Oracle ULA

Navigating the Oracle ULA Exit – Six Pitfalls to Sidestep

Navigating the Oracle Unlimited License Agreements (ULAs) can be complex, especially when exiting these contracts.

Many companies unwittingly fall into traps that could have been avoided with the proper knowledge and strategy.

This article will explore six common mistakes companies make during the Oracle ULA exit process and recommend how to avoid them.

1. Unawareness of Oracle ULA’s Audit Inclusion

Many companies are unaware that the Oracle ULA certification process includes a license audit. Oracle will perform a “stealth” audit at the end of your Oracle ULA.

They will demand that you run their data measurement/audit tools. These tools will see what is in use today and what has been used in the past.

Recommended Action:

Perform your licensing review to provide yourself with maximum flexibility and a multitude of options to choose from.

You want to be in control of how to resolve your Oracle ULA licensing risks. Relying on a SAM tool would be a big mistake; you must use Oracle LMS-style scripts to reach your licensing position.

2. Erroneous Deployment of Oracle ULA Software in Third-Party Clouds

Companies have mistakenly deployed Oracle ULA software in a third-party cloud such as AWS/Azure/Google. While in an Oracle ULA, you can freely deploy the Oracle ULA software in any third-party cloud provider if the cloud zone is placed within your territory deployment rights.


Review your certification clause describing your rights to count cloud deployments towards your Oracle ULA exit quantities. Suppose your contract does not allow you to count cloud deployment to your certification.

In that case, you need to make sure your Oracle ULA deployments are done on-premise or that you only have temporary deployments in the cloud.

3. Underutilization of Oracle’s Licensing Policy for Virtualization

Oracle licensing policy/rules around virtualization are often challenging to understand. But the Oracle licensing policy can be used to your advantage in an Oracle ULA.

When exiting your Oracle ULA, Oracle will sometimes try dirty tricks to say that you cannot count licenses per their licensing policies.


Deploy as much Oracle SW as you can in virtualized environments. That will boost your Oracle ULA numbers. Oracle might say you cannot count it all to your exit numbers; simply ignore what Oracle says; in the end, they will accept your deployment data.

4. Misconception about Oracle Support Costs Post-ULA

Companies often incorrectly believe that support costs will increase once they exit their Oracle ULA. When your Oracle ULA expires, you are contractually obliged to provide Oracle with certification/deployment numbers.

Many believe that support will be recalculated based on your deployment numbers. This is wrong; support fees will not increase based on your exit quantities.


When you have signed an Oracle ULA, anyone deploying Oracle Software must understand how the Oracle ULA agreement works.

From a compliance perspective, it is also important to explain which products are part of the Oracle ULA and which products often cause compliance issues.

5. Failure to Maximize Current Oracle ULA Investment

When I used to work at Oracle, it was not typical for Oracle ULA customers to approach me and ask for extensions of their Oracle ULA. A common reason for asking for the extension was often because they had not deployed SW at the pace they initially expected.


If you are in an Oracle ULA and have 1000 processors of Oracle Software. Your goal should be to maximize deployments to reach 1500 or even 2000 processor licenses.

Maximizing deployment numbers will minimize the risk of buying additional licenses from Oracle in the future.

Once the ULA is certified by Oracle, you can often consolidate up to 50% of all your licenses and create a large license buffer. That license buffer can also serve as protection against future license gaps.

6. Expecting Oracle to Treat Them Fairly

Are there any companies left that trust Oracle LMS/Sales to do the right thing? Oracle has burned so many bridges with its customer base that there cannot be many who trust Oracle to treat them fairly and give them a good deal.

First, Oracle ULAs pricing is not transparent; there is no Oracle ULA price list. ULA pricing is not based on your annual Oracle spend or the size of your company. Price is “made up” Oracle usually have different methods of coming up with a price for your Oracle ULA.

Recommended action:

Choose option 2 for Oracle ULA certification; it might arguably produce the most significant ROI of any IT project your company runs this year.

In conclusion, navigating the Oracle ULA exit process can be complex and fraught with potential pitfalls. However, with the right knowledge and strategy, you can avoid common mistakes and ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Always conduct your licensing review, understand Oracle’s licensing policy, maximize your current Oracle ULA investment, and approach negotiations with Oracle with a clear understanding of your position and budget.


  • 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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