Has Oracle changed its policy on licensing databases on VMWare?

We recently answered that question in SearchOracle.com, where Miro is part of the Ask the Oracle Expert: Questions & Answers column. Here’s the original question and our answer.

Has Oracle changed its policy in licensing databases on VMware? From my understanding, they are treating VMware as soft partitioning. Is there any official documentation with regards to VMware/Oracle licensing that I can refer to?

Yes, in a nutshell it is treated like soft partitioning given that they are not recognizing VMware for purposes of limiting CPUs needing licensing.   No, there is NO official Oracle document regarding Oracle’s treatment of VMware, likely because they are still developing their position on the topic.

4 thoughts on “Has Oracle changed its policy on licensing databases on VMWare?

  1. Hello,

    There is an official document that discusses Oracle’s treatment of VMware from a licensing perspective. It is their “Partitioning” document, and can be found at: http://www.oracle.com/corporate/pricing/partitioning.pdf.

    That said, this is of course a hotly debated topic for many Oracle (and other) customers. There are pros and cons to both sides: should vendors like Oracle price their solution based on VMWare Logical Processors, or stick to the total hardware CPU/core count? You can have scenarios where it would be cheaper or more expensive with either model, based on how an organization has architected their VMWare environment.

    Thus, my recommendation is to spend the time to accurately understand your actual DB usage within your VMWare environment. It is only then that you can decide the best way to plan for future architectural changes, and determine how to best license the environment.

    – Jeff Jones

  2. Also worth mentioning…

    Metalink note: 249212.1:
    Oracle has not certified any of its products on VMware virtualized environments. Oracle Support will assist customers running Oracle products on VMware in the following manner: Oracle will only provide support for issues that either are known to occur on the native OS, or can be demonstrated not to be as a result of running on VMware.

    If a problem is a known Oracle issue, Oracle support will recommend the appropriate solution on the native OS. If that solution does not work in the VMware virtualized environment, the customer will be referred to VMware for support. When the customer can demonstrate that the Oracle solution does not work when running on the native OS, Oracle will resume support, including logging a bug with Oracle Development for investigation if required

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