Licensing Oracle on AWS? A Word of Caution

Friday, 4 May, 2018

Exercise caution and be aware of the facts when it comes to Oracle licensing on AWS. Some licensing firms may suggest a recent policy announcement creates an opportunity, but we hold a different perspective – caveat emptor or “buyer beware.”

Understanding the Facts about Licensing Oracle on AWS

Let’s understand the facts about licensing Oracle on AWS. The Oracle Cloud Policy, also known as the “Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment” policy, outlines licensing guidelines but is not an inherent part of your contract. Relying solely on this policy for licensing is risky unless explicitly incorporated into your contract or an order document. If you incorporate it, please inform us to ensure we have the necessary information.

Extra Rights Granted by Oracle Cloud Policy for Amazon EC2, RDS, and Microsoft Azure

The Oracle Cloud Policy grants extra benefits for licensing in authorized cloud environments, including Amazon EC2, RDS, and Microsoft Azure. License your Oracle workloads in these environments based on virtual Central Processing Units (vCPUs), not underlying hosts. With hundreds of thousands of physical servers in these public clouds, this licensing approach is safe, low-risk, and fully protected by the LicenseFortress guarantee. You can confidently deploy your Oracle licenses without any risk, thanks to LicenseFortress, the industry’s only provider offering a financial guarantee.

However, keep two points of caution in mind:

  1. Ensure optimal utilization: Effectively use the vCPUs you’re paying for. Database servers often average 20% to 30% utilization. If paying based on vCPUs, consider multitenant options or running multiple instances on the same virtual machine (VM) to maximize your investment.
  2. Plan for licensing policy changes: On January 23, 2017, Oracle modified its cloud policy, doubling the cost of running in authorized environments. Have a contingency plan ready to migrate your Oracle workloads if the licensing policy undergoes further changes. Prepare for adjustments Oracle may make.

VMware Cloud on AWS Licensing Based on vCPU

Licensing based on vCPUs in the VMware Cloud on AWS environment is high-risk. We don’t recommend it or provide guaranteed coverage due to its nature.

Some claim that since Amazon declared VMware Cloud on AWS supported by EC2, it falls under the Oracle Cloud Policy guidelines. Remember, this policy isn’t a contractual agreement. Oracle retains control over licensing decisions for its software, independent of statements from third-party vendors. Many organizations have faced challenges with Oracle License Management Services (LMS) and VMware “soft partitioning” for licensing requirements.

When seeking advice, consider incentives. Who benefits if you engage in a battle with Oracle LMS? Who bears the financial burden? If advisors don’t back their advice with their financial support, seek advisors who will.

At LicenseFortress, we’re committed to maximizing the value of your Oracle investments. We aim to help you minimize costs and maintain business processes free from licensing confusion dictating decisions. LicenseFortress stands apart with the industry’s first and only guarantee.

If you need assistance, feel free to reach out to us.