Digital Media Saves Over $16M in Oracle Licenses Moving to Virtualized Environment

Learn how to overcome Oracle scare tactics when moving to a virtualized environment.

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Moving a physical server to a virtualized environment to increase performance

DCC operates online brands, provides social media platforms to support large company websites, and distributes digital content to different web venues. The organization used Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) on one dedicated physical server. They have eight processor licenses of OBIEE, which they use on a physical 2-socket, 8-core Dell server. OBIEE was the only application running on a physical server. As a result of their corporate standard, the company’s database and most of the other applications were running on virtual machines (VMs). However, the OBIEE’s single-server implementation did not provide high availability, causing DCC to establish internal Service Level Agreements (SLAs) of hours instead of minutes. The DCC engaged LicenseFortress to help them move the OBIEE physical server to a virtualized environment.


Oracle complicates the move by insisting more licensing is required for virtualized environment

Initially, DCC’s plan was simply to virtualize the Dell server, and the company didn’t anticipate any change to its Oracle license. The company had a 4-node, dedicated VMware® cluster running its Oracle databases and other applications. Each node consisted of a 4-socket, 8-core machine, 32 cores per host for a total of 128 cores. However, Oracle insisted that DCC needed to license the entire cluster to run OBIEE in a virtual environment. Consequently, this proposal added 56 new OBIEE licenses, which totaled $16.8M at the list price. However, the vendor is basing their talking points on company policy, not the contractual language itself. Their policies are designed to keep you in place and prevent you from leaving the vendor. A vendor’s policy isn’t enforceable, but contracts are.


LicenseFortress outlines a virtualized solution with ZERO new licenses

First, the LicenseFortress team focused on the Oracle licensing requirements and how much it could save the company by reducing the licenses required for a virtualized environment.

After, LicenseFortress inventoried and evaluated DCC’s Oracle OBIEE licenses to get a full understanding of the company’s IT environment and their plans to virtualize the OBIEE physical server. Based on this analysis, LicenseFortress virtualized the OBIEE application. Using VMware CPU Affinity, they locked the environment down to two sockets on one host – 16 cores in total – which required just eight licenses. As a result, since this was the same number of licenses DCC was using on the OBIEE physical server, the virtualized solution eliminated the need for new licenses.

Some virtualized benefits with no changes to licensing

Original Scenario

  • Virtualize the existing server (2-socket, 8-core = 8 processor licenses)
  • Some benefits of virtualization
  • No changes to license cost
Virtualized Environment

Oracle Fear Scenario

  • Virtualize application onto existing cluster with no workload restrictions
  • All virtualization benefits
  • A massive increase in cost (56 additional licenses = $16.8M)
Virtualized environment with no extra licensing requirements

LicenseFortress Scenario

  • Virtualize application onto existing cluster with CPU Affinity
  • Lots of virtualization benefits (HA, better SLAs)
  • No changes to licensing cost

The Customer Today

Joined the ArxPlatform

Now that DCC is in compliance, the ArxPlatform continues to monitor the OBIEE virtual environment by configuring proprietary monitoring tools into DCC’s IT environment. LicenseFortress performs a full internal assessment on a quarterly basis to identify any new risks to address before Oracle issues any formal notices. As a result, the DCC can view and monitor their inventory of license consumption, remediation plans, and quarterly compliance reports via its customer portal.

Cost Savings

With the ArxPlatform, DCC has realized significant benefits

Oracle licensing savings from moving to virtualized environment

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