oracle azure

Oracle Licensing on Azure – The Most Comphrensive Guide 2024

Oracle licensing on Azure operates as follows:

  • Recognizes Azure as an authorized public cloud platform.
  • Licensing is based on the number of virtual CPUs (vCPUs) used.
  • Two vCPUs count as one processor license if multi-threading is enabled.
  • Offers the option to reduce license needs using constrained vCPU.
  • Requires careful compliance to avoid audit risks and additional costs.
  • Supports both Oracle Database and WebLogic Server licensing.

Oracle Licensing on Azure

Oracle licensing on Azure - Licensing Database and Weblogic

If you use Oracle in your Azure environment, you must know how to bring your Oracle license.

The Oracle cloud licensing policy guides you in importing your Oracle license into the cloud.

However, it does not mention whether Oracle approves other cloud vendors.

If you use non-approved cloud environments, you must follow your Oracle license terms to avoid possible problems.

How does Oracle Licensing Azure Work?

How does Oracle Licensing Azure Work?

In its policy document, Oracle has defined Microsoft Azure as an authorized public cloud platform for licensing Oracle software in the public cloud.

This means that Oracle is applying a unique licensing model that allows you to count vCPUs and not use the Processor core factor table for on-premise licensing.

How do you calculate Oracle Azure Licensing?

oracle licensing azure

You need to calculate the number of vCPUs you deploy the Oracle software upon. 2x vCPU count as one processor license if multi-threading is enabled.

For example, if you deploy Oracle Database Enterprise Edition on an 8x vCPU instance – you will need to license that environment with four processor licenses.

oracle on azure

Some examples, 

If you run Oracle Database Enterprise Edition in Azure, with multi-threading enabled:

  • Two vCPU = 1 processor license from Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.
  • Four vCPU = 2 processor licenses of Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.
  • Eight vCPU = 4 processor licenses of Oracle Database Enterprise edition
  • Sixteen vCPU = 8 processor licenses of Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.
oracle licensing on azure

If you want to license Oracle Database Standard Edition 2

  • Two vCPU = 1 processor of Oracle Database Standard Edition 2
  • Four vCPU = 1 processor of Oracle Database Standard Edition 2
  • Eight vCPU = 2 processors of Oracle Database Standard Edition 2

You may not run Standard Edition 2 on more than eight vCPU instances. If you do, you need to license the enterprise edition.

Oracle licensing on Azure - Licensing Database and Weblogic

What are the benefits of licensing Oracle on Azure?

Common Oracle licensing problems on Azure

  • Review your territory clause in your Oracle Ordering Document. Are you allowed to deploy Oracle, where the Azure region is located?
  • Review your licensing agreement for any other restrictions preventing you from deploying in Microsoft Azure.
  • Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 can only be licensed on an Azure instance with a maximum of 8 vCPUs.
  • Oracle ULA usually does not allow you to count the Microsoft Azure deployments to your exit numbers.

Constrained vCPU on Azure for Oracle License Optimization

Constrained vCPU on Azure for Oracle License Optimization

Navigating the constrained vCPU on Azure for Oracle License optimization can be complex.

Here’s a simplified explanation:

Microsoft understands that pre-made instances may not always be ideal for running database workloads, which often require high memory, storage, and I/O bandwidth but not many processor cores.

Most Oracle database workloads are not CPU intensive. To address this, Microsoft introduced a concept called constrained vCPU.” This allows you to reduce the vCPU count to half or even as low as 1/4 of the original VM size.

Since Oracle licensing is based on processor license, this can be an attractive way of licensing Oracle on Azure.

According to the Oracle cloud licensing policy for Azure:

  • Count two vCPUs equivalent to one Oracle Processor license if multithreading of processor cores is enabled.
  • Count one vCPU equivalent to one Oracle Processor license if multithreading of processor cores is not enabled.

There have been instances where Oracle Account Teams incorrectly state that you cannot limit the required licenses using the constrained vCPU model. However, a review of the Oracle cloud licensing policy clarifies this:

To license Oracle programs in an authorized cloud environment, customers must count the maximum available vCPUs of an instance type.

  • Since the other vCPUs are not available, this ends the case. You should only license the vCPUs that are available to you.
constrained vcpu oracle azure

How do you avoid/fight back against this if Oracle audits you?

If you’re facing an Oracle audit, here are some strategies to avoid or push back against it:

  1. Information Sharing: Do not disclose the instance type you are running on. Instead, simply share the number of vCPUs. You are not required to share your instance type.
  2. Non-Contractual Policy: The Oracle cloud licensing policy document is “non-contractual,” as the footnote states. This means it doesn’t form a binding agreement.
  3. Maximum Available vCPUs: The Oracle cloud licensing policy refers to the “maximum available” vCPUs. If no more vCPUs are available, this should be your limit.
Constrained vCPU Azure Oracle licensing

Oracle Database@Azure: A Quick Overview

10 Real-Life Use Cases for Oracle Database@Azure

Oracle Database@Azure is a collaboration between Oracle and Microsoft that offers the following features:

  • Deployment in Azure: Enables Oracle Database Cloud Services running within an Azure region.
  • Licensing Flexibility: You can choose between bringing your license (BYOL) or opting for the “license included” option.
  • Billing & Negotiation: All negotiations and purchases are made with Microsoft, and payments are made through Azure consumption commitments.
  • Comprehensive Features: Provides access to Enterprise Edition (EE) and all its options.
  • Exclusive Benefits: Customers gain benefits previously exclusive to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), such as free diagnostics and tuning packs. Additionally, support fees can be decreased through the Oracle support rewards program.
  • Availability is early 2024, initially in the EU and North America.

10 Real-Life Use Cases for Oracle Database@Azure

10 Real-Life Use Cases for Oracle Database@Azure

Here are ten real-life scenarios where Oracle Database@Azure can be helpful:

  1. Short-Term Licensing Needs: Previously, if you required an Oracle database license for a short duration, say six months, you’d have to buy the license outright. With Oracle Database@Azure, you can pay for the license duration you need.
  2. Migrating Existing Oracle Databases on Azure: If you’re already running Oracle on Azure, consider migrating to the Oracle Database@Azure offering. This service comes with complimentary features like diagnostics and tuning.
  3. Support Cost Reduction: By transitioning to Oracle Database@Azure, you can qualify for a support cost reduction. For instance, if you spend $100k on Oracle Database@Azure and have an on-premises technology software support bill of $100k, you can decrease that bill by $25,000.
  4. OCPU Flexibility: Oracle’s OCPU offers the flexibility to customize instances, which can lead to reduced licensing requirements compared to running natively on Microsoft Azure.
  5. Audit Preparedness: If Oracle audits you and you’ve conducted a licensing assessment beforehand, you can address any identified shortfalls by migrating to Oracle Database@Azure, ensuring compliance.
  6. Addressing ULA Shortfalls: If you have an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) that permits public cloud certification and you discover licensing deficits, these can be rectified by transferring any potential compliance issues to Oracle Database@Azure.
  7. Managing Unused Licenses: Are you stuck with Oracle software licenses you don’t use but can’t terminate due to more extensive contractual obligations? Consider migrating the Oracle databases to Oracle Database@Azure and ending the redundant support contract.
  8. Staying Compliant Post-Support Termination: If you’ve already terminated Oracle support and rely on third-party support but require updates, you can migrate your database to Oracle Database@Azure to remain compliant.
  9. Balancing Third-Party Support with Critical Needs: Are you considering switching to a third-party support provider but have specific databases that need crucial support and updates? Opt for a hybrid approach: Move the databases requiring updates to Oracle Database@Azure.
  10. Leveraging Negotiation Power: If you’re in talks with Oracle for any purchase, be it a license or a cloud deal, and aren’t satisfied with their pricing, consider using the Oracle Database@Azure offering as leverage or an option.

Four Steps to Take:

  1. Please review your Agreements: Dive deep into all your agreements and associated support costs.
  2. Please look at your Licensing Position: Understand where you currently stand with your Oracle licenses.
  3. Discover Oracle Database@Azure Benefits: Explore the advantages of transitioning to Oracle Database@Azure.
  4. Analyze Contract Options: Determine which contracts to retain, which to transition as a BYOL, and whether to opt for the “license included” route or a blend of these strategies.

Essentials for a Comprehensive Review:

  • Oracle Licensing Expertise: A thorough grasp of Oracle licensing nuances is crucial.
  • Policy Document Familiarity: Understand Oracle’s varied policy documents of licensing in the public cloud.
  • Contract and Cost Review: Scrutinize the specifics of your contracts and the costs tied to each.
  • Decision-making: After weighing all options, make an informed choice that best serves your business needs.
Oracle Database Cloud Service on Azure - Explained

FAQs Oracle Licensing on Azure

Can I buy an Oracle license from Azure?

Azure only has the bring your license option; you must purchase your license from Oracle and then license it on Azure.

How does it work to license Oracle on Azure?

You count the number of vCPUs and multiply them by 2 to understand how many licenses you need.

Weblogic licensing on Azure?

You count the number of vCPUs and multiply them by 2 to understand how many licenses you need. (If multi-threading is enabled)

EBS on Azure?

It works the same way as any outsourcer. You can license technology products with vCPU, and with application licensing, it makes no difference; you license it on-premise.

Do I need an active support agreement to use my licenses on Azure?

There is no requirement to follow the Oracle technical support policies regarding matching service levels—it’s all or nothing on support.

How do I review my Oracle licensing on Azure?

You should use the Oracle LMS scripts to analyze the software and manually collect the instance vCPU by declaration. We have a service to help you audit your Oracle deployments on Azure.

Is Oracle more likely to audit our company if we use Azure and not OCI?

Yes, we see almost no audits when organizations choose Oracle Cloud. However, we do see Oracle selecting customers for audits if they move to Azure.

What is Oracle Database Cloud Service on Azure?

It allows organizations to use Azure as an interface and Azure management and admin tools while using Oracle OCI via an Interconnect. You need a cloud account in Azure and OCI to make it work.

Can I bring my Oracle license to Azure?

Yes, Azure supports the Bring Your License (BYOL) model. This allows you to use your existing software licenses on the Azure platform.

How much does Oracle Database for Azure cost?

The cost of Oracle Database for Azure depends on several factors, such as the size of the database, the type of license you choose, and the region where your Azure services are hosted.

Does Oracle Cloud run on Azure?

No, Oracle Cloud and Azure are separate cloud platforms provided by Oracle and Microsoft.

However, Oracle and Microsoft have a cloud interoperability partnership, allowing users to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across both clouds.

Can Azure connect to Oracle?

Yes, Azure can connect to Oracle databases. This can be achieved using various methods such as Azure ExpressRoute for Oracle Cloud, Azure VPN Gateway, or hybrid data solutions.

Is OCI cheaper than Azure?

The cost comparison between Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and Azure depends on various factors like the specific services used, the region, and the pricing model.

It’s recommended that the pricing details on both platforms be compared accurately.

How can I migrate my Oracle database to Azure?

You can migrate your Oracle database to Azure using various tools and services such as Azure Database Migration Service, Azure Migrate, or third-party tools like Oracle’s Data Pump.

How does Oracle licensing work in a virtualized environment on Azure?

Oracle’s licensing in a virtualized environment is based on the number of virtual cores used by the Oracle software.

Each virtual core is considered equivalent to a physical core. Understanding Oracle’s licensing rules in virtualized environments is essential to ensure compliance.

How can I optimize my Oracle licensing costs on Azure?

You can optimize your Oracle licensing costs on Azure by choosing the right size and type of Azure VMs, leveraging Reserved Instances, and using Azure Hybrid Benefit if you have Software Assurance.

Can I bring my Oracle License to Azure?

Yes, you can bring your Oracle license to Azure. However, you should review your licensing agreement to see if any restrictions prevent you from using Oracle licensing on Azure.

Then, you need to apply Oracle licensing rules and policies to ensure compliance.

Licensing Oracle on Microsoft Azure: A Brief Analysis

Microsoft Azure offers a flexible approach to licensing Oracle products, which sets it apart from competitors like AWS, Google Cloud, and even Oracle’s own OCI.

BYOL to Azure:

Organizations with existing Oracle licenses can bring them to Azure, applying the same licensing policies as on-premises. This direct transfer simplifies the cloud migration process.

Oracle on Azure via Interconnect:

Without Oracle licenses? Azure connects to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) through an interconnect, requiring an OCI contract. This provides a hybrid solution that leverages both Azure and Oracle’s strengths.

Oracle Database on Azure:

Customers can access Oracle Database services on Azure without pre-existing licenses, purchasing through Microsoft agreements or directly from Oracle. This flexibility is ideal for new customers or those experimenting with Oracle’s offerings.

How Redress Compliance can help ensure compliance with Oracle on Azure

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Author

  • 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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