It’s hard to believe that so many take Oracle serious when arguing that clients must license their entire ESX farm. And yet, around the world Oracle’s clients are in panic! Now that even Gartner has weighted in on this subject, clients get even more afraid. Why? We have no idea. Nothing has changed in your agreements with Oracle, and nothing has changed in terms of technological relevance. Even Gartner is also wrong in their article (sorry guy’s) when comparing Oracle with Microsoft and IBM. Why is Gartner so wrong?
- Microsoft’s ‘policy papers’ which outline how to license virtualized environments is integrated in the agreement (as part of the PUR – Product Use Rights), and that is fundamentally different from Oracle.
- IBM has included the mandatory use of ILMT tooling for allowing (and monitoring) subcluster licensing in their contracts approx. 3.5 years ago. IBM respects that, for older agreements, they cannot enforce the policy as there is no contractual wording by which they could enforce it. And this also is very different from Oracle’s view of what can(not) be enforced.
- Strangely enough, for Oracle’s own hardware stack measuring tools were created to license ‘trusted partitions’. There is also no contractual requirement for clients to do this (similar to VMware), however Oracle accepts to license these ‘trusted partitions’. It seems as if Oracle is measuring with two standards whilst not defining any requirement in their contract.
At the end of the day, nothing is different from our initial public stance on this subject (link) which has since then been confirmed by many industry experts, including many lawyers. Mind you, this was our position already in 2007 so there is nothing new for many years, regardless what Oracle is trying to proclaim. The bottom line remains that clients must, in accordance with their agreements in 2007 and today, license Processors where the Oracle Programs are installed and/or running. Very simple! NO other Processors! In a very similar comparison, nobody can fine you for speeding unless they have proven you have exceeded the maximum speed limit. The fact that you own a Ferrari doesn’t change that. Everything else is evidently abuse of power, intimidation and could be regarded as attempted theft. If Oracle would include their policies in their new agreements, such inclusion could only apply to the ‘new’ agreements and not existing ones.
It is hard to believe that some of the largest companies in the world are taking Oracle serious and are donating tens-of-millions-of-dollars to Oracle as a result of the scare tactics (whilst talking to people who are on a revenue target). Nobody should ever pay for this. However, countering Oracle in this discussion cannot be done without a holistic understanding of your actual position. If you don’t know how to play this game against Oracle yourself, contact us for assistance. Sometimes a phone-call can be enough to get you on your way.
Update July 2015: If you are still in doubt: Dave Welch, CTO of House of Brick Technologies reviewed Gartner’s paper in detail.