Jul 16, 2020

3 Tips for Oracle License Management Serenity

If your organization uses Oracle software, it probably uses a lot of it. Not only is Oracle licensing some of the most brain-meltingly convoluted in the software license management world, but its expenses never seem to stop growing. Needless to say, Oracle license management is a challenge.

Discover Oracle software license serenity | Aspera blog

Oracle’s complexity and costs are the reasons why you see IT, SAM, and procurements managers wandering your office hallways, talking to themselves: “Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity…how?”

This blog has 3 helpful Oracle license management tips for cutting through the complexity and reducing your Oracle costs. These are based on proven, expert advice on finding efficiencies that save you time and resources now.

1) Don’t rely solely on spreadsheets or LMS scripts

Oracle’s License Management Services (LMS) oversees the use of Oracle software licenses. LMS runs audits, sell software to customers, and use their collection tools, or scripts, to check Oracle customers’ compliance. But their scripts aren’t perfect. In fact, they’re the bare minimum.

LMS scripts require a great deal of manual data entry, meaning more potential for errors and a bigger drain on SAM resources, especially if you’re managing Oracle licenses with spreadsheets. These efforts barely help you maintain compliance, much less help you find cost efficiencies.

Manual entry and spreadsheet systems simply can’t maintain the accuracy you need in your complex Oracle estate. If you’re serious about cutting your Oracle costs, you need something more for your Oracle license management.

Finding those cost efficiencies requires a comprehensive overview of your Oracle licensing. A solution that tracks and verifies usage, compares it to your contracts and entitlements, and uses automated processes for discovery, analysis, compliance, and optimization can provide that.

For more expert tips on reducing your Oracle license costs, check out our Guide to Oracle Savings!

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2) Downgrade underused editions

A simple guideline for Oracle license management is to assume you’re over-licensed. Of course, the trick is finding out where. A common problem is an Oracle customer buying an expensive Enterprise Edition database and using only a few of its many features.

A Standard Edition would clearly be the cheaper choice – thousands per server cheaper – so you need to find those underused Enterprise Editions and downgrade them to Standard.

But how do you know which Enterprise Editions to downgrade? You must go deeper than Oracle’s LMS tools can go, into the nitty gritty of activations and usage. You must gather, consolidate, and view all the database information. Although this is possible by tracking the editions manually, it’s time-consuming, error-prone, and pretty darn boring.

A more efficient way is to use a software license management tool. It can track usage and show you underused editions that could be downgraded to cut your costs. The business-as-usual Oracle license tracking tools, LMS scripts and spreadsheets, can’t deliver that level of Oracle license management.

3) Exclude the False Positives

There are situations when you and Oracle will interpret an issue differently, and Oracle might declare you non-compliant when you’re not. This is a False Positive, and it happens, often.

Sometimes, a database is covered by another license that goes uncounted. Other times, products like Advanced Compression or Tuning Pack show up as being used when they’re not. Often, Standard Edition installations show up as Enterprise Editions after applying a patch. So, these instances need to be excluded from your compliance position and double checked.

That is exactly what LMS tools don’t do. They can’t exclude an issue, which leaves you vulnerable to non-compliance, because Oracle treats its LMS results like the truth and will demand a fee that wipes out your earlier license optimization work. Unless those results can be refuted.

A professional Oracle license management tool can compare Oracle’s interpretation of raw data with a more comprehensive compliance position to spot false positives. The solution can tell the difference between product activations that Oracle counts as usage and activations that are actual usage. Those instances are then excluded from an overall roundup of licenses to accurately determine compliance.

Oracle license management: From “Serenity, how?” to “Serenity, now!”

Remaining compliant with Oracle isn’t easy, so cost savings can seem like a huge, impossible challenge. But the most rewarding things in life, business, and Oracle license management are rarely easy. Optimizing your licenses and cutting your costs just takes effort to look in the nooks and crannies of your Oracle estate for those savings possibilities.

Start with an effective overview of your entire Oracle estate, continue with a thorough analysis to uncover potential savings opportunities, and then make the most of those opportunities.

If I can give you one bit of actionable advice, it’s to look for an Oracle license management provider and get a Proof of Concept. Finding serenity in Oracle licensing is about paying a fair price for what you use. Just seeing the possibilities from a POC will put you on that path.

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