Many end users do not realize that this policy document exists and what it states. Usually, realization comes at the end of the ULA, when Oracle makes them aware of it if they want to certify their ULA. It is understandable that end users don’t realize this, since they believe they have an UNLIMITED license agreement. Now how can you resolve this?
In case you entered into an ULA already and did not negotiate non-standard terms and conditions in your agreement to upfront resolve such situation, the only option you have is to start a commercial discussion with Oracle. In such discussion, you should realize that this “Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment” policy document states (in the footer): “This document is for educational purposes only and provides guidelines regarding Oracle’s policies. It may not be incorporated into any contract and does not constitute a contract or a commitment to any specific terms”.
As a first step you would therefore need to validate in your own ULA if such language has or has not been contractually agreed. If you contractually agreed to this situation, you most likely will only have the option to commercially negotiate a new ULA with Oracle. If you contractually did not agree on this situation, you could take the position that you will need to certify all the physical cores of all the physical machines that are part of the Amazon datacenter(s) on which the virtual machines are hosted, resulting in 100.000’s of Processor licenses to be certified. This since the only basis for counting the required number of licenses is the contractually agreed Processor license metric definition. In this situation, Oracle will typically state that a settlement between both parties needs to be agreed upon to normalize the business relationship for the future. Such settlement results in an amendment to your license agreement which specifies the number of licenses that need to be counted as being deployed in Amazon and/or Azure for certification. As per Oracle’s current policy this means counting two vCPUs as equivalent to one Oracle Processor license if hyper-threading is enabled and counting one vCPU as equivalent to one Oracle Processor license if hyper-threading is not enabled.
In case you did not enter into an Unlimited License Agreement already and you are planning to deploy the Oracle programs on a public cloud, it is recommended to negotiate non-standard language in your agreement.
This non-standard language should make sure that you are allowed to:
- deploy the Oracle programs on public cloud environments
- count and certify the number of virtual cores or vCPUs into Processor licenses on which the Oracle programs are deployed against an agreed counting methodology at the end of the ULA (e.g. counting two vCPUs as equivalent to one Oracle Processor license if hyper-threading is enabled, and counting one vCPU as equivalent to one Oracle Processor license if hyper-threading is not enabled)
- deploy your certified Oracle programs on both public cloud environment(s) and on your on premises environment post ULA certification. As a standard the licenses deployed and certified in the public cloud are restricted to public cloud environments only.
Oracle is usually willing to grant such language if you ask for it, but will require you to include only the daily average of the number of Processors on which the Oracle programs are installed and running on your cloud environment for a predefined number of days prior to the end of your ULA.