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Oracle eases multi-core licensing

Oracle has changed its software licensing policy on multi-core processors to address criticism its existing scheme is too expensive.

In the past Oracle stated that for the purpose of licensing, users had to treat each core of a multi-core chip as a separate processor. Industry experts warned this would deter users from running Oracle software on low-cost hardware equipped with multi-core processors.

The company has now said, "For the purpose of counting the number of processors which require licensing, a multi-core chip with "n" cores shall be determined by multiplying "n" cores by a factor of 0.75. All fractions of a number are to be rounded up to the next whole number."

Microsoft and Red Hat have been charging per system processor, irrespective of the number of cores, while BEA said it planned to charge 25% extra for the use of dual-core processors.

Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User group, said, "I think it is the right thing to do and shows that Oracle does adjust its terms in conjunction with user experience." He said Oracle had also responded to UKOUG concerns on licensing the database products on laptops running client server applications so users only need buy a single application server, rather than its previous 10-user licence minimum.

* Oracle has released almost 50 patches to address security vulnerabilities in its database, application server, e-commerce and enterprise management products.

There are 12 Oracle database flaws and another 12 in application server products. The Oracle E-Business suite of products has 17 flaws. There are others in Oracle's collaboration and management products. 

Oracle said the patches varied in seriousness according to the privileges needed by potential attackers to compromise systems. 

Many of the patches are cumulative, so installing the latest patch for a particular system will also protect users from previously announced vulnerabilities.


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