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12/19/2005
08:20 PM
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Oracle Shifts Pricing In Favor Of Sun's New Eight-Core UltraSparc

The new pricing structure will put Sun Fire T1000 servers "on a comparable footing with low-end AMD, Intel, and IBM Power servers," according to a Sun official.

Oracle has revised its pricing on dual-core servers to make it more favorable to Sun Microsystems' UltraSparc Niagara processors, which became available Dec. 6.

The new pricing structure will put Sun Fire T1000 servers "on a comparable footing with low-end AMD, Intel, and IBM Power servers," says Larry Singer, Sun Microsystems' senior VP and strategic insight officer.

Because the Sun Fire T1000 has a Niagara T1 UltraSparc CPU, its Oracle license charges outstripped those of other low-end servers under Oracle's old pricing policy. Each T1 CPU contains eight cores. For Sun's UltraSparc T1, Oracle has dropped its pricing to .25 per core compared to the price of a single CPU license.

Oracle previously said it would count each dual-core CPU as 1.5 of a single processor and adjust its software license pricing accordingly. With its new pricing structure, Oracle will favor Sun Microsystems UltraSparc processors with lower pricing than Intel instruction set or IBM processors.

IBM, Oracle's archcompetitor for database sales, produces both mainframes and pSeries servers with its dual-core, Power series of chips. Each dual-core Power CPU will lead to a charge of .75 per core or a 1.5 multiplier of a single core license charge.

For AMD/Intel dual core processors, however, Oracle has dropped its pricing structure form .75 to .5 of its single core license charges.

Under the new pricing scheme, an IBM Power-based server containing eight cores (four dual-core CPUs) would result in a charge for six Oracle processor licenses (.75 times eight). An eight-core server produced by AMD or Intel (four dual-core CPUs) would result in a charge for four Oracle processor licenses (.50 times eight). A Sun UltraSparc T1 server (one eight-core CPU) would result in two processor licenses (.25 times eight).

"The new prices improve parity among hardware vendors and help ensure that customers receive the most advantageous pricing for their Oracle technology software, regardless of the hardware on which it is deployed," said a statement from Oracle on Dec. 19 as it revealed the new pricing structure.

Microsoft and other software vendors have said they will count a dual-core processor as a single CPU. Oracle continues to maintain a per-core rather than per-CPU pricing structure with its 25%, 50%, and 75% approach.

This story was modified on Dec. 20 to clarify pricing.

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