Why Not Consider Oracle Standard Edition?

on September 19, 2013

The dramatic price differential between Oracle Standard Edition and Oracle Enterprise Edition creates a compelling case for considering Standard Edition as an alternative to Enterprise Edition. With the addition of third-party technology, Oracle Standard Edition can deliver enterprise-class performance at a substantially reduced cost.

How does Oracle Standard Edition compare to Enterprise Edition?

Oracle promotes Standard Edition as a full-featured Database Management Solution (DBMS). Although Standard Edition  contains the same database engine as Oracle’s Enterprise Edition, it omits many of the higher-level features and options, including:

  • Encryption (TDE, backup encryption, network encryption)
  • Fine-grained auditing
  • Replication
  • Compression
  • Unlimited CPU cores / DBMS deployment ( Standard Edition is limited to four sockets maximum)
  • Performance (Diagnostic Pack and Tuning Pack)

Enterprise Edition performance with Standard Edition

Without third-party software, these omissions may initially appear as insurmountable roadblocks. In reality, companies using a hybrid of best-in-class including third-party software tools and Oracle Standard Edition can meet, and even exceed, Enterprise Edition performance for a variety of applications.

Leverage the benefits of per-socket pricing and increasing cores/CPU

The total cost of an Oracle DBMS is based on a per/processor list price multiplied by the number of processors. One point that works in favor of Standard Edition is the two distinctly different definitions Oracle uses for a ‘processor.’

  • Enterprise Edition:  Processor count is based on the number of cores and a core factor table.
  • Standard Edition: Processor count is defined by the number of CPU sockets, with each single CPU chip counting as one socket regardless of the number of cores on the chip.

Major CPU manufacturers (Intel, AMD, IBM, …) continue to increase the number of cores/chip, and therefore the CPU processing power of a four-socket Standard Edition installation is also increased. With the ubiquity and constant improvements to multi-core CPU chips, the per/socket pricing for the Oracle Standard Edition pricing model provides an even greater cost savings when contrasted with Enterprise Editions per-core pricing.

Use third-party software to deliver maximum performance and minimal CPU load

Standard Edition can be CPU-constrained in the most demanding applications, due to the hard limit of four sockets maximum. Since there are no limitations placed on memory or database footprint on disk, efficient CPU utilization is a key to getting the most out of an Oracle Standard Edition deployment.

Unfortunately, your ability to monitor, view, analyze, and resolve performance bottlenecks is constrained by the inability to add Diagnostic Pack and Tuning Pack to Standard Edition. SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer provides a direct correlation between SQL query response time and CPU utilization, providing DBAs and developers with the tools necessary to minimize CPU utilization while improving SQL query response time on Oracle Standard Edition. This is done without the need for OEM’s Diagnostic Packs, Tuning Packs, or access to AWR tables. The rapid growth of third-party performance analysis tools for all Oracle database editions is a testament to the value these products offer.

Free Oracle RAC

Adding Real Application Cluster (RAC) to an Enterprise Edition deployment adds substantial cost to your Oracle DBMS price tag. The inclusion of RAC for free in Standard Edition provides even greater economic motivation for considering Standard Edition. As Gartner analysts Donald Feinberg and Jane B. Disbrow highlight, a RAC cluster on Standard Edition can save as much as $494,000 over a comparable Enterprise Edition deployment.

Get the cost savings of Standard Edition while enjoying some of the best features of Enterprise Edition

The substantial cost savings of Oracle Standard Edition create a business case that is worth consideration. These savings provide ample economic justification for the purchase of any additional third party software tools in the vast majority of cases. By combining best-in-class software components from Oracle and third party software vendors, companies worldwide are achieving top performance at significant cost reductions.

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  1. Very interesting read, thanks! I didn’t see a posting date, so just wondering how current the reasoning is, SE vs. EE?
    We bought a COTS application that is installed on SE. However, when a TRA was performed, one of the points brought up is that neither that application nor Oracle itself does much regarding auditing (one of the current buzzwords!)
    I appreciate your article was sponsored by SolarWinds and their DPA application (which, honestly, we’ll look at), but you also alluded to 3rd party auditing tools. Is this SolarWinds, too, or are there alternatives you can suggest?

  2. Hi Mark,
    While this article was written several years ago, it’s still very pertinent. If you don’t needs all the EE features, SE is a much cheaper way to go! Depending on the depth of your auditing requirements, Solarwinds does have a Log Event Manager (LEM) tool that monitors all logs for security, compliance and troubleshooting – https://www.solarwinds.com/log-event-manager-software?&CMP=KNC-TAD-GGL-SW_NA_X_PP_CPC_LD_EN_PBRDE_DWA-X-945268740~46582890386_g_c_Solarwinds%20lem-e~256728859664~&kwid=HkvXe1gH

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