Virtualization in general and more specifically VMware, as one of the market leaders in virtualization software, is becoming increasingly important in end-users' IT environments. It is therefore important to understand how the different VMware virtualization technologies impact the number of Oracle software licenses that is required.
Oracle’s Technology software programs (e.g. Database and Middleware) are typically licensed on a “Processor” licensing model or on a “Named User Plus” licensing model. According to the license metric definitions of these licenses as defined in the Oracle License and Services Agreement or Oracle Master Agreement, the software is required to be licensed “where the Oracle programs are installed and /or running”.
But what does this mean in practice when virtualization technologies from VMware are being used? In most cases, end-users will install the Oracle software in the vmdk file which is stored on a storage device that has many servers connected to it. This is referred to as shared storage. So how do you determine the number of licenses required for the different versions of VMware’s virtualization software and more specifically for vCenter 6.0? Before looking into the details of licensing Oracle software in VMware’s vCenter 6.0, let’s do a short recap on the licensing rules for the pre-6.0 scenario’s, as they will be applied by Oracle during the course of an Oracle License Review or License Audit.