Oracle Licensing - OSWOUG May Presentation

Ask any Oracle customer to explain Oracle’s licensing policies and you will probably get a blank stare.  Occasionally you will find someone who understands some of it, but usually they have just scratched the surface.  Just look at all the different ways that Oracle licenses their products.  Named User, Processor, Employee, Employee User, Non-Employee user, Connector, Developer, Concurrent User, Developer, Cost of Goods Sold are just a few.  You can find a complete list of current Oracle licensing metrics in the OLSA, starting on page 5.

          Now take it one step farther.  Think about how many times Oracle has changed the way that they license products over the past 15 years.  Take a relatively simple product like Database.  Today you can license it by either Named Users Plus, or by Processor (Don’t forget that Processors have a core multiplier depending on what chip set is being used).  These are two relatively simple metrics.  Remember when they were licensed by UPU’s (Universal Power Units), or Concurrent Devices, or Concurrent Users?  If your organization has been buying Oracle for the past 15 years, then you probably own 3 different licensing metrics for database alone.  If you have any of these old licenses, how do you know if you are still compliant with Oracle’s licensing policies?  Is there such a thing as license migration to get on the current licensing metrics?  Yes, and Oracle recommends it without exception.  But, is it in the best interest of the customer?

          What about new purchases?  How do you determine what the best, cheapest configuration for your organization?  Do you rely on the Oracle sales team?  Database is the perfect example again.  Consider 2cpu/4 core Dell box for Production, with the same configuration for Test and Development environments.  I will show how to license this configuration in multiple different ways.  What if you want to RAC boxes together, or add Partitioning.  I will demonstrate how to best license these add-on products.

Compliance issues will also be discussed in the presentation.  Oracle likes to send their Audit team out to visit customers.  Why?  Because they almost always come back with findings that show the customer is out of compliance.  At that point the customer does not have any negotiation leverage, so they usually pay close to full price to bring themselves back into compliance.  It is easy to determine compliance with just a couple simple spreadsheets.

How do you know if you are getting the best deal on your Oracle licenses?  What is a fair discount level?  Am I affected by User Minimums?  What about Processor licenses?  What is my core factor multiplier?  Do I need full use licenses, Application Specific Licenses, Limited Use licenses?  How do I license a DR site, or Test and Dev environments?  Can I de-support old licenses?  What about these Unlimited License Agreements (ULA’s)?  When is the best time to buy licenses?

I will answer these questions in the presentation.  There will also be a question and answer session to address specific areas of concern at the end of the presentation.