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I often get asked about how Cloudera counts a node, core or CCU and wanted to bring together some resources to help answer these questions.

The first resource to consider is our pricing and licensing FAQ/ Updates. Please review this as it is regularly maintained as we receive inbound suggestions and provide clarifications.


Pricing update

We also provide a formal policy on metric which is captured here, this represents the formal definition of CCU, Nodes and cores. Cloudera Licensed Metrics 


Cloudera Compute Unit (CCU)
The link above defines in some detail what variable compute and storage is and the use of the CCU term. I will not duplicate those details here. CCU is simply a unit of measure and I will defer to the updated document as the unit of measure definition can change as pricing policies change.



Generally, we determine the number of nodes based on the count returned in Cloudera Manager.
Under Administration > License, the number of nodes is listed and all nodes counted need to be covered by the license.

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Is there a license cost implication if we upgrade the hardware on CM host node to a larger sized machine ? I mean , move from 1 to 2 CPUs ?



Adding an additional CPU, may have license cost implications.

A node (such as your CM host) can have upto 16 CCUs.  
A CCU is the total number of CPU cores / 6.

So if the cores are reported across all installed CPUs in a node as 96 or less then no core based variable cost would be incurred.

Note:  Generally you take the total cores / memory across the whole cluster as part of the calculation so this provides some flexibility when adding a CPU to a single server.