oracle database licensing

Oracle Diagnostic Pack and Tuning Pack – Experts guide

Introduction to Oracle Diagnostic & Tuning Pack Licensing

Oracle Diagnostic and Tuning Pack licensing works as follows:

  • Available Only with Enterprise Edition: These packs are exclusive to the Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.
  • Prerequisite Relationship: Licensing the Diagnostics Pack is necessary before you can license the Tuning Pack.
  • Matching License Counts: The counts for these packs must align with the metrics of Oracle Database licenses for each database they are used in.
  • Enterprise Manager Usage: Using Oracle Enterprise Manager with these packs could trigger a licensing event.
  • Direct Access Implications: Accessing the underlying data structures of these packs may also trigger a licensing event.

Oracle Diagnostic Pack Licensing – An Expert Guide

If you’re an Oracle customer, you’re probably aware of the importance of Oracle diagnostic pack licensing and the significant costs involved.

One area that’s been gaining attention lately is the Tuning and Diagnostics Packs licensing.

As an Oracle licensing expert with over 20 years of experience working with Oracle, I’ve helped numerous clients navigate these complex licensing rules.

In this post, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to Tuning and Diagnostics Packs, including how to determine usage and the benefits of these packs.

Oracle Diagnostic Pack Licensing

what is oracle diagnostic pack

Five key “pack facts” to keep in mind:

  • The Tuning and Diagnostics Packs are only available with the Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.
  • Diagnostics Packs are a pre-requisite for licensing Tuning Packs.
  • The counts for all optional packs must match the metrics and counts of Oracle Database licenses for each database where the packs are being used.
  • Using Enterprise Manager (EM) to manage your databases could trigger a licensed event, and there are steps you need to take to remove links that could trigger such an event.
  • Simply accessing the underlying data structures could also trigger a licensed event.

Understanding the Usage of Tuning and Diagnostics Packs

Figuring out if the Tuning and Diagnostics Packs are activated in your database is not complicated.

Here are some simple steps to follow:

  1. Check the Control Management Pack Access Parameter: You can find this in v$parameters. This parameter gives you the status of the packs in your database.
  2. Run a Query on the DBA Feature Usage Statistics View: This helps you determine if the Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) is in use.
  3. Use Oracle’s Provided Scripts: Oracle provides two scripts, option_usage.sql and used_options_details.sql, to help identify which packs and features are currently in use.

If you’re unsure about the usage of these packs, consider the following:

  • Ask Your DBA: If you’re unsure about using these Packs, don’t hesitate to ask your Database Administrator (DBA) for help.
  • Cross-Reference Information: You must match this information with the servers where your databases are located, as the licensing is based on CPU usage.
  • Database Audit: If you’re considering a database audit and need assistance, Oracle license compliance scripts can be used to review your databases.

In simple terms, these steps will help you determine the usage of Tuning and Diagnostics Packs in your database, ensuring you stay compliant with Oracle licensing.

The Benefits of Tuning and Diagnostics Packs

If you don’t have licenses for the Tuning or Diagnostic Packs yet, you might want to take a look at what they offer:

1. Diagnostics Pack:

The Diagnostics Pack comes with several valuable features:

  • Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM): This feature automatically keeps track of your database’s health, making it easier to spot and fix any issues.
  • Automatic Workload Repository (AWR): AWR collects, processes, and maintains performance statistics for problem detection and self-tuning purposes.
  • Active Session History (ASH): ASH provides sampled session activity in the database. It helps understand what events sessions are waiting for and what’s happening in your database.
  • Data Dictionary Views: These views provide information about the database and its objects.

2. Tuning Pack:

The Tuning Pack also has some excellent tools:

  • SQL Access Advisor: This tool provides recommendations to optimize data access paths. It’s great for ensuring your database runs as efficiently as possible.
  • SQL Tuning Advisor: This tool analyzes SQL statements and offers advice on how to improve their performance.
  • Real-Time SQL Monitoring: This feature allows you to monitor SQL statements’ performance while executing.
  • Data Dictionary Views: Like in the Diagnostics Pack, these views provide vital information about your database and its objects.

What Should You Do If You Don’t Have Licenses for Tuning and Diagnostics Packs?

If you’re facing issues with performance and don’t possess the licenses for the Tuning and Diagnostics Packs, don’t worry!

Here are a few solutions that you can consider:

  1. Utilize the “statspack” utility: Although it’s not as functional as the Packs, it’s a tool that can still be useful.
  2. Take advantage of certain views: You can access views like dba_hist snapshot, database_instance, snap_error, seg_stat, seg_stat_obj, and undostat. These are exceptions, and you can use them without needing a Diagnostics Pack license.
  3. Employ SQL Trace and TKPROF: These tools require more manual work but can be helpful.

In addition, if you’re utilizing Oracle Cloud, the Diagnostic Pack and Tuning are already included. If you transfer your database license to Oracle Cloud under the Bring Your Own License (BYOL) policy, you can use these tools for free.

As Oracle is becoming more consistent with customer audits, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of its licensing.

We hope this guide has clarified the topic of Tuning and Diagnostics Packs. If you’re still uncertain and need assistance with Oracle licensing, don’t hesitate to contact us.

FAQ About Oracle Diagnostic Pack Licensing

What are Tuning and Diagnostics Packs?

Tuning and Diagnostics Packs are optional features that provide advanced performance tuning and diagnostic capabilities in the Oracle Database.

Do I need to license Tuning and Diagnostics Packs?

You need to license Tuning and Diagnostics Packs if you want to use them in your database.

What is the cost of licensing Tuning and Diagnostics Packs?

Tuning and Diagnostics Packs are priced separately. Diagnostic Pack licenses cost $ 7,500 per processor, and the Tuning Pack costs $ 5,000.

Do I need to use Enterprise Manager to license the packs?

Accessing the underlying data structures could trigger a licensed event.

Can I use the legacy “statspack” utility if I don’t own licenses for Tuning and Diagnostics Packs?

Yes, you can use the “statspack” utility, but its functionality will be significantly less than the features contained within the Packs.

How can I determine whether I’m using Tuning and Diagnostics Packs?

You can review the control_management_pack_access parameter in v$parameters and query the dba_feature_usage_statistics view to determine whether AWR is in use. But many other features may trigger licensing too.

What if the counts for all optional packs don’t match the metrics and counts of my Oracle Database licenses?

The counts for all optional packs must match the metrics and counts of Oracle Database licenses for each database where the packs are being used.

What is the benefit of using Tuning and Diagnostics Packs?

Tuning and Diagnostics Packs provide advanced performance tunings and diagnostic capabilities, such as SQL Access Advisor, SQL Tuning Advisor, and Real-Time SQL Monitoring.

What should I do if I’m unsure whether I’m using the Packs?

Work with an Oracle license expert to run Oracle LMS Scripts on your databases to confirm. Remember that evidence of past usage is saved in the databases. We often encounter clients who are unknowingly out of compliance with their Oracle databases because someone used these tools in the past.

Licensing Tuning and Diagnostics Packs is an important consideration for Oracle customers, and failing to do so can result in significant costs and licensing issues.

By understanding the key “pack facts,” determining usage, and considering the benefits of using these packs, you can make informed decisions and ensure compliance with Oracle’s licensing policies.


  • 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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