License Manager for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure was announced on May 26th. It is a opt-in service that allows you to manage your Oracle software licenses if you are using Oracle Bring Your Own licenses to OCI. License manager for 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 accessable by Oracle sales teams. This means that any reports of Oracle OCI consumption with BYOL and this tool would be accessable by your account team.
How does Oracle Bring Your Own license work?
It allows you to use on premise software licenses in Oracle Public Cloud (OCI) or Cloud@Customer. If you have unused software licenses under active support. You can use this existing asset to obtain / purchase Oracle OCI services at discount. See the picture below for details on how it works and what rates you pay. Pay attention that the different editions is not related to number of OCPUs. The it relates to how many Oracle features you want to use. The more features of Oracle databse you want to use- the higher rate UC need to pay.
If you owned Enterprise Edition licenses you can then use them for Oracle Cloud Service – Enterprise Edition. In the base Enterprise service. Oracle has for free included data masking, subsetting, diagnostic pack and real application testing. These are all features that on-premise 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, A benefit.
If you gave Oracle Database Enterprise Edition and want to use Partitioning. You will need to create an EE High Performance instance and you would be required to have an Enterprise Edition license + Partitioning license. But Oracle has currently no checks over what licenses you own and are not mapping them to your Oracle Cloud Dashboard. Which means you can accidentially deploy Oracle Database Enterprise Edition and use Partitioning (EE High Performance) without owning those licenses for on premise. Its the end customer responsibility to make sure you have the correct licenses for what you are using in Oracle BYOL.
This is a Oracle license compliance issue that we have seen some of our clients experience. When using Oracle BYOL for OCI you need to first understand which are the database options and features that you are using and then start the appropiate instance. Simply taking an Oracle database from on premise without knowing your full license position and moving it to Oracle BYOL is risky to say the least.
After you have choosen the instance/service type. You then apply the pricing rates as showned 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 on May 26th announced the LicenseManager service. The announcment attempt to ease concerns you may have about licensing for Oracle BYOL on OCI. License Manager 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, as well as developers responsible for infrastructure deployment. Developers don’t have to worry about visibility into their infrastructure in order 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. License Manager offers monitoring and email notifications regarding certain scenarios, such oversubscriptions or tracking expiration dates.
What you need to do before Oracle BYOL or commit to annual Universal Cloud Credits.
A licensing review, you need a full understanding of what database options are used today but 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 be aware of this before you move to Oracle OCI using BYOL.
If you have used products you dont have a license for you may face an Oracle audit.
If you do know what you are using for your on premise databases you can then verify that License Manager for Oracle Cloud is routing your licenses correctly and that you are not paying a rate which is too high.
You also want to conduct an Oracle licensing assessment as you may have free licenses available for BYOL before commiting to an Oracle Annual Commit agreement for Oracle Universal Cloud Credits. Otherwise you are simply paying too much for Oracle PaaS and IaaS services. By also 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 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 either public cloud or cloud @ customer you can lock the database with an SSH key so nobody excepts you can login. This is clearly not the option here.
Can you connect it to SAM tools? I would assume its just a matter of time, before software asset management tool vendors will promote this feature.
What happens if you take a database from on-premise and you move it to Oracle OCI – will Oracle then detect determine what Oracle database options are in use?
What if Oracle detects wrong false positive, you will pay a higher BYOL rate? What if that is detected, will you 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 clearly an attempt from Oracle to simplify license management and moving from on-premise to OCI. It is better than manual ad-hoc reporting tools and can prevent some non compliant.
If you are going to take advantage of License manager for Oracle Cloud, you must first certain about what database options you are using in your database and review what instance type that Oracle BYOL creates for you. If that has been done, we see that the tool can offer an GUI / Administrative tool to manage the movement of licenses from Cloud to On-prem.
It may be useful for smaller Oracle customers that have very few Oracle environments and lack existing software asset management tools.
If you are considering using Oracle BYOL or License manager for Oracle Cloud – We can help you help you evaulate these options and enable the use of this tool. We see some benefits in this move, but you need to be implement this in a safe and careful way.
Contact us – if you want to learn more about our services how we help Oracle customers with OCI , Bring Your Own License and License manager for OCI.