10 years ago

5 Costly Mistakes in Oracle Licensing

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Learn from your mistakes to get better.
To the complete newbies, Oracle licensing can be very nerve wracking and complicated.  It is like treading a field not knowing when you’d set off a mine.  A mistake in Oracle licensing can prove to be very costly.

There are five common mistakes that even IT professionals and purchasing officers usually make when thinking about Oracle licensing.  These mistakes are costly, but knowing about them now helps you avoid blunders in the future.

What are these fatal and costly mistakes?

  1. Not licensing disaster recovery solutions right.  There are simply a lot of things to consider when it comes to disaster recovery.  One of the most common mistakes is mixing metrics.  Most companies make the error of using processors as a metric for the primary server or site and then using named user plus licenses for the back up servers.  You may think you are saving money, but you are simply not adequately licensing your Oracle.  Instead, you should use processor metrics for your backup sites if you are using processor for your primary site. Management packs and options need to be duly licensed as well. In general, if your primary and backup sites have the same SAN, then you should only license your primary site.  You would not run afoul with Oracle as long as the secondary site is used as a failover for less than 10 days a year.  But a mirror or a standby site should be duly licensed.
  1. Not understanding the license minimums resulting in incorrect number of named user plus licenses being bought.  There are Oracle products that require you to purchase a minimum number of licenses to buy.  For example, you would need at least 20 Named User Plus for every licensable processor when you license Oracle Database Enterprise Edition. From that statement alone, you would need to know what a “licensable processor” means and how many of these you have on your system.  So even if you only have three users, you may need much more licenses than that.
  1. Blindly virtualizing.  If you are licensing Oracle software on VMware, then you should fully know and understand the implications of virtualization.  Server partitioning is very befuddling because you are essentially limiting the processor resource that a program may use and has nothing to do with Oracle Database.  Oracle categorizes server partitioning as soft and hard partitioning.  Oracle does not accept soft partitioning alone. Oracle categorizes VMware as soft partitioning, which opens you to a lot of issues as far as licensing Oracle on VMware is concerned.  Licensing in this case would depend on a lot of factors, including your VCenter setup, clusters, the storage and the virtual machines. What’s worse, you can’t trust VMware’s guidelines on how to license Oracle on their platform because Oracle does not approve of these guidelines and you can find yourself defending every move during license audit.
  1. Not licensing your non-production environments. You would need to license your test environments, pre-production environments and development environments, AND NOT JUST your production environments.  You can also check if an Oracle Technology Network license is available for the software that you use in your non-production environments. However, you need to fully understand what these licenses cover and what it doesn’t.
  1. Options for database that are installed in Oracle Enterprise Manager when they are not purchased.  This is a bit tricky because your administrators might be installing these options as part of the normal installation.  Either that or they think that these options are already bought.  Or you may not be using the options that you need.  To get around this, you would need to know what types of databases are in your system and you would need to know that you have the right management packs and options you need.  This way you would not be overpaying for licenses that you would not use or benefit from.

There is only one way to ensure that you are in compliance with Oracle’s complex licensing rules, and that is to call Four Cornerstone. Contact us now!

Photo courtesy of opensource.com from Flickr.

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