Architecting Oracle for optimum Licence fees

The challenges of systems architecture and Oracle licensing is known to be complex, costly and highly dependent on the architecture of the target system. System Architects are highly skilled and experienced in meeting their client’s system performance and availability needs. A decade or so ago, by far the largest expenditure was the hardware cost and the implementation labour cost, however today enterprise software such as Oracle can far outweigh the cost of the hosting technology as servers become commodities and cloud services. This means that it is no longer sufficient to look at server performance, hardware cost, disk sizing etc in isolation from the licensing of the application being hosted. There is a need for system architects to work in cooperation with software licensing specialists in order to truly optimise the client’s solution.

..today enterprise software such as Oracle can far outweigh the cost of the hosting technology as servers become commodities and cloud services.

Cloud vs Virtualization

Photo courtesy of Tsahi Levent-Levi(CC Attribution)

At Madora Consulting, we are often asked to advise clients after the fact. Typical examples include where a threatened Oracle licence audit surfaces a major architectural change and the clock is ticking. The classic cases here are the use of virtualisation to consolidate systems and the introduction of high availability architectures, without fully understanding the implications for Oracle licensing. Luckily, we are beginning to be engaged by clients earlier in the architecture design to help and advise on the licensing implications and costs and providing training and advice. Examples have included, indicative licence pricing of a number of proposed architectures, producing a licensing rule set for a particular architecture, advising the key risk areas in a design and suggesting options, all the way through to last minute fire-fighting. We are keen to engage with clients and their systems architects early in the design process to help prevent costly mistakes and often massive rushed rework.

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