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Pitfalls to Avoid in Assessing and Optimizing Your Oracle Database Licensing and Performance

Author: Zane Warton | | February 28, 2024

Given that Oracle is one of the world’s leading providers of database technology, many mid-market and enterprise organizations rely on its solutions for managing and processing crucial data. However, optimizing your Oracle databases and licensing can be a complex process. There are many ways in which you can unwittingly fall into non-compliance or waste resources. In this blog post, we’ll take you through some common mistakes you should avoid.

Misunderstanding Oracle Database Licensing Terms

One of the biggest pitfalls is misunderstanding the licensing terms. Licensing agreements from Oracle can be intricate, filled with specific stipulations that indicate which features you are permitted to use with your database deployments. Misinterpretation of these agreements can jeopardize your compliance and result in penalties. Moreover, it may lead to under- or over-licensing resulting in wastage and financial losses.

Failure to Review Oracle Licenses after Hardware Refreshes

Do not forget to renew licenses after refreshing your hardware. This is another common error that can easily become a costly oversight. Failing to renew licenses post-hardware refresh can result in non-compliance and potentially hefty fines. Understand whether your Oracle licensing is tied to the hardware on which the database is deployed, the number of CPUs, or per seat/per user.

Not Scheduling Routine Reviews of Your Oracle Databases

Next, underestimating the importance of regular reviews can be a significant mistake. Software environments, just like business environments, are not static. Over time, your Oracle licensing needs can change due to alterations in your IT environment, updates to Oracle’s licensing policies, or the introduction of new Oracle products into your tech stack. Frequent license reviews will ensure your Oracle licenses remain aligned with your evolving needs.

Failure to Maintain Documentation of Oracle Deployments

Another common blunder is neglecting the importance of maintaining thorough documentation. Documentation is the foundation of compliance in any software licensing scenario and Oracle is no different. Do not depend on Oracle to maintain your license purchase documentation. Often Oracle requires the owner to provide the proof of agreement.

Using Oracle Database Features Without Licensing Them

Finally, it’s imperative not to use Oracle database options without properly licensing them. This can be a risk because certain features that seem readily available might actually require additional licensing. Having a deep understanding of what does and doesn’t need to be licensed with Oracle database features is critical to avoid compliance issues. For instance, the default configuration of an Oracle system enables the performance and tuning licenses, which you may not actually own.

Managing Oracle databases and licensing is a balancing act that requires a proper understanding of licensing terms, diligence in renewing licenses, regularity in reviews, and meticulous documentation. Avoiding these common mistakes can save you from the repercussions of non-compliance, minimize wastage, and ensure your Oracle investments give you the best return.

Learn more Oracle database cost optimization strategies in our white paper, Oracle Database Cost Optimization: Tips, Strategies, and Best Practices.

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