Database giant Oracle Corporation announced this week that it is backing off its multicore licensing scheme, and move more towards the industry mainstream. Mulitcore chips essentially pack more than one processor on a chip, causing havoc for pricing models that historically were “per processor.” Most companies are treating the multiprocessor cores as a single processor for licensing purposes. Oracle had tried to hold out, then went to a “comedy of fractions” approach, which treated each core as three quarters of a processor, which is probably about right from a technical perspective. The new model treats each core as half a chip (or in some cases a quarter), meaning a dual core chip counts as one processor, which is the whole thing they were hoping to avoid.
They really didn’t have much choice, however. You could argue that intelligent industry pricing policies could have maintained the status quo, but with shrinking tech spending and heavy consolidation the software industry, the temptation to break ranks is just too great.