I recently read an article published on Wikibon written by David Floyer titled Virtualization of Oracle Evolves to Best Practice for Production Systems. He makes some good arguments regarding virtualization of production Oracle systems, including ROI and TCO analysis. The examples given provide you with an idea of how you might optimize your environment to improve the efficiency of your investment in Oracle software without sacrificing SLA’s. I would highly recommend that you review the article as it contains some critical advice when considering Oracle software investments, including how to protect your investments from audits. I have first hand experience with how significant the savings can be from a properly optimizsed Oracle designs on VMware vSphere. You just need to take a bit of care and be smart about how you go about it. Here I will give you some additional things to think about based on a recent conversation I had with an Oracle Account Executive, which was quite interesting in my opinion.
I have already written a bit about the Oracle FUD in my articles Fight the FUD – Oracle Licensing and Support on VMware vSphere and Return of the FUD – Oracle Licensing on VMware vSphere, but my recent discussion with an Oracle Account Exec opened up even more high quality FUD from the Oracle Playbook. So here are some of the latest gems of FUD for your enjoyment.
- Oracle Account Exec: Oracle can enforce it’s policies regardless if they are agreed in a contract or not. FACT: The only document that matters is a contract that has been agreed and properly executed (signed and witnessed) by you and Oracle, which is legally binding, this replaces all prior agreements both verbal and written. So it is going to be very difficult for Oracle to enforce any arbitrary policy that you have not agreed to unless you don’t have a good understanding of what you’ve signed up to. If you voluntarily donate to Oracle’s quarterly earnings outside of the contract you’ve signed with them then that is up to you. I would prefer to pay what I legally owe, and have agreed to, and no more.
- Oracle Account Exec: EMC is a FUD marketing machine with it’s totally overstated benefits statements about VMware. Just ask Oracle. FACT: EMC has a lot of experience virtualizing Oracle software in production, including the licensing aspects. While no marketing is free from bias EMC has produced many real world case studies from customers environments where they have had significant savings from virtualizing Oracle on VMware vSphere. EMC itself saved significants amount of money following it’s own advice.
- Oracle Account Exec: Read, understand and respect Oracle’s Licensing Partitioning Statement. You’re putting your clients’ at risk. Ask Oracle. FACT: Refer to point 1, your legally binding contract is king, not some policy document that is ‘for education and informational purposes’. Partitioning is not relevant at all if you have licensed where Oracle is already installed and/or running and you can prove this with relevant information required by the audit provisions of your licensing agreement. Of course it doesn’t apply at all if you use Named User Plus licensing, which is not bound by CPU core or processor counts. Partitioning will only come into play if you want to license a small part or sub-part of a very large host. So why not buy the right sized hosts to begin with and forget about partitioning?
- Oracle Account Exec: “Oh, looks like you didn’t owe us any money after all, oops, my bad.” The response to their customer who provided proof they didn’t owe any more money for their licenses, based on their signed contract, not an arbitrary policy. FACT: If you properly maintain your environment, keep required relevant records, and design your architecture for compliance with your Oracle contract, you should have no fear when the Oracle Auditor comes knocking looking to pick up some easy revenue at the end of quarter. Don’t make significant architectural decisions that involve your Oracle software (or any major software investment) without checking your legal position with your legal team and reviewing your Oracle contract. Best to set up the contract as much in your favour as possible to begin with as it’s much harder to negotiate it later on when you’ve already moved into the Lions den.
- Oracle Account Exec: Customers are moving away from VMware in large numbers to OVM to run their Oracle software. Ask Oracle. FACT: While I don’t have hard numbers the customers I speak to are more likely to consider a move off Oracle for their database and I see quite a few customers converting back to vSphere after being on OVM for various reasons. Especially once they have a full understanding of their options, and of course Oracle’s competition is keen to please to gain new customers. This is by no means scientific. I don’t doubt some customers are using OVM, I know they are, but I’m not sure it’s quite the ‘large numbers’ reported. The market statistics and reports form Gartner, IDC and Forrester I see just don’t back up Oracle’s claims. What this clearly means though is that VMware must continue to innovate to stay ahead and continue to be able to sell their software in a much more competitive environment.
Know your contract, know your legal obligations, read Oracle’s ‘educational’ policy documents, design your architecture to meet your obligations, have evidence, and get thorough legal advice where needed. Don’t pay any more than you owe. Evaluate your options and make up your own mind. This is but one persons opinion based on a number of years experience in this field. Verify, validate, cross reference. Best of luck with your Oracle adventures.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com, by Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2013 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.