Are You Paying Too Much for Database Support?

2 min read
Mar 5, 2013

Let’s face it: Upgrading your database to the latest and greatest release is not the top item on your VP of IT’s agenda. Even with all of the interesting features, improved stability, and enhanced security a new release can bring, a database upgrade is often perceived as a “have to do” project that can be put on hold and dealt with when necessary.

Notwithstanding all the new shiny features the latest release can provide, today I am going to put in dollars and cents the reasons why upgrading makes economical sense.

Take for example a typical modern production Oracle database:

  • Database size 1TB
  • Intel x86 server with 2 hexacore processors

Also assume you license the server as follows (list prices quoted):

  • Oracle Database Enterprise Edition – $47,000
  • Oracle Partitioning – $11,500
  • Oracle Diagnostics Pack – $5,000
  • Oracle Tuning Pack – $5,000

Standard annual fees for maintenance and support = $69,000 (sum of the above) * 12 (number of cores) * 0.5 (licensing multiplier for x86 CPUs) * 0.22 (22% of list price) = $91,080. That’s what you pay to have Oracle for product support and updates.

Oracle MS SQL Server VersionsOracle MS SQL Server VersionsNow let’s assume that regular support has ended for the version you are currently on, and you now need extended support. Extended support requires additional fees on top of standard maintenance and support.

In year 1, you will have to pay a  10% premium, while in year 2 and 3, a 20% premium on top of the standard annual support and maintenance fees. Total added cost for extended support for 3 years = $91,080 * 0.1 + $91,080 * 0.2 + $91,080 * 0.2 = $45,540.

Compare that with the cost of upgrading, which depending on the complexity of the project, will range from $10,000 – $15000. With IT budgets under pressure more than ever, it quickly becomes clear that there is no economical reason to stay on the current version of the database.

We have analyzed a large sample of databases under management and discovered some interesting numbers we want to share with you.

Where do you fit in this snapshot? Are you on the latest version of your database? Is your database about to require added support?  Are you overpaying for extended support? If so, maybe it’s time to seriously consider that upgrade project you’ve been delaying.

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