Sun GridEngine, now 100% less free

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Oracle logoOracle continues its drive to do away with Sun’s strategy of making money by adding value on top of open source tools provided free to the community. In fairness to Oracle it didn’t work all that well as a business model for Sun, which hemorrhaged money and never turned the strategy into any significant share of the HPC market. The latest victim is Sun’s popular job scheduling system, GridEngine.

This change actually happened back in June as far as we can tell, but it’s just popped up as a topic on various discussion boards. Randall Hand at Vizworld wrote up a nice summary of the change, which moves the free Sun GridEngine to the for-pay Oracle GridEngine plus a 90-day evaluation trial.

Oracle has “absorbed” Sun GridEngine internally and renamed it “Oracle GridEngine” (OGE) and placed it under a new license that restricts it to only 90-days of free usage in a “trial” arrangement.  From the 6.2U6 EULA:

As selected in your Entitlement, one or more of the following Permitted Uses will apply to your use of Software. Unless you have an Entitlement that expressly permits it, you may not use Software for any of the other Permitted Uses. If you don’t have an Entitlement, or if your Entitlement doesn’t cover additional software delivered to you, then such software is for your Evaluation Use.

(a) Evaluation Use. You may evaluate Software internally for a period of 90 days from your first use.

So HPC centers large and small using Sun GridEngine are going to have to start ponying up, or move to something else. Or both.


  1. I’m sorry Randall…story updated to include link. My oversight.

  2. Now do I go with a community fork, pay licensing fees, or switch queuing systems all together???

  3. We have a fork based on the original Sun Grid Engine (SGE 6.2u5) code called the “Open Grid Scheduler”, and it is 100% free (no non-opensource or commercial bits). It is maintained by the same group of non-Sun (non-Oracle) SGE developers who started contributing to SGE since 2001.

  4. Something wrong with that last comment, the website mentioned seems to embed CNN and has nothing to do with * Grid Engine.