Licensing Oracle in Windows Azure

Microsoft and Oracle have an enterprise partnership that will allow their customers to run Oracle software on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure. Customers will be able to deploy Oracle software — including Java, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server — on Windows Server Hyper-V or in Windows Azure and receive full support from Oracle. This essentially makes the Windows Azure platform the equivalent of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud or the EC2 environment and it makes Azure an alternative to the EC2 environment.

Customers, who prefer a Windows server and Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology, can now deploy Oracle products in an Azure platform. Licensing in this scenario gets tricky since we are talking both Microsoft and Oracle. Oracle’s licensing rules state that customers are required to count each virtual core as equivalent to a physical core in that cloud environment. This policy applies to all Oracle programs licensed with a Processor metric. There are limitations that exist for the down edition products for Oracle database.  For Oracle Standard Edition and Oracle Standard Edition 1, the licensing is calculated based on the size of the instance.

Licensing, or subscribing to, more correctly, Windows Azure is separate and distinct from Oracle licensing.  There are various options ranging from a pay-as-you-go or a transactional model to committed spending plans with terms of 6 months or 12 months. If you opt for one of these latter plans – the way you elect to pay for these programs, in advance or on a monthly basis – influences the posted discount rate that Microsoft offers.

Because of the different licensing rules and compliance requirements, consider how the cost will compare with an on premise deployment, which will be determined by what an enterprise does with the software and how many licenses will be purchased from each vendor in order to remain compliant.

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