SE2 – Some questions, some answers …

Oracle Standard Edition SE2 12.1.0.2*** Updated on Nov 6  to reflect 11.2.0.4 changes***

There were a lot of questions regarding Oracle Database Standard Edition 12.1.0.2 SE2 in the past days. See below for further blog posts on SE2.

And please find the official Oracle SE2 “brief” document here giving you a good overview on SE2:
http://www.oracle.com/us/products/database/oracle-db-se2-brief-2680836.pdf

I’ll try to summarize some topics I’m able to answer by myself. And please don’t expect me to assist with license or license migration questions – that is far beyond my scope or knowledge or responsibility, and you may please contact your Oracle sales person regarding these topics instead.

Please find all our articles about Oracle Database Standard Edition 12.1.0.2 SE2:

Software and Support 

  • Q:
    How long will Premier Support offered for Oracle Database Standard Edition 12.1.0.1 SE and SE1?
  • A:
    Premier Support for Oracle Database Standard Edition 12.1.0.1 SE and SE1 will continue until Aug 31, 2016. After this date (as of Sep 1, 2016) Oracle 12.1.0.1 SE/SE1 will enter Sustaining Support.
    .
  • Q:
    Will there be Extended Support offered for Oracle Database Standard Edition 12.1.0.1 SE and SE1?
  • A:
    No. Extended Support for 12.1 SE and SE1 is not offered. The Lifetime
    Support Policy
    document has been updated to reflect this.
    .
  • Q:
    Is the extension of the Waived Extended Support and the Paid Extended Support for Oracle 11.2.0.4 valid for SE and SE1 as well?
  • A:
    Yes, it is – there’s actually no distinction (as far as I know) between support periods for SE, SE1 and EE.
    .
  • Q:
    Are there plans to release Oracle 12.1.0.2 SE/SE1?
  • A:
    Oracle Standard Edition 12.1.0.2 will be offered as SE2 only.
    .
  • Q:
    Is hard partitioning allowed with SE2?
  • A:
    Yes, it is as long as there are no more that 2 physical sockets in the server and you are using a supported hard partitioning software to bind a VM to a specific CPU. SE2 is not allowed to run on servers with more than 2 sockets.
    For an explanation and a list of supported hard partitioning technologies please see here:
    http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/partitioning-070609.pdf
    .
  • Q:
    Is Oracle Multitenant available with SE2?
  • A:
    Oracle Multitenant is an Oracle Enterprise Edition only license. But you can have Oracle Single Tenant with many benefits meaning you’ll have one pluggable database within one container database. Features such as remote cloning will be fully supported. See: https://blogs.oracle.com/UPGRADE/entry/can_you_have_oracle_multitenant
    .
  • Q:
    Can we move PDB from SE2 Single Tenant to a EE Single/Multitenant database? 
  • A:
    Yes, of course – this is fully supported.
    .

Database Installation and Patching

  • Q:
    Can I install Oracle Standard Edition 12.1.0.2 SE2 into the existing home (in-place)?
  • A:
    Yes, this is possible even though I would never recommend to do this for the simple reason that wiping out your current home will increase the potential downtime and cause you plenty of extra work in case of fallback. If you still want to install for whatever reason into the existing home there’s no change in handling to any other Oracle release since Oracle 11.2.0.1:
    https://blogs.oracle.com/UPGRADE/entry/why_is_every_patchset_now
    .
  • Q:
    Which PSU should I apply on top of the releases Oracle Database Standard Edition 12.1.0.2 SE2 installation?
  • A:
    Take the same PSU as you would take for an EE database – there’s no difference and there won’t be specific PSUs (or SPU/CPUs or BPs) released for SE2. Check out MOS Note:1683799.1 (12.1.0.2 Patch Set – Availability and Known Issues) for the most recent recommended PSU
    .
  • Q:
    Is RAC (Real Application Clusters) still included in SE2?
  • A:
    Yes it is – limited to 2 nodes, and each node must be a single-socket server. See above: there’s the possibility to either remove a CPU physically – or hard partitioning with a supported virtualization solution such as OVM.
    .
  • Q:
    I would like to use SE2 with RAC. Which Grid Infrastructure will I need to download?
  • A:
    When deploying a SE2 RAC Cluster please download the regular Oracle Grid Infrastructure (GI) packages from the official download locations (OTN, MOS, eDelivery). There’s no separate download for an SE2 GI.
    ,
  • Q:
    Can I install/use SE2 on a 4-socket server?
  • A:
    No – SE2 is limited to be deployed on 2-socket servers only. And physically removing 2 CPUs from a 4-socket-machine does not satisfy the license agreement. For further clarification and an official Oracle guide please see the Oracle Software Investment Guide, page 11 (or search for “Standard Edition”) to find the exact definition and details.
    .
  • Q: 
    Can I deploy more than one SE2 database on a server?
  • A:
    Yes, of course you can.

Database Upgrade

  • Q:
    I want to upgrade from Oracle 12.1.0.1 SE/SE1 to Oracle 12.1.0.2 SE2. Is there any specific procedure or tool to use?
  • A:
    Upgrade works exactly as expected. There’s no difference for SE2 compared to the upgrade procedure from Oracle 12.1.0.1 EE to Oracle 12.1.0.2 EE.
    .
  • Q:
    I would like to upgrade from Oracle 12.1.0.1 SE/SE1 to Oracle 12.1.0.2 EE. Is there any specific procedure or tool to use?
  • A:
    Upgrade is always the same procedure, regardless of SE, SE1, SE2 or EE. But if you’ll convert from SE/1/2 to EE please follow the advises in MOS Note:2046103.1 (How to Convert Oracle Database 12c from Standard to
    Enterprise Edition ?)
    .

Other topics

  • Q:
    Does the thread limitation in SE2 (16 in single instance mode, 8 per node in RAC mode) include background processes?
  • A:
    No, background processes such as LGWR or PMON are not included in this limitation.
    .
  • Q:
    Is the thread limitation valid across all instances on the same server?
  • A:
    No, the limit is enforced per database instance and not per server.
    .
  • Q:
    Does the thread limitation happen based on number of OS threads or CPU threads?
  • A:
    Actually the use of the term “threads” may be a bit misleading. Please have a look into the documentation about Instance Caging. That will explain how the thread limitation will be enforced. Views to monitor the resource usage are: V$RSRC_CONSUMER_GROUPV$RSRCMGRMETRIC and V$RSRCMGRMETRIC_HISTORY.
    .
  • Q:
    How do I get an idea how many threads I’m using right now?
  • A:
    First of all your OS displays how many OS threads it offers right now.
    Either check the Windows task manager:

    .
    or on Unix use “top” and press “1“:

    .
    In these examples you’ll see that the OS can handle a maximum of 16 (Win) or 4 (Linux) threads in parallel. That means you can’t hit the thread limitation per single instance database.
    If your OS displays more than 16 threads then you may check some calculation advice given in the following blog post (and please see also the Comments section below):
    http://www.redstk.com/current-thread-count-for-your-standard-edition-oracle-databases/
    .
  • Q:
    Is there a core limitation for the hardware SE2 is installed on?
  • A:
    No, the box you’ll use Oracle SE2 on can have as many cores as the CPUs offer. But there’s a socket limitation of a maximum of 2 physical sockets. But the most modern CPUs can present 36 cores to SE2 on a 2-socket machine.
    .
  • Q:
    Can I disable Hyper Threading to present more “real” threads to the database?
  • A:
    Yes, this is possible but the effect may not be huge.
    .
  • Q:
    Can I license any options/packs with SE2 such as Diagnostics or Tuning Packs?
    A:
    Unfortunately you can’t license any additional packs or options with SE2. You will have to rely on things such as PERFSTAT and similar tools.

 

–Mike
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