Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oracle licensing on multicore processor

With the increasing popularity of multi-core processor nowadays, it's unclear for a lot of people including DBAs how Oracle calculate the required license for certain server configuration.
A quick guideline is, for one server one core has processor licensing factor of .50, a quad core CPU require 2 processor licenses.
However there's a catch here, this equation is not apply to more than one multicore servers, for example RAC setup. Two multicore servers installed and/or running the program on 8 cores will need 8 multiplied by a core processor licensing factor of .75 equals 6. Therefore instead of 4 processor licenses this require 6 processor licenses.
Also note, When licensing Oracle programs with Standard Edition One or Standard Edition in the product name, a processor is counted equivalent to an occupied socket; however, in the case of multi-chip modules, each chip in the multi-chip module is counted as one occupied socket.

Please refer to following licensing document from Oracle for more detail.

Oracle Licensing

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

ORA-01466 and flashback query

Someone brought this up in one OTN forum post.

I did a quick search on google and found this,

It seems a viable explanation. However I really need some sort reference to verify the 5 minutes time frame. Why 5 minutes? Not 1 minutes for example.

Then I found metalink note,

Error ORA-01466 while executing a flashback query.
Doc ID:

It explains everything.
The reason is because smon_scn_time is updated every 5 minutes in 9i, please note, in 10g smon_scn_time is updated every 6 seconds which is much more reasonable and making it very unlikely to hit the error.

Friday, May 02, 2008

ORA-03115 unsupported network datatype

ORA-03115: unsupported network datatype or representation

This is an annoying error that comes and goes during one of your implementation project. The application is using an utility that connecting to database from Excel. The client is version and database is

After a quick search on internet,
Metalink note
OCI Application Errors with ORA-3115
Doc ID: Note:460498.1

seems a hit. After I applied the workaround, the problem seems go away for now. The thing I don't like about this is
  1. It applies not only between 9i and 10g, according to the notes, the problem exists between and 11g as well.
  2. The workaround is set CURSOR_SHARING to EXACT, which is not preferred setting if you having a lot of customized SQL running on your database.

Looks like Oracle didn't have a patch specifically for this bug yet. If anyone knows otherwise please drop a line.