Java licensing

Oracle Java Licensing on AWS – How to Calculate

Java licensing

Oracle Java Licensing on AWS – How to Calculate

Introduction Oracle Java Licensing on AWS

Grasping the nuances of Oracle Java licensing on AWS is vital for businesses aiming to maximize their software investments and maintain compliance.

This article provides a detailed overview of Oracle’s Java licensing policies on AWS, particularly for organizations operating under legacy metrics.

Oracle Java Licensing: A Brief Overview

Oracle Java Licensing on AWS - How to Calculate

Historical Context From 2019 to January 2023, Oracle sold Java SE based on processor and Named User Plus license metrics.

These metrics required businesses to calculate licenses based on the number of processors or named users.

Recent Changes In January 2023, Oracle introduced the employee license metric, replacing processor and Named User Plus licenses.

This new metric simplifies licensing, but existing customers can still negotiate to maintain their old license metrics.

Oracle Java Licensing on AWS

Current Licensing Model Oracle’s employee license metric is now the standard for Java licensing. However, legacy metrics still apply to customers with existing subscriptions or those who negotiate to keep the old terms.

Public Cloud Classification Oracle classifies AWS as a “public cloud,” allowing customers to calculate licenses per vCPU under legacy metrics.

With multithreading enabled, two vCPUs equal one Oracle processor license. This classification applies to all Oracle technology software products, including Java.

Calculating Java Licenses for AWS Instance Type m6a.2xlarge

Legacy Metric Calculation (For Existing Customers) For an AWS instance type m6a.2xlarge with eight vCPUs, licensing under legacy metrics involves the following steps:

  1. Identify the number of vCPUs (8 for m6a.2xlarge).
  2. Apply the multithreading rule: 2 vCPUs = 1 Oracle processor license.
  3. Calculate the required licenses: 8 vCPUs / 2 = 4 Oracle processor licenses.

New Employee Metric (Current Standard) Under the new employee metric, vCPU calculation is no longer necessary.

Businesses should apply the employee metric guidelines to determine the number of licenses needed for their AWS deployments.

Adapting to the Employee Metric

Understanding the Employee Metric The employee metric introduced by Oracle in January 2023 defines licensing based on the total number of employees within an organization.

This includes full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, contractors, and consultants with access to the software.

To determine the number of employee licenses needed, businesses must account for all individuals who could potentially use the software, regardless of actual usage.

Best Practices for Compliance To align with Oracle’s employee metric, businesses should:

  • Conduct a thorough audit to identify all employees, contractors, and consultants who require access to Oracle software.
  • Regularly update employee counts to reflect changes in staffing.
  • Transition smoothly from legacy metrics by planning and communicating changes to all stakeholders.

Implications for Businesses

Financial Impact Adopting the employee metric can have significant financial implications. Businesses must consider the cost of licensing all employees versus the legacy metrics based on processors or named users.

This shift may result in higher costs for organizations with large workforces, but it can simplify budgeting and compliance.

Comparing legacy and employee metrics costs will help businesses make informed decisions about their licensing strategies.

Operational Adjustments Transitioning to the employee metric requires operational adjustments, including:

  • Updating licensing management processes to accommodate the new metric.
  • Ensuring all departments are aware of and comply with the new licensing requirements.
  • Implementing systems to track employee access and usage accurately.
  • Training staff responsible for licensing to understand and manage the employee metric effectively.

Ensuring compliance during and after the transition is crucial to avoid potential fines and ensure the organization remains in good standing with Oracle.


What is Oracle Java Licensing on AWS? Oracle Java Licensing on AWS involves understanding and applying Oracle’s licensing policies for Java deployments on Amazon Web Services.

How did Oracle’s Java licensing change in January 2023? Oracle introduced an employee license metric, replacing the previous processor and Named User Plus license metrics.

Can existing customers still use legacy metrics? Existing customers with current subscriptions may renew and maintain their old license metrics, such as processor and Named User Plus licenses.

How does the employee license metric work? It is based on the total number of employees, contractors, and consultants who have access to Oracle software, regardless of actual usage.

What defines a public cloud in Oracle’s licensing terms? Oracle classifies AWS and other major cloud providers as public clouds, allowing licensing calculations based on vCPUs for legacy metrics.

How do legacy metrics apply to AWS deployments? Under legacy metrics, two vCPUs equate to one Oracle processor license if multithreading is enabled, which applies to all Oracle technology software products, including Java.

Why is the vCPU calculation irrelevant under the employee metric? The employee metric focuses on the number of employees rather than technical specifications like vCPUs, making vCPU calculations unnecessary.

What is the significance of AWS instance type m6a.2xlarge for Oracle licensing? An AWS instance type m6a.2xlarge for legacy metrics with eight vCPUs would require four Oracle processor licenses, assuming multithreading is enabled.

How can businesses transition from legacy metrics to employee metrics? They should conduct thorough audits, update employee counts regularly, and leverage Oracle’s tools and resources to ensure compliance.

What are the cost implications of the employee metric? While it can result in higher costs for organizations with large workforces, it simplifies budgeting and compliance compared to legacy metrics.

What operational adjustments are necessary for the employee metric? Businesses must update licensing management processes, ensure department compliance, track employee access and usage, and train staff on the new metric.

How can businesses ensure compliance with Oracle’s licensing policies? Regular audits, accurate tracking of employee access, and adherence to Oracle’s guidelines are essential.

What strategies can businesses use to manage Oracle Java licensing on AWS? Businesses should align licensing with their IT environment needs, negotiate terms with Oracle, and consider legacy and employee metrics for optimal compliance and cost management.

Why is it important to understand Oracle’s licensing policies on AWS? Understanding these policies helps businesses avoid non-compliance, manage costs effectively, and ensure they are correctly licensed for their Java deployments on AWS.

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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, improving organizational efficiency.

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