Virtualizing Oracle software: Don't pay for what you don't need
Moving Oracle databases to virtual infrastructure may not result in software savings. Here's why, and what you can do about it.
Computerworld - Virtualization and private clouds have delivered hardware savings in a big way for most enterprises. Software savings, however, are proving more elusive, and that's been particularly true when it comes to virtualizing Oracle databases, according to several sources.
While virtualization has enabled server consolidation ratios of 3:1 or more, businesses may see little or no reduction in associated software costs. In some cases enterprise software licensing can be so expensive that it overshadows the cost of the rest of the system stack combined, says David Welch, chief technology officer at House of Brick Technologies, an integrator with expertise in Oracle software licensing issues.
(Editor's note: During the months of reporting this story, we contacted Oracle 13 times, and the vendor's spokespeople declined to comment on this story on three separate occasions.)
Some consultants and a handful of IT executives say they face licensing obstacles with many enterprise software vendors, but Oracle agreements can present some of the most confusing compliance issues, especially for customers that fall under Oracle's processor-based licensing models. "Using Oracle on VMware provides no licensing savings, just operational cost savings," says R Wang, principal analyst and CEO at Constellation Research.
"Virtualization is an area where customers get creamed all the time," says Craig Guarente, CEO of software auditing and compliance consultancy Palisade Compliance. Both Guarente and Welch say that, all too often, organizations end up overpaying for new Oracle licenses as well as software maintenance after consolidating servers or adding new licenses in a virtual environment.
Several IT executives contacted for this story declined to speak on the record. One executive, "Tom," has dealt with Oracle as the CIO for several Fortune 500 corporations, and agreed to speak only on condition that his name and company affiliation not be used. "Part of the challenge is knowing what others are paying," he says, and that information is considered confidential. But professional negotiators can be helpful because they know what the average company is paying for any given product, he adds.
Some Oracle customers are "p.o.'d" about virtualization, Guarente says.
- SANS: Protecting Virtual Endpoints with McAfee Server Security Suite Essentials SANS review of McAfees Server Security Suite Essentials that address some of the emerging challenges of securing virtual platforms and cloud environments.
- Evolving Your Data Center? Evolve Your Data Center Security Your datacenter is evolving - your datacenter security should be evolving, too. Key security technologies and services are being adapted by leading solution...
- 5 Customers Deliver Virtual Desktops and Apps to Empower a Modern Workforce Learn how Citrix solutions helped 5 companies realize the full value of desktop virtualization through a project-by-project approach based on key business priorities.
- Top 10 Reasons to Strengthen Information Security with Desktop Virtualization Regain control and reduce risk without sacrificing business productivity and growth
- Building Tomorrow's Data Center with Converged Technologies A number of forces are converging: the cloud, converged infrastructure, big data and fabric architectures to name a few.
- Virtual Desktop Must-haves: Cost-effectiveness, Scalability and Security Employees today expect to take their work anywhere and on any device. This BYOD mindset poses a dilemma for organizations that want to... All Virtualization White Papers | Webcasts