I've written quite a bit about Oracle virtualization in the past, as you can find on my Oracle Page. Now that I'm working with Nutanix I thought it was time to write about the topic of Oracle Licensing and Support on the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform. This article will take you through the highlights that you need to know. Keep an eye out on the Nutanix Product Information page for the Tech Notes and Best Practice Guides for Oracle, SAP and other applications.
The licensing and support position for Oracle running on the Nutanix platform with VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V is the same as any other platform running these supported hypervisors and Oracle supported guest operating systems. Both hypervisors are supported from their respective vendors, and both are also supported by Oracle (MOS Note 249212.1 – VMware vSphere, 1563794.1 – Microsoft Hyper-V). However with the Nutanix Virtual Computing platform you have the option of calling Nutanix support for both the hypervisor and the underlying hardware platform, and as a member of TSA Net (http://www.tsanet.org/) Nutanix can also work with Oracle and your chosen hypervisor vendor on support cases.
From a licensing perspective, information on Oracle licensing policy can be found in Oracle’s Software Investment Guide and many details are included on my Oracle Page. Ultimately the source of truth is your executed and binding legal contract, referred to commonly as the OLSA or TOMA (see http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/contracts/index.html). There are a number of different licensing models, including Named User Plus, per Processor, OEM and various enterprise license agreements. When it comes to the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform it is important to know that when using per Processor based licensing, the smallest unit that can be licensed is a single Nutanix node. You are not able to partition a single Nutanix node into smaller units for licensing purposes, as both Hyper-V and vSphere are considered soft-partitioned platforms (see http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/partitioning-070609.pdf and Fight the FUD – Oracle Licensing and Support on VMware vSphere). You are not required to license an entire Nutanix block, or cluster (Nutanix cluster or hypervisor cluster), if not all nodes will run Oracle software. Don't get sub-cluster containment (keeping VM's restricted to a small number of hosts in a big cluster) confused with partitioning, as they are completely different. You can use hypervisor clusters, or cluster rules to restrict where Oracle software can run, and therefore restrict how many nodes of a large cluster must be licensed. You must however ensure you are appropriately licensed for every and all Nutanix nodes where Oracle software is run. You should also put measures in place to reduce the risk of configuration error that could result in license compliance issues.
Note: Given the complexity of software licensing and the potential impact of becoming out of compliance, I recommend that you obtain appropriate independent legal advice on your license agreements when considering any platform change.
Additional Oracle Support and Licensing Resources:
o Understanding Oracle Certification, Support and Licensing on VMware Environments
o VMware Expanded Oracle Support Policy
o Oracle and Microsoft Support
Make sure you know your license compliance position prior to virtualizing your Oracle Databases and put measures in place to ensure that you stay in compliance without any nasty surprises. You can successfully virtualize Oracle and optimize your return on investment by getting higher utilization and avoiding unnecessary additional license purchases. But as with virtualizing any business critical applications it needs to be done with care and due attention paid to the important details, which includes licensing, not just the technology.
This post appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com, by Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2014 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.