featured blogs / Unlimited license agreement

Oracle ULA – Passing the Audit and Cloud Challenges in 2024

featured blogs / Unlimited license agreement

Oracle ULA – Passing the Audit and Cloud Challenges in 2024

An Oracle ULA (Unlimited License Agreement) is:

  • A contractual agreement allowing unlimited licenses for specific Oracle products.
  • Involves a one-time fee for a fixed period, usually three years.
  • Enables unlimited deployment rights for a subset of Oracle products.
  • Requires no reporting until the agreement expires.
  • Includes a process for renewal or certification before expiration.
  • Support costs remain constant regardless of certification quantities.

Additional resources:

What is an Oracle ULA?

Explaining Oracle Unlimited License Agreements

An Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) is:

  • A contract allowing unlimited licenses for specific Oracle products
  • Involves a one-time fee for a fixed period, usually three years
  • Enables unlimited deployment rights for a subset of Oracle products
  • Requires no reporting until expiration
  • Includes a renewal or certification process before expiration
  • Support costs remain constant regardless of certification quantities

Oracle ULA – How does it work?

Oracle ULA - How does it work

An Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) works as follows:

  • The agreement includes a one-time license fee that provides unlimited deployment rights for a subset of Oracle products for a specified period, typically three years. Still, it can range from one to five years.
  • There are no reporting requirements to Oracle until the agreement expires.
  • Six months before the ULA expires, Oracle will ask if you want to renew, migrate to a Perpetual ULA (PULA), or certify the agreement.
  • If you decide to certify, you must report deployment numbers to Oracle, similar to an Oracle license audit.
  • It is important to note that the support costs will not increase based on the certification quantities; they will remain the same as during the agreement term.
  • A common mistake companies make is deploying non-ULA software, which leads to non-compliance during the certification process and often results in a costly renewal of the ULA instead of exiting.

Oracle ULA Pros and Cons

Oracle ULA Pros and Cons

Oracle ULA Pros and ConsPros of an Oracle ULA:

  • Offers a fixed-cost option for purchasing licenses, making it cost-effective for organizations that extensively use Oracle software. The list price is over USD 2M.
  • Provides flexibility to deploy on virtual environments, such as VMware, without worrying about license compliance.
  • Presents an opportunity to improve licensing terms for Oracle software investments by migrating old agreements into a new ULA.
  • Includes additional benefits for companies utilizing Oracle Cloud, such as bringing in existing licenses (BYOL) and receiving a 33% return on support bills through the Oracle support rewards program.

Cons of an Oracle ULA:

  • The company will partially remove the right to terminate licenses and connected support when entering the ULA, creating an “unbreakable contract”.
  • If companies lack Oracle licensing knowledge, they are often found non-compliant with the agreement, forcing them to renew the agreement or purchase additional Oracle software licenses.
  • Unlimited agreements are very restrictive on mergers and acquisitions, requiring careful review of the licensing terms before agreeing.
  • If a company does not deploy software during the term, it will not realize the agreement’s actual value.

In summary, while Oracle ULAs offer cost savings, deployment flexibility, and opportunities to improve licensing terms, they also come with potential drawbacks, such as reduced termination rights, compliance risks, restrictions on M&A activity, and the possibility of not fully utilizing the agreement’s value.

Organizations should carefully weigh these pros and cons and review the specific terms before entering an Oracle ULA.

The Key Contract Terms of an Oracle ULA

The Key Contract Terms of an Oracle ULA

Customer Definition:

  • List all entities that will access and use any Oracle ULA software
  • Typically included in an appendix of the standard Oracle Ordering document for volume purchase
  • Request an “all majority-owned subsidiaries” definition if contracting with a parent company


  • Defines where servers running Oracle ULA software can be physically deployed
  • “Worldwide usage” is the broadest option to avoid non-compliance if deployment location changes

ULA Certification Clause:

  • Specifies the process for leaving the Oracle ULA agreement
  • Includes reporting deployment data to Oracle, cooperating and sharing data
  • Addresses counting deployments in cloud environments like AWS or Azure

Technical Support:

  • Oracle technical support increases by 8% annually
  • Essential to negotiate a cap on the increase for a maximum of 5 years

Merger & Acquisitions:

  • Restrictions on adding acquisitions or mergers of subsidiaries into the Oracle ULA
  • Possibility to add entities with a maximum of 10% of the employee base or revenue
  • Careful negotiation is needed to obtain the right model for the company and request additional contract terms.

In summary, the key terms to focus on when negotiating an Oracle ULA are the customer definition, territory rights, certification process, technical support caps, and provisions for mergers and acquisitions.

Paying close attention to these clauses and seeking the broadest, most favorable terms can help maximize the ULA’s value and flexibility while minimizing compliance risks.

Oracle ULA Limitations

Oracle ULA Limitations

Oracle ULAs have several key limitations that organizations should be aware of:

Limited to Specific Products:

  • An Oracle ULA is unlimited for the specific products the agreement includes.
  • Deploying Oracle software that the ULA does not cover can lead to compliance issues and additional costs.

Legal Entity and Territory Restrictions:

  • The ULA contract restricts which legal entities can use and access the Oracle software.
  • It also specifies the geographical territories where servers running Oracle software can be deployed.
  • Deploying outside of these approved entities or territories may violate the ULA terms.

Restrictions on Cloud Deployments:

  • Oracle has complex relationships with public cloud providers like AWS and Azure.
  • Many Oracle ULAs restrict how many licenses you can claim from deploying in third-party clouds.
  • Notably, Google Cloud is not considered an authorized cloud environment by Oracle’s definition.

In summary, while Oracle ULAs offer unlimited licenses, this only applies to the specific products included in the agreement.

The ULA also imposes strict limitations on which legal entities, geographic regions, and cloud platforms are permitted for deployment.

Organizations must carefully review and comply with these restrictions to avoid costly compliance violations. Engaging with experienced Oracle licensing experts can help you navigate these limitations effectively.

Three types of Oracle Unlimited License Agreements

Three types of Oracle Unlimited License Agreements

Here is a summary of the three main types of Oracle Unlimited License Agreements (ULAs):

  1. Standard Oracle ULA:
  • The most common type of Oracle ULA
  • Allows organizations to purchase a set number of licenses for a specific period, typically 3 to 5 years, at a discounted rate
  • Provides a cost-effective and predictable licensing model for organizations that extensively use Oracle software products
  • Requires certification at the end of the term to determine the number of perpetual licenses granted
  1. Oracle Perpetual ULA (PULA):
  • A type of ULA that has no expiration date
  • Provides organizations with unlimited, perpetual rights to use the included Oracle products
  • Offers long-term cost predictability and eliminates the need for periodic ULA renewals or certifications
  • Typically, it is more expensive upfront compared to a standard ULA due to the perpetual nature of the agreement
  1. Capped Oracle ULA (or Oracle ELA):
  • A ULA variant that sets a maximum limit on the number of licenses that can be used during the agreement term
  • Organizations cannot exceed the agreed-upon license cap, even if they have purchased more licenses under the ULA.
  • It functions as a bulk purchase of licenses rather than providing unlimited deployment rights.
  • Sometimes referred to as an Oracle Enterprise License Agreement (ELA)

How much does an Oracle ULA cost?

How much does an Oracle ULA cost

The cost of an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) can vary significantly:

  • A ULA agreement can range from USD 1 million to USD 50 million.
  • The final price depends on factors such as the number of Oracle products included, the length of the contract, and the outcome of negotiations, including consideration of competitive alternatives.
  • It’s important to note that Oracle does not provide a standard price list for unlimited license agreements.
  • Pricing is not determined based on the number of employees, the amount spent on Oracle, or previous Oracle investments. The Oracle sales rep essentially makes up the pricing.
  • End customers should design a negotiation strategy to aim for a license fee of between $1 and 3 million USD. If more has been paid, consider getting help from someone who can build a business case for a more optimal ULA price.

In summary, the cost of an Oracle ULA can range from $1 million to $50 million, depending on the specific products, contract duration, and negotiation outcomes.

Oracle does not have standard ULA pricing, so the sales rep determines the final cost. Customers should strategically negotiate to target a $1-3 million price point and seek expert assistance to optimize the ULA cost.

What happens when the Oracle ULA ends?

What happens when the Oracle ULA ends

When an Oracle ULA reaches its expiration date, several key events occur:

Notification to Oracle:

  • You must formally notify Oracle if you intend to renew the ULA or proceed with the certification process.


  • If you choose to renew the agreement, the payment terms, including products and other contract details, will be determined through a new round of negotiations with Oracle.


  • If you decide to certify the ULA, you must complete the formal certification process, which includes an Oracle license audit.
  • This involves providing a detailed report of the quantities and types of licenses deployed during the ULA term.

License Migration:

  • At the end of the ULA term, your deployed licenses will be converted into perpetual Oracle licenses based on the quantities certified during the certification process.

Technical Support Fees:

  • It’s important to note that your technical support fees will not increase based on the number of licenses you certify, even if you have over-deployed during the ULA term.
  • The support costs will remain the same as during the ULA agreement.

In summary, when an Oracle ULA ends, you must either renew the agreement or proceed with the certification process.

If certified, you will report your license deployments to Oracle, becoming your perpetual license entitlements.

Support costs will remain steady regardless of the quantities certified. Careful planning and managing the ULA expiration process is crucial to ensure a smooth transition and avoid unexpected costs or compliance issues.

How do you leave the Oracle ULA?

oracle ula certification process

The process of leaving an Oracle ULA is known as the Oracle ULA certification process:

  • The certification process is initiated when a customer notifies Oracle of their intent to leave the ULA.
  • It involves providing an Oracle license deployment report, which includes counting and calculating the number of Oracle licenses deployed at the end of the ULA term.
  • This process is similar to an Oracle license audit, as the Oracle audit team will verify your reported deployments.
  • In 9 out of 10 Oracle ULA certifications, Oracle finds the customer non-compliant, often to the tune of millions of dollars.

Some key challenges in the ULA certification process include:

  • Certifying Oracle deployments in public cloud platforms like AWS and Azure have special rules for counting licenses and contract restrictions.
  • Calculating licensing for Oracle deployments in virtual environments, understanding Oracle’s partitioning policy, and applying the correct license counts.
  • Oracle LMS scripts can detect active and historical usage by identifying all installed and used products. If Oracle discovers non-compliant usage, it can lead to an unwanted ULA renewal.

In summary, leaving an Oracle ULA involves a formal certification process. You must report your license deployments to Oracle for verification.

This process can be complex and risky, often resulting in Oracle finding customers to be non-compliant. Careful planning, diligent deployment tracking, and expert guidance are crucial for successfully navigating the ULA exit and avoiding costly compliance issues.

Three Oracle ULA Challenges when certifying

ula exit

Three Oracle ULA Challenges when certifying

  1. Certifying Oracle deployments in public clouds:
  • Oracle has designated AWS and Azure as authorized cloud environments for ULA deployments.
  • AWS and Azure have special rules for counting Oracle licenses during certification.
  • Your ULA contract may restrict what and how much you can count for cloud deployments.
  • Understanding your specific contract terms related to certifying public cloud usage is crucial.
  1. Calculating licensing in virtual environments:
  • Oracle’s licensing policies for VMware deployments can be vague and open to interpretation.
  • Deploying Oracle on VMware outside of a ULA is risky, but within a ULA, it can help maximize your license counts.
  • To apply the correct license metrics and quantities, you must fully understand Oracle’s partitioning policy.
  • Counting all physical hosts in virtual clusters is a common strategy to maximize ULA value.
  1. Identifying all installed and used products:
  • Oracle LMS audit scripts can detect both active and historical product usage.
  • Most organizations have some Oracle products installed that are not included in their ULA.
  • If Oracle discovers non-ULA usage during certification, they will likely push for a renewal to resolve the compliance gap.
  • Proactively running LMS scripts and analyzing the results with an independent expert can help mitigate this risk.

The key challenges in the Oracle ULA certification process are accurately counting licenses in authorized cloud platforms, correctly calculating deployments in virtual environments, and identifying all installed products to avoid compliance issues.

Organizations must carefully review their ULA contract terms, understand Oracle’s licensing rules, and engage experienced advisors to navigate these complexities successfully.

oracle ula problems

Oracle ULA to Public Cloud

Oracle ULA to Public Cloud

Oracle ULA agreements may not work well with public cloud deployments:

  • Studying your Oracle ULA agreement to understand what rules apply to your company during certification for the public cloud is essential.
  • It is recommended to assume that you do not have the right to certify deployments in the public cloud unless otherwise stated in your contract.

Deployment rights during ULA:

  • During the ULA, you can deploy Oracle ULA software in AWS, Azure, Oracle Cloud, and other public cloud providers.
  • However, you need to consider the territory deployment rights in your agreement.

ULA certification for the public cloud:

  • The “gotcha” for Oracle ULA customers is during the Oracle ULA certification process, where it is necessary to determine if you have the right to “claim” licenses for any deployments in a public cloud.
  • If you do not have the right to claim licenses in a public cloud, you may face financial risks when your ULA ends.

Financial Risk:

  • Many Oracle customers have been forced to renew their Oracle ULA because they did not have licenses for public cloud deployments at the end of the ULA.
  • For example, suppose you have an Oracle ULA that does not allow you to certify cloud deployments, and you have deployed 250 processor licenses of Oracle Database Enterprise Edition worth $11,875,000 in AWS or Azure. In that case, you must purchase licenses for those environments the day your Oracle ULA ends.

In summary, Oracle ULA agreements may restrict certifying deployments in public clouds like AWS and Azure.

While you can deploy ULA software in these environments during the agreement term, you may not be able to count those licenses towards your perpetual entitlements at the end of the ULA.

This can lead to significant financial risks if you have extensively deployed in the cloud without the contractual right to certify those licenses.

Carefully reviewing your ULA terms and engaging licensing experts is crucial to mitigate risks associated with cloud deployments under an Oracle ULA.

Oracle ULA and Public Cloud – 365 days average.

Oracle ULA and Public Cloud - 365 days average.

Later versions of Oracle ULA agreements have a contractual text allowing you to count deployments in public cloud platforms.

However, this is an average number in the Oracle ULA over the last 365 days. We have seen a three or 6-month average.

If you deploy more Oracle ULA software in the last 3-6 months, you may be out of compliance with your ULA because you need to consider the full 12 months.

ula to cloud

Oracle ULA Problems and Solutions

Oracle ULA Problems and Solutions

Navigating through Oracle ULA can be challenging.

Here are some common problems and their solutions:

  1. Deploying Oracle Software Not Included in Your ULA Contract
    Problem: Compliance issues often arise from deploying products not included in the ULA. These deployments are discovered when the Oracle ULA customer certifies their Oracle ULA.
    Recommendation: Run Oracle LMS scripts and have an independent Oracle licensing expert review the results before sharing data with Oracle.
  2. Running Software on Servers in Countries Not Included in Your Territory Contract
    Problem: If you are running servers in a country not included in your territory rights, you must buy those licenses separately.
    Recommendation: Ask for worldwide territory rights when you enter the Oracle ULA.
  3. Subsidiaries Not Included in Your Customer Definition
    Problem: All Oracle ULAs include a list of subsidiaries in your customer definition. You can’t use Oracle ULA software if you are not on the list.
    Recommendation: Negotiate the terms and conditions and the right to add to the list of subsidiaries during the Oracle ULA agreement lifecycle.
  4. Oracle Audit at the End of ULA
    Problem: Your Oracle ULA will end in an Oracle license audit. Oracle will use the same people (auditors), tools (license audit scripts), and processes.
    Recommendation: Conduct your internal audit as part of the certification planning, run Oracle audit scripts, and have an independent Oracle license expert analyze the results before sharing the data with Oracle.
  5. Including Products You Do Not Use
    Problem: If you add products you don’t use, you will lock yourself in without possibly changing the cost of support on those products.
    Recommendation: Perform an internal Oracle licensing review without involving Oracle auditors.
  6. Mergers and Acquisitions
    Problem: Oracle ULAs are often bought by large companies that constantly change with new companies being bought or leaving the company group.
    Recommendation: If you change who uses the ULA software during the ULA, the change must be listed in the ULA contract.

When should you start planning for the ULA Oracle exit?

The earlier you begin reviewing your Oracle licensing deployments and ULA agreement terms, the better positioned you will be for a successful exit:

  • Best practices recommend starting the Oracle licensing assessment six months before the ULA ends.
  • This allows ample time to thoroughly review your current deployments, identify compliance risks, and develop a strategic plan for the certification process.
  • If you speak to industry analysts like Gartner, they will advise performing an independent licensing assessment to enable a smooth exit from the Oracle unlimited license agreement.
  • Engaging with experienced Oracle licensing experts well before your ULA expiration can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the exit planning process.

In summary, it is crucial for success to proactively plan for your Oracle ULA exit, starting at least six months before the agreement expires.

By conducting a thorough licensing assessment, identifying potential risks, and developing a comprehensive exit strategy with the help of knowledgeable advisors, you can position your organization for a seamless transition and avoid costly pitfalls during the certification process.

Oracle ULA Renewal

Oracle ULA Renewal

Renewing your Oracle ULA can be beneficial for several reasons

Renegotiation Opportunity:

  • Renewing your ULA allows you to renegotiate your existing Oracle licensing agreements.
  • Many companies use this opportunity to update their old contracts and reduce contractual risks.

Thorough Analysis:

  • When renewing your ULA, it’s crucial to thoroughly analyze your current agreement.
  • Consider what can be improved and identify potential risks in your original contract.

Renewal Options:

  • Addition of Oracle software products: Negotiate to add new Oracle products to your agreement, gaining access to new features and functionalities.
  • Remove unnecessary software products: Remove products you no longer need or use from your ULA to save costs and reduce your Oracle estate.
  • Renegotiation of contract terms: Renegotiate the length of the agreement, number of licenses, cost of support, and other terms to align with your current business needs and budget.

Improved Terms:

  • Use the renewal process to negotiate better terms with Oracle and reduce any contractual risks present in your first Oracle contract.

In summary, renewing your Oracle ULA allows you to reassess your licensing needs, optimize your agreement, and negotiate more favorable terms.

By thoroughly analyzing your current contract, considering your future requirements, and engaging in strategic negotiations, you can leverage the renewal process to better align your ULA with your organization’s goals and reduce potential risks.

Oracle ULA Certification Case Study: Saves more than 400m USD

Oracle ULA Certification Case Study


A leading high-tech organization boasting over 100,000 employees found itself at a crossroads with its Oracle Unlimited License Agreements (ULAs).

With multiple ULAs in place and no anticipated growth in Oracle software usage in the foreseeable future, the organization was one year away from the ULA renewal deadline. Seeking expert guidance on their ULA strategy, the organization turned to Redress Compliance, a renowned software licensing and compliance consultancy.


The organization faced a significant challenge: efficiently navigating its Oracle ULA strategy while minimizing financial expenditures and compliance risks.

The impending ULA renewal posed a potential financial burden, so the organization sought to explore strategic alternatives to outright renewal.


Strategic Consultation and Education

Redress Compliance initiated the engagement by conducting thorough interviews with key stakeholders to comprehensively understand the organization’s IT and Oracle strategy.

To build a solid foundation of knowledge, Redress hosted workshops for stakeholders, illuminating the intricacies of Oracle ULA contracts, entitlements, and the spectrum of renewal and certification options available.

Contract Analysis and Strategy Development

Following these foundational steps, Redress conducted a detailed Oracle ULA contract analysis.

This analysis paved the way for the design of multiple strategic pathways, including nuanced renewal and certification options tailored to the organization’s specific needs.


After carefully considering the options, the organization decided against renewing its Oracle ULA. This decision led to substantial savings, avoiding over 8 million USD in renewal fees.

Licensing Assessment and Compliance Risk Mitigation

Redress conducted a licensing assessment, uncovering compliance risks valued at over 400 million USD.

Redress recommended actions to mitigate these risks, including the strategic purchase of licenses to cover the identified shortfall.

This amendment to the Oracle ULA cost less than 1 million USD, a fraction of the potential non-compliance risk.

Maximization Strategy and ULA Certification

Leveraging Redress’s expertise, the organization adopted a license deployment maximization strategy, ensuring the value of deployed licenses surpassed 2 billion USD.

Redress meticulously crafted and executed a ULA certification strategy, including drafting and completing all necessary certification documents.


With Redress Compliance’s guidance, the organization successfully exited its Oracle ULA without issues, securing over 50,000 processor licenses across technology and middleware products.

This case study exemplifies the power of strategic planning and expert consultancy in navigating complex licensing agreements, achieving cost-efficiency, and ensuring compliance on a grand scale.

Oracle ULA Renewal Negotiation Advice

Oracle ULA Renewal Negotiation Advice

Consider the following questions before negotiating with Oracle:

  1. Mergers and Acquisitions: Has your company undergone mergers and acquisitions during the ULA? Make sure to include any majority-owned subsidiaries and joint ventures.
  2. Public Cloud Usage: How does your company plan to use the public cloud? Evaluate the contract terms related to cloud deployments, as Oracle’s language may have changed.
  3. Technical Support Fees: Are there any caps on how much Oracle can increase your technical support fees?
  4. Extended Support Fees: Will you be facing a significant increase in extended support fees for older versions of Oracle software? Request a waiver for extended support fees from Oracle.
  5. Certification Clause: The certification clause is arguably the most important part of your contract. It specifies the process for exiting the ULA. To maximize leverage during the certification process, consider negotiating the days until reporting to Oracle, the use of scripts, and the documentation to be shared with Oracle.

Oracle ULA Negotiation

Oracle ULA Negotiation

When negotiating an Oracle ULA, there are several essential contract terms to consider:

  1. Customer Definition: This is crucial as you must list all entities that will access and use any Oracle ULA software. This is done in the appendix. In a standard Oracle Ordering document for volume purchase, you should request the definition of “all majority-owned subsidiaries” if you are contracting with the parent company.
  2. Territory: This defines where you physically can deploy the servers running Oracle ULA software. If you change the deployment location for Oracle ULA software, you should make this as wide as possible “worldwide usage” to avoid being out of compliance.
  3. ULA Certification Clause: This specifies how you leave the Oracle ULA agreement. Considerations include:
    • How many days after the Oracle ULA expires must you report the deployment data to Oracle?
    • How much do you need to cooperate with Oracle, and what data should you share? Will you run Oracle LMS scripts?
    • How can you count deployments of Oracle ULA in AWS or Azure?
  4. Technical Support: Oracle technical support will increase by 4% Yearly. You should focus on putting a cap on the increase for as much as up to 5 years.
  5. Merger & Acquisitions: Oracle ULA customers are restricted from adding acquisitions or mergers of subsidiaries into Oracle ULA. You may allow adding entities with a maximum of 10% of your employee base or 10% of your revenue. If the entity you are merging with is more significant than that, you may not add them to the Oracle ULA. You should carefully negotiate the suitable model for your company as there are many more contract terms you should request in your negotiation.

Oracle ULA Pricing

Oracle ULA pricing

The pricing for Oracle ULA can vary significantly, ranging from 1 M USD to 50M. This depends on several factors:

  1. The number of Oracle Products Included: The higher the cost, the more products you include in your ULA.
  2. Length of the Contract: Longer contracts tend to cost more due to the extended access to Oracle’s software.
  3. Negotiation Specifics: Factors such as competitive alternatives can influence the final price.

Oracle typically begins pricing by asking for projected deployment numbers for the next three years, then discounts these projected estimates. Providing Oracle with conservative numbers is advisable to secure a lower price.

Remember, experience in Oracle contracts and negotiation plays a crucial role in determining the final price.

Expert Advice for your first Oracle ULA Negotiation

When negotiating your first Oracle ULA, you must be strategic about which Oracle products to include in the agreement. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be selective about which products you incorporate. Consider which products you can recycle for other purposes, such as the Oracle database.
  • Be aware that reducing the number of licenses and support for a product can be difficult once a product is included in the ULA support contract.
  • Remember that all existing licensing agreements will be renegotiated and replaced as part of the ULA. This is an excellent opportunity to improve your terms, but also a chance to make mistakes.
  • Ensure you have the expertise in Oracle contracts and negotiations to help you maximize the opportunity and avoid pitfalls.

Oracle licensing expert advice:

  • Tips for Maintaining Oracle License Compliance in an Oracle ULA
  • Have in-house or external Oracle licensing expertise to guide you through the process
  • 6-9 months before the agreement expires, conduct an independent Oracle license audit to review current deployments and assess financial risks
  • Remediate any identified financial risks and maximize your agreement by deploying more ULA software before the certification.

Top10 mistakes organizations make with their Oracle ULA

oracle ula mistakes

1️⃣ Not Understanding the Contract Terms: Oracle ULA contracts can be pretty complex, and not fully understanding the terms and conditions can lead to non-compliance and unexpected costs.

2️⃣ Failing to Maximize the ULA’s Value: Many organizations fail to fully utilize their ULA’s potential, missing opportunities to deploy more software within the same Oracle ULA ends and scope.

3️⃣ Overlooking Oracle’s Compliance Rules: Oracle’s compliance rules can be intricate and change regularly. Failure to keep them current can result in violations and hefty fines.

4️⃣ Poor Record Keeping: Organizations often fail to maintain proper records of their Oracle software deployment, leading to difficulties during certification.

5️⃣ Not Planning for ULA Exit: Many organizations don’t have a strategic plan for the end of their ULA term, which can result in a rushed decision or unfavorable renewal terms.

6️⃣ Ignoring the Certification Process: Certification is crucial in a ULA contract. Neglecting it can result in license loss and higher costs.

7️⃣ Not Engaging Oracle Expertise: Not consulting with Oracle licensing experts can result in a lack of strategic insights and potential pitfalls.

8️⃣ Inadequate Audit Readiness: Organizations often underestimate Oracle unlimited license agreement audit capability, leading to unpreparedness and potential non-compliance during audits.

9️⃣ Not Considering Future Business Changes: Organizations fail to factor in potential business changes, like acquisitions, mergers, or divestitures, which can significantly impact the Oracle ULA.

9️⃣ Not Negotiating Effectively: Many organizations don’t negotiate effectively at the outset or during the renewal of their ULA, leading to unfavorable terms and conditions.

FAQs Oracle ULA

What are the most common mistakes companies make with Oracle ULA?

Companies often do not over-deploy Oracle software. The support fees are fixed regardless of whether you certify 50 processors or 50,000. Secondly, every organization is non-compliant and has mistakenly used non-ULA software.

Where can I find information on the certification process?

The certification process is described in the certification clause of your agreement, also known as the ordering document. This clause outlines the requirements for reporting your exit numbers, sharing data with Oracle, and cooperating with the Oracle audit team during the exit phase.

Will my support costs increase once I exit my ULA?

No, support costs will not increase after you have been certified. However, running older versions of Oracle software may result in additional costs for extended support and a 4-8% year-over-year increase in technical support fees.

How does ULA certification work with cloud deployments?

Older ULA agreements did not allow for counting deployments in a public cloud. However, newer deals have a standard clause that allows for calculating an average deployment during 12 months. Planning and managing your contract is essential to avoid any risks with this clause.

Can I deploy Oracle on VMware while in a ULA?

Yes, deploying Oracle on VMware allows for counting all physical hosts in virtual environments, which can maximize your ULA. The best practice is to deploy ULA software on VMware and then calculate all clusters toward your exit number.

Is deploying Oracle on VMware the best way to maximize my ULA?

Yes, it is a recommended strategy to maximize your ULA

Will Oracle be upset if we exit our ULA with 5000-15000 processor licenses?

Oracle may have difficulty explaining the numbers to upper management, but this is not the customer’s concern. Standing your ground and declaring all physical hosts in virtual environments is essential.

Can we negotiate to add more products to our ULA contract without a full renewal?

Yes, adding additional products to your ULA contract while still active is possible. However, it’s essential to be strategic about which products to add, as sharing too much information with Oracle can increase ULA pricing.

How can I minimize financial risk during the ULA certification process?

One way to minimize financial risk is to perform an independent Oracle license audit 6-9 months before the agreement expires. This will allow you to review your current deployments and remove license compliance risks. In the last months, you have maximized your agreement by deploying more ULA software before the certification begins.

How can I use my existing SAM tooling during the certification process?

We recommend only using it for discovery purposes; all verified SAM tools are only 90% accurate. The 10% where they are wrong equals millions in software risk.

What should I consider when negotiating the certification clause in my ULA contract?

When negotiating the certification clause, it’s essential to consider the following: how many days before or after the agreement ends you need to report your exit numbers to Oracle, what data you need to share with Oracle, how to count deployments in the public cloud, and how much you need to cooperate with the Oracle audit team during the exit phase.

How does ULA certification work with cloud deployments?

In older versions of the ULA, counting any deployments in the public cloud toward your exit numbers was impossible. However, in newer versions of the ULA, there is now a standard clause that allows you to count an average deployment over 3-12 months. Understanding how this may impact your financial risk during certification is essential.

Which Products can be included in an Oracle ULA?

An Oracle ULA can include all Oracle products, including the database, middleware, applications, and Java.

How do I decide which type of Oracle ULA is right for my business?

Deciding which type of Oracle ULA is right for your business will depend on your specific needs and requirements. It’s essential to assess your current and future Oracle product usage, as well as your budget and long-term growth plans, to determine which type of ULA is most appropriate for your business. Consulting with an independent Oracle licensing advisor may also help make this decision.

How to Oracle determine the price for an Oracle ULA?

As we sold Oracle ULAs on behalf of Oracle, we can reveal there is no price list. Oracle tries to come up with a business value for your ULA. End customers should try never to pay more than $M 1-3 in license fees. If you have paid more, consider getting help from someone who can help you build the business case for a more optimal ULA price.

Can I run Oracle software on a public cloud while under a ULA?

Yes, we have not encountered a single Oracle ULA in which you, the end customer, were not allowed to use the public cloud while the unlimited period was valid.

What are the options for renewing an Oracle ULA?

When renewing your Oracle ULA, you can choose to renew the agreement as is, with the same products and terms. Alternatively, you can remove or add products and potentially renegotiate the contract terms. You can also consider signing a shorter agreement extension, such as 6-12 months.

How can I best prepare for my ULA renewal negotiation?

Before renewing your Oracle ULA, reviewing your current Oracle licensing position and understanding any financial risks is essential. You should also review all contract terms, look for improvement opportunities, and remove contractual risks. It would help if you also considered working with an independent Oracle licensing advisor to ensure you maximize your agreement and maintain compliance.

How do I save money on my Oracle ULA?

Contact us. We have helped over 100 organizations with Oracle ULAs, and our Oracle ULA License Optimization service may deliver the best ROI this year.

What if my Oracle ULA is expiring next month?

Don´t worry; even contractually, you are supposed to report the ULA certification numbers on a specific date. Oracle recognizes and is aware that organizations may struggle to submit the certification on time.. Many organizations we work with report their numbers to Oracle months after the certification date. That means we always have time if you need our assistance to ensure you deploy the correct numbers.

How does an Oracle ULA work?

During the ULA term, you can deploy as many licenses as needed for specific Oracle products. At the end of the term, you certify your usage to Oracle, and these licenses become ‘perpetual licenses’ for your continued use.

What is an Oracle ULA?

An Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) is a contract that allows you to use an unlimited quantity of specific Oracle products for a fixed period, usually 2-3 years.

What are the benefits of an Oracle ULA for my organization?

Some Oracle ULA benefits are providing Oracle software at a fixed price and the ability to choose which infrastructure to deploy, as licensing fees are not considered.

What are the potential pitfalls of an Oracle ULA?

Potential pitfalls include unexpected costs at the end of the ULA if the certification process isn’t handled correctly, non-compliance risk due to misunderstanding of ULA terms, and the potential for overcommitment if the ULA isn’t fully utilized.

What happens when our Oracle ULA term ends?

At the end of the ULA term, you must count and certify your usage of the ULA products to Oracle. After certification, these licenses become perpetual licenses.

What is the process for Oracle ULA certification?

ULA certification involves counting and reporting your usage of the ULA products to Oracle at the end of the ULA term. This process should be approached carefully, as errors can incur additional costs.

How can we effectively manage our Oracle ULA?

Effective ULA management involves understanding ULA terms, keeping good records of software deployment, planning for certification, and seeking expert help.

What should we consider before renewing our Oracle ULA?

What if you have deployed non-ULA software without your knowledge? If you have a compliance issue, you can include any new products in the latest agreement and eliminate license issues that will be discovered the day you want to certify.

Can we exit our Oracle ULA before the end of the term?

Exiting a ULA early is generally impossible without negotiation with Oracle, as ULAs are contractual agreements for a fixed term. However, individual circumstances may vary.

We have an Oracle ULA and we want to reduce our Oracle support costs. How do we proceed?

You must certify your Oracle ULA; once that is done, you can reduce Oracle support fees.

What happens at the end of the Oracle ULA?

You are contractually obliged to submit a certification letter with quantities and products. Oracle also asks for deployment reports. You must do the deployment report correctly, or you will have problems with Oracle. You can call this “an Oracle ULA license audit.”

We are an Oracle ISV – Can we sign Oracle ULAs?

Yes, for your end customers, Oracle names them Oracle PAH ULA or for internal use only.

What should we do post Oracle ULA?

If possible, look at optimizing and reducing costs; read our Post Oracle ULA strategy guide.

What is an Hybrid Oracle ULA?

A Hybrid Oracle ULA is a contract where Oracle bundles its traditional ULA together with cloud services and benefits.

Oracle ULA when are they good?

There are some real use cases for Oracle ULA.

Oracle ULA vs ELA?

Oracle has two different flavors of ULA: capped and unlimited. ELA is sometimes called ELA.

Is there an audit at the end of the ULA?

The Oracle ULA certification process can be called the unlimited license agreement audit.

What is a ULA?

This is the short name for the Oracle Unlimited License Agreement.

What if we aquire an legal entity during the ULA term?

During the Oracle ULA unlimited license agreement acquired, entitiy may not be allowed to use ULA software.

How Redress can help with your Oracle ULA

Oracle ULA License Optimization Service

Our Oracle ULA license optimization service offers the following benefits:

  • Independent licensing assessment: Our team of experts will review your current Oracle ULA agreement and assess your licensing requirements to ensure compliance and optimize your license usage.
  • Maximizing current agreement: We will analyze your current Oracle ULA agreement and recommend strategies to maximize the value of your investment.
  • Oracle ULA exit or renewal strategy: Our team will work with you to develop an optimal exit or renewal strategy based on your business needs and budget.
  • Negotiation assistance: We will provide expert guidance and support during Oracle ULA negotiation to ensure you receive the best terms and pricing.

Our team has over 250 years of experience working with Oracle licensing, and we’ve helped over 100 companies optimize and exit their Oracle ULAs.

We offer a flexible and tailored approach to meet your specific needs, and our services are designed to help you save money, reduce risk, and ensure compliance with Oracle licensing agreements.

Contact our Oracle Licensing Experts

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • 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.

    View all posts