Oracle licensing for VMware

By Paul Bullen, Senior License Consultant, Rocela.

Recently, there has been renewed interest on VMware’s position regarding Oracle Certification, Support and Licensing.

This document lays out, amongst other popular Oracle-on-VMware topics, some logical and reasoned discussion about using DRS Host Affinity in order to limit Oracle license requirements within a VMware cluster. They suggest that limiting a VM to a particular physical host (or subset of hosts) within a cluster will reduce the license requirement and that only those physical servers require licensing for Oracle.

Understandably, this can have the potential to massively change your licensing requirements – the general stance has been that all physical nodes within a cluster, regardless of whether they are running a VM with Oracle on it, need to be licensed.

The VMware article is logical, interesting and its assertions are very positive, however it is worth remembering: this is a VMware paper. It is not underwritten by Oracle, and ultimately it is Oracle who decides how their products are to be licensed.

We work with clients using VMware and Oracle every day: we are unaware of any change of general stance from Oracle. Therefore, you should be fully aware of the potential licensing implications should Oracle audit your use of Oracle on VMware clusters.


One Response to Oracle licensing for VMware

  1. Alex Andrew says:

    Paul, spot on! Our experience is exactly the same as yours. What a customer may negotiate and what the licensing rule is as always down to interpretation, usually by legal counsel. The threat is real.

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