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12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2012 10:41 PM by andrewmy RSS

Single license / Standby Server Preparedness

brian.mcginity Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
I have a production server with a Standard Edition One single CPU license. I need to be ready in case the server has a problem and I need to stand up a new server.

At what point is it required to buy another license?

Case 1:
Standby Server: Oracle is not installed.
Primary Server does level 0, level 1 backups to the Flash Recovery Area. The backups are copied the Standby server each night. Furthermore the archive logs are copied to Standby as they are created.

Recovery would involve, installing Oracle and then using rman to restore and recover.

Case 2:
Standby Server: Oracle is installed, it only has the sample schema and is shutdown.
Primary Server does level 0, level 1 backups to the Flash Recovery Area. The backups are copied the Standby server each night. Furthermore the archive logs are copied to Standby as they are created.

Recovery would involve, starting Oracle and then using rman to restore and recover from the FRA.

Case 3:
Standby Server: Oracle is installed, communicates to Primary via Net8, has a copy of the primary database, is mounted and applying archive logs throughout the day.
Primary Server does level 0, level 1 backups to the Flash Recovery Area. The backups are copied the Standby server each night. Furthermore the archive logs are copied to Standby as they are created. Standby applies the arcivelogs via .bat script.

Recovery would involve, applying the last archive log and opening.

I’m trying to find the fastest road to recovering to a new server without needing to shell out $5k for a license and another $1k per year for support.
  • 1. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    rp0428 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    >
    I’m trying to find the fastest road to recovering to a new server without needing to shell out $5k for a license and another $1k per year for support.
    >
    Excellent! Nobody's data is worth such an outrageous amount of money. Looks like you found the best way to economize.

    Now you can buy that new desktop rolodex you've had your eye on!

    Too bad you didn't buy support for your production installation or you could just ask your support representative. Only Oracle can give you a definitive, legally binding answer for licensing questions.
  • 2. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    brian.mcginity Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    It's actually very different. I do have paid for support and I've asked these lines of questions and they usually defer to sales. Asking sales is like asking a dog if he's hungry.

    And I take issue with your comment. This is not a question of someone's data being important. The data is secure probably more so than most. I'll be happy to outline the offsite Amazon S3 encrypted rman backup along with archive log synchronization to S3 and geographic dismemberment. The question is regards to downtime, planning and money.

    Being a small start up, every penny counts. I'm not going to sell out $5k and another $1k per year if this only saves 2 minutes of downtime per event.
  • 3. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    rp0428 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    >
    It's actually very different. I do have paid for support and I've asked these lines of questions and they usually defer to sales. Asking sales is like asking a dog if he's hungry.
    >
    I take issue with your comment. If you had actually ask support your response would not be 'they usually defer to sales'. It would have been 'they deferred to sales'. The way you worded your response tells the tale.
    >
    And I take issue with your comment. This is not a question of someone's data being important. The data is secure probably more so than most. I'll be happy to outline the offsite Amazon S3 encrypted rman backup along with archive log synchronization to S3 and geographic dismemberment. The question is regards to downtime, planning and money.
    >
    I don't have a problem with anyone talking issue with my comments.

    Your statements are contradictory. If the data isn't important why go through all of the 'S3 this' and 'encrypted that', and 'log sync' etc, etc, etc.? Why back up the data at all if it isn't important?

    Developers can freely download and use ANY version of Oracle, even Enterprise, as long as it is not for deployment. You can also backup your Oracle installation and restore it, if necessary, to another machine as long as you are not using both versions simultaneously.

    So you question mostly doesn't make a lot of sense to begin with and then when you throw in that the data isn't important it really makes you scratch your head and wonder what the real issue is.
  • 4. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    brian.mcginity Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    The data is very important. That's why the backup is triple and quadrupedal redundant. Loosing the data forever is a different than having 24x7x364 access to it.

    And in this case seemless availability is not as important. if people are unable to access their data for 10 minutes every 9-12 months this is stomachable. It not great, so I'd like to do as much as can to minimize the downtime and stay in the license agreement.

    I wasn't trying to hide the fact that I didn't open a tar. I have asked licensing questions like this usually get nowhere. I was hoping others here may be in the same situation and have a working solution. Asking support may worth it.

    I'm pretty sure doing any of my proposed solutions is of the developer license, as this a production environment. It seems like it a violation of the license to have Oracle installed on 2 servers even if one is shutdown. It's like Oracle requires us to install it on the 2nd server only when the 1st server it out of commission. I really don't know.

    Edited by: brian.mcginity on Nov 25, 2012 3:48 PM
  • 5. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    rp0428 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    >
    I'm pretty sure doing any of my proposed solutions is of the developer license, as this a production environment. It seems like it a violation of the license to have Oracle installed on 2 servers even if one is shutdown.
    >
    That would be my opinion as well.
    >
    It's like Oracle requires us to install it on the 2nd server only when the 1st server it out of commission. I really don't know.
    >
    Still don't know why you don't have an image backup of the disk partition that Oracle consumes.

    I have multiple OS's installed on machines in their own partitions. On Linux you can easily use the DD command to copy an entire partition, sector by sector, to a backup file. Restoring it takes only a few minutes even for a 20 GB partition. An Oracle-only installation is nowhere near that size.

    I can restore the OS or an installed app in a few minutes from an image backup. This is really easy on Linux since there is no registry to deal with. At some point you need to start heading towards virtual disks.

    Using Oracle's VM technology you just have a VM template (image) that gets deployed to a server. You only need the license for the servers you actually deploy to. So if a server goes down you redeploy the OS template to another server and keep right on trucking.

    You should really look into VM and start getting familiar with it. It is a game changer.

    The Oracle VM Templates main page is
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/vm/database-092479.html

    They have a VM Templates for RAC also.
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/vm/rac-template-11grel2-166623.html

    Using Oracle's virtual box you have plenty of pre-built developer VMs available for download
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/community/developer-vm/index.html

    And plenty of Oracle-provided articles about how to use VirtualBox and those templates
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/servers-storage-admin/howto-use-vb-templates-1695904.html

    I have a single server that has multiple VMs running on it for different OSs including Windows XP. I rarely pick up any viruses because each system is in its own virtual machine. Periodically I just redeploy a VM template for XP and start fresh. Important files and page files are on on high-speed shared drives.

    You are missing out on the revolution if you haven't ventured into the VM area yet.
  • 6. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    brian.mcginity Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    These are really good ideas. I’m not too familiar with image backups. This is a windows machine, so putting it in a VM would make it easy.

    The only thing is I don’t like the VM overhead. About a year ago, I benchmarked the server using PassMark software. Then installed ESXi and benchmarked the VM when it had 100% of all resources. All metrics suffered and a few of the memory metrics were awful.

    Maybe I should consider Linux. Then I could also run a Nginx reverse proxy and ssl offload.

    I suppose with an image backup the path would be: restore image, copy FRA, restore, recover.

    Edited by: brian.mcginity on Nov 25, 2012 4:34 PM
  • 7. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    JohnWatson Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi - the Oracle Store website,
    https://shop.oracle.com/pls/ostore/f?p=dstore:1001:2091143732830201::::P1001_HELP_CATEGORY_ID:3434642144441608865424
    includes phrases such as this,
    Processor: shall be defined as all processors where the Oracle programs are installed and/or running
    and
    For example, a multicore chip based server with an Oracle Processor Core Factor of 0.25 installed and/or running the program
    which I think make it clear that only your Case 1 is going to work: you need to license every machine where it is installed.
    People will be saying that any advice you get on a public website is meaningless, and that you should always check with your Oracle account manager. However, in this case I think it is clear. But you never know - you can always ask.
  • 8. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    Richard Harrison . Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi,
    Another possible solution is to have your windows server clustered with another windows server. There are special rules for that kind of case from oracle - you can run for a few days on the other server without the need for additional licences. You'll probably get stung on the windows licences though....

    A Linux cluster may be the way to go.

    As with all of this though check with the account manager/sales team as non oracle employees we can't give you definitive advice.

    Cheers,
    Harry
  • 9. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    andrewmy Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Bear in mind the usual caveats for internet advice...

    Case 1: Pretty sure you don't need a license on the standby server.

    Case 2: Grey area - would you be doing any DR drills that would involve activating the instance (one would assume yes) ? I'm sure at one time, there used to be a condition that you could use Oracle on a DR server without licensing that server as long as the usage did not exceed 10(?) days, though I can't find a mention of it now.

    Case 3: Pretty sure you need to license the standby server
  • 10. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    brian.mcginity Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    The cluster route is viable solution. The license does say the cluster has to share a disk pack, so that might make it hard to put a server in another data center. I'm not sure how much a windows cluster would cost. Again Linux is a hit here.

    For case 2, the plan is to have Oracle installed and the services shutdown. The primary server would copy it's FLA to the standby FLA. When the standby is needed, it would be a matter of starting the services and then restore and recover from the FRA.

    I opened a SAR with Oracle last night, I'll update with the results.

    The license does allow for testing of the backup:
    Testing: For the purpose of testing physical copies of backups, your license for the Oracle Database (Enterprise Edition,
    Standard Edition or Standard Edition One) includes the right to run the database on an unlicensed computer for up to four
    times, not exceeding 2 days per testing, in any given calendar year.
    This might work:
    Install Oracle on the standby server, configure it, copy all data, start up, etc... Fully test it. Then shutdown and delete all the datafiiles. Copy the Oracle Home to a self extracting zip file. Then delete the Oracle Home. At this point Oracle is not installed and is not running. Next use $50 sync software to backup the FRA of the primary server to the standby server.

    Then if the primary server goes bad, just restore the Oracle Home from the self exacting zip file , copy the FRA and restore/recover. This would only take a few minutes.

    I have a hard time believing that the intent of the Oracle license is to prevent restoring to another host. All software sold provides the ability to on a 2nd computer if the 1st computer dies.

    It's possible to read the license and conclude that what's being licensed is the Oracle binaries and the database (ie your datafiles). So pre-installing the binaries without your database is probably ok.
  • 11. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    brian.mcginity Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Here's Oracle Support's response:
    Hello,
    
    I am from Global Product Support team and we do handle all the technical problems and your queries seems to be consultive, we have separate group for IT Consulting.
    
    Please raise your queries to them, you can reach to them using following URL.
    http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/index.html
    
    Hope they may help you.
    
    
    Regards
    Pranati
    As suspected....support only handles technical issues.
  • 12. Re: Single license / Standby Server Preparedness
    andrewmy Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    You may find it handy to have all your findings and relevant paragraphs in the Oracle documents marked out when you consult Oracle Sales.

Legend

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