March 26, 2012 1 Comment
Paul Bullen, Senior License Consultant, Rocela
My previous blog entry discussed the importance of making sure your staff understands what an Oracle ULA means to them and how they use Oracle software. I also mentioned that on-going management of your software deployment during a ULA is even more important than ‘normal’ licensing.
One of the reasons I mentioned tracking your software deployment during the entire term of the ULA was to ensure that you are getting the value you expected out of your investment. The other reason is so that you can accurately declare your usage of the ULA products when the Unlimited Deployment Period has finished.
To recap, with a ULA, you buy the right to use as much of the defined product as you wish during a set period (typically 3 years, but can be between 2 and 5 years), at the end of this period, you declare your usage of the product and this should become your perpetual license: your usage effectively ‘crystallises’ at this declared number and you then own that many licenses to do with as you would any other normal Oracle perpetual license.
If you do not track your usage throughout the term of the ULA, you may find yourself frantically undertaking an Oracle audit of your own usage on the run up to the declaration date: doing so may mean you ‘miss’ installations (and hence they are not licensed) or you count incorrectly. Measuring for an Oracle ULA is not quite the same as for ‘normal’ Oracle licensing—there are some small but important differences between the definitions.
Once you have measured your deployment (and let’s be honest, tracking and counting Oracle software accurately can be very difficult), you need to fill in a declaration form: this is what Oracle will use as the basis for your perpetual license. However, it is worth bearing in mind that there is a potential for audit at this point—understandably, Oracle need to be reassured you are actually using the software you are declaring to them and not just making up a number: they may ask to review your inventory and you should be prepared to share this with them. This is another reason to make sure you invest in this process and that you thoroughly understand your estate and the terms of the ULA.
As this is the last in the series of blog posts for ULAs, I’ll try and summarise:
• ULAs are a very powerful and beneficial (usually) way of licensing Oracle. They are significant purchases that require assessment and planning.
• You may use as much of the software as you like during the period of the ULA
• There is no true up, the opex and capex are set from the start
• Education and ‘awareness raising’ about the ULA is key to it being used correctly
• On-going usage tracking and management are even more important with a ULA
• ULAs are a significant investment and should be negotiated, managed and declared with expert advice
If you are considering a ULA and need to understand the basics, have a ULA and require assistance managing, or are approaching your ULA expiry and need help deciding on declaration or new purchase, then contact us for assistance. As you have been reading, we know a great deal about ULA’s and can steer you in the right direction.