License Manager Oracle Cloud Infrastructure – OCI

Oracle License Manager Oracle Cloud OCI – Intro

License Manager for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was announced in May 2022. The license tool in OCI is an opt-in service that allows you to manage your Oracle software licenses if you use Oracle Bring Your Own licenses to OCI.

It has some benefits and some drawbacks that this article will tell you about. It is important to remember that it is mandatory, and Oracle customers have no obligation to opt-in at least not yet. 

It is important to note that with Oracle SaaS, including Oracle Fusion, all usage reports are accessible by Oracle sales teams. Any reports of Oracle OCI consumption with BYOL and this tool would be accessible to your account team.

How does License Manager for Oracle Cloud work with BYOL?

  • It allows you to use on-premise software licenses in Oracle Public Cloud (OCI) or Cloud@Customer. Suppose you have unused software licenses under active support. You can use this existing asset to obtain/purchase Oracle OCI services at a discount. 
  • See the picture below for details on how it works and what rates you pay. Pay attention that the different editions are unrelated to the number of CPUs. It relates to how many Oracle features you want to use. The more features of the Oracle database you want to use- the higher rate UC needs to pay.
  • If you own Enterprise Edition licenses, you can then use them for Oracle Cloud Service – Enterprise Edition. In the base Enterprise service. Oracle has included data masking, subsetting, diagnostic pack, and real application testing for free. These are all features on-premise that would require additional licenses outside of the Enterprise Edition license. Oracle says that if you bring your Enterprise Edition license to their cloud, you do not need to own on-premises licenses for those options, which is a benefit.
  • Suppose you are given Oracle Database Enterprise Edition and want to use partitioning. In that case, You will need to create an EE High-Performance instance and be required to have an Enterprise Edition license + Partitioning license. But Oracle currently has no checks over what licenses you own and is not mapping them to your Oracle Cloud Dashboard.
    This means you can accidentally deploy Oracle Database Enterprise Edition and use Partitioning (EE High Performance) without owning those licenses for on-premise. The end customer is responsible for ensuring you have the correct licenses for what you use in Oracle BYOL.
  • This is an Oracle license compliance issue that we have seen some of our clients experience. When using Oracle BYOL for OCI, you need first to understand the database options and features you are using and then start the appropriate instance. Simply taking an Oracle database from on-premise without knowing your full license position and moving it to Oracle BYOL is risky.
  • After choosing the instance/service type, you apply the pricing rates shown in the picture towards your annual commit agreement (if you have one), or you have Pay As You Go. (Pay Monthly at a higher rate)
  • Oracle BYOL works for both perpetual licenses and if you have Oracle ULA.
Oracle BYOL costs

Oracle, on May 26th, announced the LicenseManager service. The announcement attempts to ease concerns about licensing for Oracle BYOL on OCI. LM is an opt-in, free service that allows you to Bring your Own License on OCI. It has the following capabilities:

  • Automation of the licensing portability rules to Oracle Database products to OCI Database Service. This automates the software procurement and licensing process, and developers are responsible for infrastructure deployment. Developers don’t have to worry about visibility into their infrastructure to create BYOL Database resources such as Autonomous Database.
  • It allows for easy tracking of the license usage of Oracle Database products and third-party products from Compute resources. Customers can track Oracle and third-party licenses using one pane of glass on OCI.
  • Reporting of BYOL resources with licensing requirements done by e-mail. The license tool offers monitoring and email notifications regarding certain scenarios, such as oversubscriptions or tracking expiration dates.

What you need to do before Oracle BYOL or commit to annual Universal Cloud Credits. 

  1. In a licensing review, you need a complete understanding of what database options are used today and what has been used in the past. If you have used Advanced compression in the past but you are not using it today. You want to know this before you move to Oracle OCI using BYOL.
  2. If you have used products you don’t have a license for, you may face an Oracle audit.
  3. If you know what you are using for your on-premise databases, you can verify that the License tool for Oracle Cloud is routing your licenses correctly and that you are not paying a rate that is too high.
  4. You also want to conduct an Oracle licensing assessment. You may have free licenses for BYOL before committing to an Oracle Annual Commit agreement for Oracle Universal Cloud Credits. Otherwise, you simply pay too much for Oracle PaaS and IaaS services. By assessing your on-premises licenses, you can often optimize and free up licenses that can be used for BYOL and lower the cost of your Oracle OCI bill.

Our concerns about using this tool.

  • There is a reporting mechanism where you are notified about over-consumption. We didn’t see anything if Oracle Sales and Audit teams are notified or can find information about your Oracle license consumption. If you are using Oracle OCI a public cloud or cloud @ customer you can lock the database with an SSH key, so nobody except you can log in. This is not an option here.
  • Can you connect it to SAM tools? I assume it’s just a matter before software asset management tool vendors promote this feature.
  • What happens if you take a database from on-premise and move it to Oracle OCI – will Oracle then detect
    determine what Oracle database options are in use.
  • What if Oracle detects a wrong false positive? You will pay a higher BYOL rate.  What if that is detected? Will you get a refund?  We highly doubt that is the case.
  • There is a clear risk that you will over-pay by Oracle allocating your database to EE High Performance when it should not be an Enterprise Edition service.

What is good about this tool?

  • It is an attempt from Oracle to simplify license management and move from on-premise to OCI. It is better than manual ad-hoc reporting tools and can prevent some noncompliance.
  • If you take advantage of the License tool for Oracle Cloud, you must first be certain about what database options you are using in your database and review what instance type Oracle BYOL creates for you. If that has been done, we see that the tool can offer a GUI / Administrative tool to manage the movement of licenses from the Cloud to On-prem.
  • It may be useful for smaller Oracle customers with few Oracle environments and a lack of existing software asset management tools.

If you are considering using Oracle BYOL or the License tool for Oracle Cloud – We can help you evaluate these options and enable the use of this tool.  We see some benefits in this move, but you need to implement this safely and carefully.

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  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.

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