Sep 14, 2017

How to Sort through the Zoo of IaaS Cloud Providers and Pick a Winner

Many companies are looking to take advantage of these benefits, and are working hard to develop a cloud software asset management strategy.

Among top priorities are ensuring compliance and using available license assets in the cloud efficiently. This process of moving and managing your existing licenses in the cloud is called “Bring Your Own License” (BYOL).

The right path to the cloud

When venturing into the public cloud, don’t forget to look at the following questions from a Software Asset Management (SAM) perspective:

  • Which cloud providers are suited for which software programs?
  • For what software does it make sense to license together with the infrastructure?
  • For what software do you use your own licenses (BYOL)? What license conditions apply to your BYOL licenses in the respective cloud environments?

First commandment: Maintain compliance

Effective license management means evolving from compliance to cost optimization. This is undoubtedly true, but it does not tell the whole story. Software license management still needs to address both issues today because costs are important, but compliance is a requirement!

Your SAM team is faced with the challenge of consolidating compliance information for computer centers and cloud environments, and providing a unified overview. In order to do that, you have to extract the necessary data from the cloud and merge it with data from your own infrastructure.

Then you have to distinguish between rented software (no compliance risk) and self-installed software. To this end, for example, you can use software tags or machine images.

Tame your cost tigers

As similar as the product offerings of Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Google Cloud and other IaaS providers are, the BYOL costs can differ wildly. Many software manufacturers set different license conditions for each public cloud.

For example, with a change in its licensing conditions, Oracle drew attention to Amazon Cloud. In early 2017, Oracle announced that its Core Factor Table no longer applies when calculating licensing needs for Amazon’s AWS environment. Since Amazon Cloud is based on Intel Xeon processors, for which an Oracle core factor of 0.5 normally applies, this change means that licensing costs are doubled.

In addition, the large range of services and billing schemes makes getting a clear cost overview more complicated. For example, is it cheaper to operate a cloud space using an “on demand” model, where costs are incurred only if the machine is running? Or is “reserved” the better alternative, where the fixed costs are lower per time unit?

Want more Cloud? Learn 7 SaaS Risks to Avoid!

Only rent what you use

It is also worth taking a look at the size of what you rent. This is where software license management can differ from IT management, as unused data cores must also be licensed in the BYOL model, which can lead to significant license costs.

“Resizing” or changing the instance types to optimize costs requires a solid understanding of the costs and requirements of IT operation, software licensing management, and business. But changes in cloud capacity can be made quickly and with little complication. Recently, Amazon has also returned to offering reserved instances on the market. The fact is:

If you base your decisions on actual use of instances and software, you won’t have any little accounting surprises.

Clear the stage for your cloud hosting

The following recommendations should help you get cloud hosting right for your license management needs:

  1. Keep an eye on the risks, and ensure compliance before optimizing costs.
  2. Optimize your rented resources with respect to IT operations and software management.
  3. Don’t be afraid to use several IaaS cloud service providers.

So, venture into the IaaS zoo – and challenge your SAM tool. It’s worth it!

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Additional links


  1. Amazon RDS for Oracle Database
  2. Easily bring your SQL Server licenses to Azure VMs
  3. Oracle effectively doubles license fees to run its stuff in AWS
  4. What Is Amazon EC2? 


Topics: Cloud, License Optimization