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Suppose we have a server that has only 1 CPU with 1 core, so we need 1 Oracle database license for installing a database into it. Now, if we would need to add a second server, combine them into cluster and install database into it, then how many licenses do we need - 2 database licenses and 1 Clusterware licenses or 1 database license and 1 cluster license? I'm not sure, how Oracle treats joined into Oracle cluster servers - as one server or still as separate servers? Because we would need to buy expensive Oracle cluster software, then it would be logical for Oracle to treat joined servers as one.

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Oracle database licenses are quoted per processor, not per machine. They don't care whether you have two machines with two cores each or four machines with one core each. Both equate to 4 licenses you need to purchase.

For clustered installations, you need to purchase the appropriate database licenses and the RAC licenses.

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Yes, I'm aware of licensing per processor, just wrote that for the sake of simplicity. In our case, we are thinking about Enterprise database licenses. I assume from your answer, we would still need 2 database licenses and 1 RAC license? – Centurion Feb 12 '13 at 8:36
You still need a RAC license per processor, so you would need two (assuming 1 processor per machine). Note that Oracle have a "processor core factor" multiplier which reduces the number of licenses you need. For example, intel chips are licensed at 0.5 license/core, so you would only need 1 EE and 1 RAC license if using these. See it here – Chris Saxon Feb 12 '13 at 8:48
It also depends on the CPU scaling factor. Sparc and x86 are different. – Phil Feb 12 '13 at 13:58
For those who may look at this question/answer and are considering Standard Edition, things are different. SE requires no additional RAC license, and counts sockets as processors, ignoring cores and the core multiplier. Also, the SE four socket limit applies to the entire RAC, not just each instance. – Leigh Riffel Feb 12 '13 at 14:07
@LeighRiffel Don't we need Oracle clusterware 3rd party solution if we would use Oracle SE + included RAC? Oracle docs says "...When used with Oracle Real Application Clusters in a clustered server environment, Oracle Database Standard Edition requires the use of Oracle Clusterware. Third-party clusterware management solutions are not supported...". It appears RAC and clusterware are different products So we still need to spend additional dime for that cluster ware – Centurion Feb 13 '13 at 10:12

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