Licensing

Oracle Licensing on IBM LPAR – A Simplified Guide

Licensing

Oracle Licensing on IBM LPAR – A Simplified Guide

Introduction to Oracle Licensing on IBM LPAR

Oracle has divided sub-capacity technology into two categories: soft and hard partitioning.

Oracle approves hard partitioning technologies as a means of sub-capacity licensing. IBM LPAR is approved by Oracle as hard partitioning, allowing you to license per the virtual processor power you assign to the Oracle deployment.

When it comes to deploying Oracle workloads on Logical Partitions (LPARs), you have two main options for Oracle licensing:

  1. Licensing the underlying physical hardware (Traditional core-based licensing)
  2. Using Oracle’s extra-contractual hard partitioning policy to license the LPAR

Oracle Licensing IBM on LPAR

Oracle Licensing IBM LPAR | Optimize Oracle licensing with IBM LPAR

Licensing the Hardware Basics

  • Core Counting: License based on the number of cores where Oracle software is installed or running.
  • Applying Core Factor: Use the core factor to determine the required licenses.

Complexities with LPARs

  • Multiple Processor Pools: A frame may contain several processor pools, adding complexity to licensing.
  • LPARs in Fixed Pools:
    • If LPARs are tied to a specific processor pool and do not move, count the cores for licensing.
  • LPARs Moving Between Pools:
    • If LPARs move between pools, licensing becomes more complex.
    • You must account for all processors in all pools where the LPARs have operated.

Key Takeaways

  • Licensing for Oracle on IBM LPARs varies depending on whether the LPARs are static within a single pool or if they move across multiple pools.
  • For static LPARs, count the cores within their specific pool.
  • For LPARs that move, count the cores in all pools where they have been operational.

Licensing with the Oracle Partitioning Policy

Licensing with the Oracle Partitioning Policy

Oracle Partitioning Policy Licensing for LPARs

Dedicated LPARs

  • Permitted: You can use dedicated Logical Partitioning (LPARs).
  • License Counting: The number of virtual processors in a dedicated LPAR determines license usage.
    • Example: An LPAR with two virtual processors uses the capacity of two physical cores.

Micro-partitioned LPARs

  • Conditions for Use:
    • The LPAR must have a cap (fixed limit) on resource usage.
    • Live Partition Mobility (LPM) should be disabled.
    • TurboCore mode is not allowed.
  • Calculating License Usage:
    • Use the entitled capacity (entitlement) of the LPAR to count licenses.
    • Round up fractional entitlements to the nearest whole number.
    • Example: An LPAR with 1.4 entitlement is counted as two cores.

Important Notes

  • LPM and Micro-partitioned LPARs:
    • LPM must be off. If an LPAR moves between pools, it’s considered a de-installation and re-installation of the license, but only one pool incurs a license liability at a time.
    • Since LPM must be disabled under the Partitioning Policy, this movement doesn’t typically apply.

This simplified guide outlines the critical licensing points under Oracle’s Partitioning Policy for dedicated and micro-partitioned LPARs. Remember, the way you calculate license usage varies between them.

Oracle on IBM LPAR Licensing

Oracle on IBM LPAR Licensing

Overview

Under Oracle’s Partitioning Policy, licensing for Logical Partitioning (LPARs) on IBM systems is guided by specific rules, especially in AIX environments.

Dedicated LPARs

  • Allowed: You can use dedicated LPARs for Oracle licensing.
  • License Calculation: Count the number of virtual processors as license units.
    • Example: A dedicated LPAR with two virtual processors can fully utilize two physical cores.

Micro-partitioned LPARs

  • Restrictions for Use:
    • The LPAR must have a fixed resource limit (capped).
    • Live Partition Mobility (LPM) should be disabled.
    • TurboCore mode is not permitted.
  • License Calculation:
    • Count the entitled capacity (entitlement) of the LPAR for licensing.
    • Round up fractional entitlements to the nearest whole number.
    • Example: An LPAR with 1.4 entitlement is considered to use two cores.

Special Considerations for Micro-partitioned LPARs

  • Movement Between Pools:
    • Technically, suppose an LPAR moves from one pool to another. In that case, it’s considered a de-installation and re-installation of the Oracle license, with licensing liability applicable to one pool at a time.
    • However, with LPM disabled (as required for micro-partitioned LPARs under Oracle’s policy), movement between pools is irrelevant for licensing.

Summary

Understanding the intricacies related to Oracle licensing on PowerVM is crucial. This topic continues to come up at Redress Compliance as we work with clients running on PowerVM.

Unraveling some of the mysteries behind the PowerVM hypervisor is critical to understanding the related Oracle licensing implications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two main options for Oracle licensing on LPARs?

  • Licensing the underlying physical hardware (Traditional core-based licensing)
  • Using Oracle’s extra-contractual hard partitioning policy to license the LPAR

What happens when LPARs are allowed to move around in the processor pool?

If the LPARs are allowed to move around, it gets complicated, and you have to count all processors where the LPARs have run.

What are the conditions to meet when using micro-partitioned LPARs?

  • The LPAR must be capped.
  • Live Partition Mobility (LPM) must be disabled
  • TurboCore mode is not permitted

How is the license usage counted for a dedicated LPAR and a micro-partitioned LPAR?

  • For a dedicated LPAR, count the number of virtual processors that are used for license usage. A dedicated LPAR with two virtual processors can use up to 100% of two physical cores.
  • For a micro-partitioned LPAR, count the entitled capacity, or entitlement, towards license usage. If the entitlement is specified as a decimal, round up to count the number of processors in use.

What should be kept in mind while formulating a licensing strategy on PowerVM?

Use processor pools to limit the license count and configure different pools for Oracle products. Ensure the LPARs don’t move around, or more licenses will be consumed.

Where Can I read about this licensing rule/policy?

You can read the Oracle partitioning policy document.

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Author

  • 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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