Clients who have once been audited by Oracle are familiar with ‘Oracle Review Lite’ scripts: Oracle uses them to audit clients, telling them how the Oracle programs are or have been used. More often than not, the outcome is a big surprisefor clients, with a large compliance claim as a result. Unfortunately the true business value of such claims can often not be explained. The reason for this problem is that Oracle implements nothing to protect clients from unknowingly using components that require additional licenses. Also, Oracle provides no tools to visualize if currently of historically any of such components have been touched by anyone. With end users being unable to analyze the scripts themselves, many feel ‘lost’ as to how compliant they really are. Compliance claims come as an unpleasant surprise. As for the script output: It consists out of many .csv files for each individual database, some of which contain thousands of rows with data. Even for the most seasoned Database Administrator it is impossible to understand what the data implies before sending it out to Oracle.
License Consulting is very capable in analyzing this audit data, and has been for many years. As former Oracle auditors, we use our skills to either reduce compliance claims from Oracle based on forensic facts found within the audit data, for assisting with ULA certifications or to provide a managed audit service to our clients around the world. With LicenseAudit.com we have developed an analysis tool to entirely automate the audit script analysis. It will be available to the masses in Q3 2016. A game-changing feature for both clients and Oracle is a free dashboard view, outlining the number of database instances where we have found an Option or Management Pack is (or has been) used. Users who see nothing unexpected, are reassured that no hidden surprises are revealed when audited by Oracle. Users who are surprised by specific findings, can pay a fee to get intimate insight in the analysis results in order to initiate further decision making.
The initial version will at minimum analyze the following Oracle Database Options and Management Packs, which cause the largest concerns during audits:
- Real Application Clusters
- Advanced Compression
- Advanced Security
- Tuning Pack
- Diagnostics Pack
In the next few weeks we will invite a limited group of free BETA users. Prior to that we will invite beta users as well. If you want to be invited for the BETA program, signup for our newsletter.
Questions and Answers
Q: How correct is your analysis?
A: We analyze the data better than Oracle does. Should we learn of an imperfection, the specific user will get a free re-run of the data, and more. We will update our analysis engine accordingly, to continuously improving the quality.
Q: We have Flexera or another Oracle Certified Tool: Why would we use LicenseAudit.com?
A: Oracle’s Certified Tool program is no longer up to date. Most vendors are dealing with outdated scripts. In addition, the analysis algorithm was created by Oracle: Obviously this algorithm is not fit for license optimization but for generating license revenue. To test drive it, just compare the outcome from an Oracle Certified Tool with ours. We are working for many Oracle Certified Tool vendors who already recognize that our expertise is much more useful and valuable than the scripts and algorithms provided by Oracle. In fact, most of our ‘managed service’ clients are using Flexera company wide, but rely on us for their Oracle compliance.
Q: Will you implement analysis for all Options and Management Packs?
A: Eventually we will.
Q: Can I re-use this data for our SAM process or CMDB?
A: We offer export functions to Excel in 2 structures: On a host and database level.
Q: How about data privacy concerns?
A: The audit output from Oracle does contain sensitive data. That’s why we remove all data once the analysis is complete. In addition, you can delete your online report as well once you have run your analysis (and exported it to Excel). We will go into production on Amazon and ensure that all data is encrypted. We make use of certificates to ensure secured connections.
Q: Do you provide some advisory around the findings?
A: Yes. In fact, for every single finding we explain why we come to a specific conclusion. LicenseAudit.com will also explain how you could eliminate such use, providing it is unintended or merely a trace from prior / historical use, that today should not be licensed anymore. Also, for some tools we will flag the usage as ‘maybe’: In which case we will provide instructions as to how you can ascertain if it should really be a NO or YES.
Q: How can you ensure you are keeping the analysis engine up to date?
A: In the same way we stay up to date for many years: By staying up to date with Oracle scripts, and continue to analyse the data with our human operated data-warehouse. Everything we learn during our regular consulting work will be implemented in the script engine available at LicenseAudit.com. In addition, the feedback from our many existing and new clients will ensure excellent accuracy.
Q: Where can I get the audit scripts?
A: The audit scripts are sent to you by Oracle upon audit notification. If you are not under audit and have no audit scripts you can request a copy from Oracle. Alternatively, you can probably request a copy from an Oracle Partner that you feel confident enough to ask this question.
Q: I don’t want to ask Oracle or an Oracle Partner for audit scripts. Now what?
A: We will eventually develop our own proprietary scripts, which will be much more ‘lean and mean’ than Oracle’s scripts. Also, our scripts would collect much less privacy sensitive data than Oracle, and pull a lot more relevant data from the database that can be used to provide you with optimization tips and guidance. Signup for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Q: What will the pricing look like?
A: Similar to what we ask as part of our consulting services where we deliver staggering ROI’s. The pricing will depend on the number of database instances you want to have analyzed. In addition we will provide subscription models and a partner model.