Facts about Virtualizing Oracle (part 2 of 2: Oracle Licensing)

by Neal Mueller

Many Oracle products, including the database, are licensed by physical processor. This licensing model works well in a physical world, in which customers typically run one application per host and physical processors are easy to track. But this model is not well-adapted to a virtual world. VMware vSphere® enables you to consolidate multiple workloads in the form of virtual machines on a single host. Additionally, VMware enables you to move these virtual machines across hosts with VMware vMotion®, VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and High Availability (HA). When running products that are licensed by physical processor on vSphere, customers should ensure the following:

  • Virtual machines are running on hosts fully licensed for Oracle.
  • Virtual machine movement within a cluster is restricted to hosts that are fully licensed for Oracle.
  • Virtual machine movements are tracked so that customers are able to demonstrate compliance with Oracle licensing policies.

Many Oracle products are licensed by physical core or socket, and for these products Oracle does not have a virtual CPU-based licensing mechanism. In a vSphere environment, the consequence of Oracle’s licensing policy is that customers must license all physical cores or sockets in the vSphere host (fully licensed host). However, once the host is fully licensed, customers are allowed to run an unlimited number of virtual machines and application instances on that host without additional licenses.

As shown in the below graphic, customers can take advantage of VMware software’s many advanced features, such as Dynamic Resource Scheduler and vSphere HA, to get the highest possible infrastructure utilization and further reduce licensing costs. This this graphic we show consolidation of 16 processors into 4 processors and the resultant licensing savings of 16 licenses to 4 licenses. 


Read our technical white paper on Understanding Oracle Certification, Support and Licensing for VMware Environments to learn more.

This blog is part of a series on Virtualizing Your Business Critical Applications with VMware. To learn more, including how VMware customers have successfully virtualized SAP, Oracle, Exchange SQL and more, visit vmware.com/go/virtualizeyourapps.