Experts: Oracle database option price hikes no accident

Oracle's decision to hike the price of some add-ons for its flagship database by about 40 percent was far from a random act, since the modules are crucial to getting the database to perform at the highest level, a pair of experts said Friday.

An official dated July 1 states that processor licenses for Oracle's database and tuning packs, as well as a database configuration management pack, are now US$5,000, up from $3,500 listed on a December 2008 price list.

The first two products help database administrators pinpoint and fix performance issues. The third tool is used for tasks such as monitoring database configuration changes and ensuring policy .

"With every version of [Oracle's database], the dependency [on these products] has become greater and greater" due to increased complexity in customer environments, said Eliot Arlo Colon, president of Miro Consulting, a New Jersey company that advises customers on Oracle software license negotiations.

Not using the modules "is like giving someone a powerful engine, but not giving them the high-octane fuel to go with it," he said.

It was "a brilliant move" by Oracle to keep enterprise-edition database licenses at US$47,500 per CPU but hike prices on the add-ons, since they will become virtually indispensable over time, Colon added.