Oracle on VMware Audit Strategies – in 2022

Oracle on VMware Audit Strategies

If you are running Oracle on VMware and you are audited by Oracle, your alarm bells should go off immediately. If the Oracle audit has not begun yet, you have plenty of options for how to manage the Oracle license audit. But if you are reading this and you already have the audit report, your options are very different. Oracle have made billions of dollars on auditing Oracle customers running Oracle on VMWare claiming customers need to license servers not running any Oracle software.

How is Oracle licensed on VMware?

  • Oracle has 2 different categories of virtualization technologies / sub capacity licensing. Oracle names them soft and hard partitioning technologies.
  • Hard partitioning approved technologies: You can limit the number of processors that you license on a server or a cluster of servers.
  • Soft partitioning technologies: Oracle says this is not allowed and you need to license the full server capacity and/or all the physical cores in a server of clusters.
  • Which technology is soft and hard is listed by Oracle is this
  • Oracle has defined VMware (all versions) as soft partitioning.
  • Oracle claims as with VMware ESXI 6.0 you can with vMotion move a virtual server across vCenters and therefore you need to all physical hosts / cores in all vCenters.


Oracle on VMware – actions to take before the Oracle audit 

  • How much Oracle is running on VMware? If you only a few environments, consider moving the Oracle deployments to a different technology platform. AWS, Azure, and Oracle cloud. This allows you to count vCPUs.
  • If you do not have the ability to move your Oracle deployments off VMWare.


Some of your options for Oracle licensing for VMware

a) Do not share any data with Oracle about underlying infrastructure. Oracle will not agree and request the additional data, but once you share hardware specs on your physical hosts Oracle can put a financial number on the Oracle audit claim.

b) You can make a purchase for new software licenses from Oracle and Oracle can cancel the audit. The issue with Oracle on VMware will still remain, but Oracle will not audit you again for at least 3 years (You buy yourself time).

c) You can make a deal with Oracle and negotiate a network and storage isolation agreement where you can license Oracle in specific environments, if you can follow Oracle technical requirements.

d) Get expert help, an Oracle licensing expert can support you in the license audit and in all your communications with Oracle.


Oracle on VMware – actions to take at the end of the audit.

  • Get expert help, you are facing multi-million dollar claim from Oracle. You want to have someone on your team with expertise in Oracle audit negotiations.
  • Read up on the topic and create a strategy based around Oracle licensing, Oracle licensing policies, Oracle contracts and articulate why Oracle’s position on how to license on VMware is not contractually correct.
  • Oracle LMS will quickly notice if you are a sitting duck or someone who gets expert help. If you are attending Oracle LMS meetings unprepared, Oracle will take advantage of this.

Are you running Oracle on VMware and are about to get audited by Oracle or at the end of one, reach out to us and we can help you. We also design Oracle on VMware licensing strategies for clients.

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