Oracle licensing is a complex subject, as anyone who has a large Oracle estate will attest to. Staying on top of the various rules and policies is a full-time job itself. Ensuring you are compliant and equally not overspending on licensing and support is a key consideration for any company that has Oracle technology deployed in their business. And, of course, there is always the constant threat of an official audit potentially just around the corner…
Here at DSP, we are not only experts in all things on-premise Oracle licensing, but we have extensive skills in assisting clients in migrating to Oracle’s own public cloud offering - Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). There are many benefits in migrating to a public cloud platform, and these are often specific to a client’s own scenario. But, as we are migrating more and more Oracle workloads to OCI, we are seeing some key commercial benefits regularly. So, we felt it was a good opportunity to document these to make them available for a wider audience.
When migrating to OCI, and in particular deploying PaaS services such as Database Cloud Service (Standard or Enterprise), we highly recommend deploying the License Included model. This rolls the Database licensing into the subscriptions for the actual infrastructure. As the licenses are tied to the size of the instance you have deployed, for example, 4 OCPUs, then you can never deploy more resources without automatically paying for the license as part of that. Therefore, it takes away the chance of not having sufficient licenses for an on-premise server.
In the past, we have seen customers deploying Oracle Enterprise Edition options by mistake, often due to the Oracle Database installation process. Over the years, we have seen Tuning & Diagnostics, Partitioning, Advanced Security, Advanced Data Guard, and the list goes on, in error… The customer has often used the software unwittingly, as it was thought it was part of the standard functionality of Enterprise Edition, and they were unaware of the need for a license for that functionality. Again, using the OCI PaaS License Included takes this away, as you can only physically use Enterprise Options that are deployed and paid for as you consume.
Understanding your legacy support contracts and having the flexibility to cancel unused licenses without negatively impacting your annual support bill is an issue often raised by clients. As the Oracle cloud models with License Included also include support services, there is often no need to maintain expensive and confusing legacy support contracts for old on-premise systems as you migrate to OCI.
As most people know, Oracle has specific rules concerning licensing in virtualised environments, specifically VMware. Where clients deploy in a large, virtualised estate, using what Oracle terms ‘Soft Partitioning’, you, in effect, have to license the complete physical environment, even though you are only using certain resources for Oracle. By deploying in OCI, you deploy and consume based on the hardware requirements for your database performance, so you are only licensing and paying for the resources you need – and not the wider server/cluster because of the Oracle partitioning rules.
Oracle has specific rules around DR; unless the DR server is not live for more than 10 days a year, it means you have to buy licenses for that second server. DSP has experience in architecting DR solutions in OCI that give you the highest levels of resilience but also allow you to pay minimal costs for having a DR server available and then allowing scale-up of resources on demand as the situation dictates. This removes the need for expensive on-premise licenses for that DR environment – pay for what you use!
Should you wish to discuss the above options in more detail or have a specific scenario you would like to technically and commercially model, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or you can check out our Oracle licensing pages for more information.