everyone in your organization who works with Oracle Data Pump knows about this licensing issue. The more they know, the less likely they are to unintentionally breach the license agreement.
  4. Audit Regularly: Oracle LMS scripts can detect both active and historical use. Redress Compliance can help you identify and resolve noncompliance issues in your Oracle database.

By following these guidelines, you can use Oracle Data Pump effectively while avoiding unintentional activation of the Advanced Compression license. This ensures your Oracle licensing remains compliant and your budget stays intact!

Watch Out for Known Bugs That May Lead to False Positives in Oracle Audits

Specific known bugs can cause false positives during Oracle license audits.

This means you might be told you need a license for Advanced Compression, even when it’s not the case.

It is crucial to review these bugs to understand if they might be causing unexpected use of Advanced Compression.

Here’s the list of these bugs, all of which can be reviewed in detail via MyOracleSupport:

  1. Bug 11902001: This bug excludes default users for feature usage tracking for the Securefiles option.
  2. Bug 11902142: This bug excludes default users for feature usage tracking for the Advanced Compression option.
  3. Bug 19618850: This bug provides a solution to prevent unintended Oracle option usage.
  4. Query against DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS: This is not a true test for using SDO.
  5. Bug 16088534: This bug incorrectly reports the RMAN default Backup BZIP2 Compression feature as an Advanced Compression.
  6. Bug 22122625: This bug results in false positives on the usage of Advanced Index Compression.
  7. Bug 24844549: This bug shows usage in DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS with HCC for Advanced Index Compression.
  8. Bug 16859747: This bug shows incorrect usage for HeapCompression in DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS.
  9. Bug 16563444: This bug indicates that the Heat Map feature usage tracking is incorrect.
  10. Bug 21248059: This bug tracks the “Hybrid Columnar Compression” feature in DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS.

Staying informed about these bugs can help you avoid unnecessary licensing costs and ensure compliance during audits. Understanding and managing your Oracle Advanced Compression features effectively can lead to significant savings and improved efficiency.

Controlling the Use of Oracle Advanced Compression

advanced compression license

Unfortunately, DBAs cannot always control the use of Advanced Compression options. There is no way to disable any of the features that are part of the Advanced Compression option.

However, you can track the usage of those features with DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS. If you discover a feature is being used when it shouldn’t, you can contact the user and ask them to stop using it.

FAQs on Oracle Advanced Compression Licensing

Do I need a license to use Oracle Advanced Compression?

Yes, you need a license to use Oracle Advanced Compression.

What features are included in Oracle Advanced Compression?

The features included in Oracle Advanced Compression are Advanced Row Compression, Advanced LOB Compression, Advanced LOB Deduplication, RMAN Backup Compression, Data Pump Data Compression, Heat Map, Automatic Data Optimization, Data Guard Redo Transport Compression, Advanced Network Compression, Optimization for Flashback Data Archive History Tables, Storage Snapshot Optimization, Online Move Partition, Exadata Flash Cache Compression, Advanced Index Compression, Hybrid Columnar Compression Row-Level Locking, and Data Pump Compression Feature.

Can I disable using any of the features of Oracle Advanced Compression?

No, you cannot disable any of Oracle Advanced Compression’s features. However, you can track their usage with DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS and contact the user if you discover that a feature is being used when it shouldn’t be.

If I used Oracle Advanced Compression by mistake, will Oracle discover this?

Yes, the Oracle LMS Collection tool will scan your database and identify how often, for example, Data Pump has been used. It also detects historical usage, for example, if this product was used x years ago. If Oracle finds this, you will need to purchase a license.

What do you recommend?

We identify this issue in almost every consulting engagement where we independently review our client’s Oracle licensing. We have developed a method of removing all evidence of use of this product.

Which feature triggers the most common license compliance risk?

The use of a data pump and not using metadata_only parameter

If you believe/or know that you have used Advanced Compression – what should you do?

We have helped hundreds of organizations become compliant. We have developed a methodology that allows your databases to become compliant so that you can pass an Oracle audit. Contact us to discuss how we can help your organization become compliant with its software licenses.

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  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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