For over four decades, the Oracle Database has been the most preferred database system in the world. This can be attributed to the fact that it has efficient database management options and security options. Its wild popularity can also be attributed to its user-friendliness, speed, and reliability.
Even though many people tend to know about the benefits of using the Oracle database, many individuals don’t usually understand Oracle’s licensing rules. As a result, they normally expose their organizations to compliance issues. These compliance issues normally pose great operational, financial, and legal risks to organizations. To avoid exposing your organization to such risks, it’s essential that you learn about various compliance issues. It’s also essential that you learn about how you can avoid them.
Prevalent Oracle Database Compliance Issues
There are quite a good number of oracle database compliance issues. Here are some of the most rampant ones.
Misinterpreting License Minimums
Each person accessing the Oracle database software usually requires a “Named User Plus license.” Oracle requires a minimum number of Named User Plus licenses for the different database programs that have been installed or are in use. This number differs per version. It’s also worth mentioning that this number changes on a regular basis, and it is calculated in different ways. Although determining this number is normally quite difficult, it’s essential. Many organizations often go wrong when counting the minimum number of licenses they require. This results in a compliance issue.
Incorrect Counting of Processors
Many organizations can easily count the number of their processors and cores which run on Oracle. The issue these organizations face is applying Oracle licensing regulations to determine the actual number of licenses they require. When incorrectly calculated, a shortage of licenses is likely to occur. If Oracle discovers your organization lacks the required number of licenses, Oracle will likely hit your organization with a massive fine.
Server Virtualization with VMware
Oracle is no fan of VMware. It does not recognize VMware internal software controls as a valid method to reduce the number of Oracle licenses. Despite all the technological evolution that has been witnessed in the last couple of years, Oracle maintains that it hasn’t changed its licensing policy on VMware. Its default position remains that all physical cores and processors on which the virtual server can be hosted must be licensed. Non-compliance with this rule can end in a massive penalty.
Server Virtualization with Oracle VM
Oracle advocates for the use of its virtualization software, the Oracle VM. This technology boasts of being capable of limiting the number of licensable cores. One of the compliance issues that arise here is that many organizations tend to forget that the “peak use” must be licensed. Another compliance issue that arises here is that many organizations are not ordinarily aware that each technology has its own rules with other virtualization software.
Less Control through Cloud Computing and Outsourcing
In recent years, the outsourcing industry has seriously developed. As a result, today, many companies are opting to outsource their hardware infrastructure to specialized third parties. Many of these organizations fail to realize that they remain responsible and liable for the Oracle database’s correct licensing as the end-user. When you outsource, losing control of your number of licenses is relatively easy. This is because your outsourcing company-of-choice may configure solutions that ensure your organization’s software has maximum uptime. It may also choose a hardware infrastructure that allows your software to run on multiple machines. These actions go against Oracle’s regulations.
Incomplete Overview of Installations
It’s common knowledge that once Oracle database software programs are installed, they must be licensed even if they are not in use. Due to a lack of proper software inventory tooling and procedures, a good number of organizations have an inaccurate overview of these installations. Without knowledge of how many installations you’ve got, you can’t manage or even control usage. If you can’t manage or control usage, you’ll likely break an Oracle regulation.
Various Software Configuration Options
When installing the Oracle database, you can easily install different components and products as well. As much as deploying options and packs not included in your license is easy to do, it’s essential that you get the licenses required for these additional features. Without valid licenses, you may find yourself in a huge mess.
Use by another Legal Entity
Oracle’s licensing agreement stipulates that Oracle programs are used for internal purposes only. Unless addressed clearly with customized contract language, your licenses cannot be used by your partners or any other outside entity. Thus, if you allow an external party to use your Oracle database, you’ll be in breach of your contract.
Access to Oracle Database
If you create an account for five hundred individuals, and only fifty individuals use it, you still need about five hundred licenses. This means that you’ve got to pay utmost attention to who is accessing the software. In addition, you may require a separate license not only for people but also for devices that directly or indirectly access the database. It’s also essential that you constantly check who needs access and who doesn’t. This will help you not only reduce your risk of exposure but also save you money.
Being found contravening Oracle licensing agreements can be very costly. In some extreme cases, organizations have been fined millions of dollars. If your organization is caught violating Oracle user license agreements, you may have to pay the amount needed for the additional licenses to resolve the violation. You may also have to pay for any technical support fees for the period of unlicensed use of the software. These fees are roughly 22% annually in back support. If you fail to pay the penalty, Oracle may suspend your access to software updates. It may also suspend technical support.
If you would like to avoid these Oracle compliance issues, you should contact an Oracle partner that offers exquisite Oracle audits. The more reliable your Oracle partner-of-choice is, the better it is for you.