Java licensing

Oracle Java Licensing Virtual Machine – An In-Depth Guide

Introduction to Oracle Java Licensing Virtual Machine

Understanding Oracle’s Java licensing policies, particularly in the context of virtual machines, is crucial for businesses to avoid compliance issues and optimize their software investments.

This article will delve into Oracle’s Java licensing policies before and after January 2023, providing a clear understanding of how these policies impact your virtual machine deployments.

Oracle Java Licensing Pre-January 2023

Before January 2023, Oracle’s Java licensing was based on Named User Plus and Processor.

During this period, businesses needed to follow a specific process to calculate their licensing requirements for Java deployments on virtual machines:

  1. Identify the Virtualization Technology: The first step was identifying which virtualization technology Java was deployed upon. This could be a variety of technologies, including VMware, Hyper-V, or Oracle’s VM Server.
  2. Determine the Type of Partitioning: Next, businesses needed to determine if the virtualization technology was considered soft or hard partitioning according to Oracle’s license policy. This distinction was crucial as it impacted how Oracle calculated the licensing requirements.
  3. Calculate Licensing Requirements: Finally, businesses must calculate their licensing requirements based on Oracle’s calculations. These calculations could be per server, cluster, or the entire virtualized environment, depending on the specifics of the deployment and Oracle’s policy.

Oracle Java Licensing Post-January 2023

After January 2023, Oracle introduced a new employee license metric, significantly simplifying the licensing process for Java deployments on virtual machines. With this new metric, businesses no longer need to consider the type of virtualization technology used, as licensing is done per “employee”.

The only consideration under this new metric is if your virtual environment has more than 50,000 Oracle processors. If so, you must negotiate a different license right with Oracle.


Oracle’s shift from Named User Plus and Processor licensing to an employee license metric has significantly simplified the process of licensing Java deployments on virtual machines. However, you may need to pay more in Java licensing fees.

However, understanding these changes and how they impact your business is crucial to ensure compliance and optimize your Oracle software investments. Always consult a licensing expert to ensure you fully comply with your Java licensing obligations.


  • 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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