Cloud, Licensing, Oracle,

What is Oracle Bring Your Own License BYOL?

Short Answer

Oracle allows--and seems to prefer--its customers apply traditionally-licensed software entitlement to its cloud services.

In-Depth Answer

The details of Oracle’s BYOL program may be found in its cloud Service Descriptions and summarized in this FAQ. The concepts are relatively straight-forward assuming you understand one Processor of Oracle software covers two OCPUs in OCI and an OCPU is equivalent to a physical x86 core.

A notable feature of BYOL is Oracle allows unlicensed use of the Management Packs such as Diagnostics and Tuning when you BYOL Enterprise Edition to OCI. Oracle also grants a grace period of 100 days to transition from on-premise to OCI if under BYOL.

Oracle hypes BYOL as investment protection for customers maintaining perpetual software. This is somewhat self-serving of Oracle as revenue protection for its legacy, $20B+ per year, high-margin software support business.

Meanwhile, as-a-service solutions promise operational flexibility whereby companies may scale up and/or down as demands change.

In theory, it is better to forego the initial capital outlay associated with perpetual net license fees and opt for OCI services with licenses included. In practice, well-negotiated perpetual license orders are less expensive given few customers ever use less Oracle software. Eventually–and sometimes immediately–license and support fees are less than the equivalent license included SKUs.

Oracle’s pricing (i.e., discounting) practices suggest it remains a traditional software company that prefers to license perpetual software despite the bluster on being a cloud company.

Then there is the matter of third-party support for BYOL. It makes sense for Oracle to require an active support agreement for its PaaS offerings. However, the bare and virtual Compute Cloud IaaS SKUs are not maintained by Oracle. While the aforementioned service descriptions PDF states BYOL is available “provided that You have sufficient supported on premise licenses,” Remend offers audit defense for anyone opting for third-party support for IaaS.

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