This is Part 2 of a two-part blog covering Oracle licensing tools and best practices.
As noted previously in our Part 1 post, Oracle sales behaviors with customers have been arduous, even though Oracle still provides enterprise-grade technologies.
Compliance and Governance are important practices to have in place, along with appropriate license management tools, to ensure that Oracle costs are optimized and that deployments are prepared for possible audit activity.
In addition to the Oracle License Compliance Assessment scenario of the prior blog, other use cases may require deeper compliance and governance best practices. The following client use cases show how House of Brick consulting and our OpsCompass Database Compliance tool can provide opportunities to save costs and defend audits.
Oracle Audit Defense Support (Monthly Monitoring)
Oracle had recently sent another client a formal audit notice. This client had been running Oracle technologies for over a decade without a single compliance issue. Then recently the client upgraded their Solaris infrastructure that hosted Oracle – they moved all Oracle workloads to a Linux and VMware platform to be operationally uniform with all other workloads in the company.
Also, new Oracle features were deployed to work with VMware’s High Availability and Site Recovery Manager tools. The IT director had properly planned and he was confident that their architecture was sound and compliant. However, he did not have any deployment tracking in place as all workload inventories were managed by spreadsheet.
Clients engage House of Brick to assist with Oracle audits, sometime before and sometimes after the Oracle audit’s “final report.” In all cases, including this one, House of Brick can provide the most support as early as possible in the audit, deploying the OpsCompass Database Compliance software for monthly use and providing advisory support for the duration of the audit.
The benefit of deploying the OpsCompass tool for monthly use is two-fold. First, it validates the audit’s point-in-time compliance to determine gaps. Second, it also introduces a basic level of governance to ensure ongoing compliance.
For clients like this, an Oracle audit can last up to 12 month or more. Oracle sales teams, in partnership with their License Management Services colleagues, will use this time to “find” a significant compliance gap or falsely assert that virtualized environments need to license whole data centers. House of Brick’s audit consulting services and compliance tools help clients like this to avoid significant audit costs, sometimes asserted by Oracle to be in the millions, if not tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.
Oracle License Governance & Support (Annual Managed Service)
While some Oracle customers have simple and small deployments, they can have the same challenges that larger companies may have with more complex deployments. Combine multiple small Oracle customers into one large company and the words “Compliance” and “Governance” must become a forethought rather than an afterthought.
In the case of another client, they had been folding smaller companies into their international organization for years. Each company had deployed Oracle on different types of hardware and operating systems – one was in the process of moving to Cloud, including their Oracle workloads. Additionally, Oracle agreements and ordering documents had territory and other restrictions. And then Oracle shows up with not just one, but two Oracle audit notices to the parent company – one for each of two divisions.
Fortunately, this parent company had just started introducing the organizational concept of Centers of Excellence. However, it did not consider that Oracle, whether deployed on premises or in the Cloud, would have such licensing challenges. Should they use Oracle Processor licensing for all divisions? How about that Oracle Cloud Policy document their Oracle rep mentioned, but would be pretty expensive? Or should they just look at an Unlimited License Agreement that the Oracle rep said would be a good deal and hope that would cover all their licensing bases for all divisions?
Going back to the Centers of Excellence concept, House of Brick helps this type and other client scenarios with an annual Managed License Support Service (MLSS). This service provides Oracle license governance and support, working with key COE stakeholders to develop a governance model that manages their current and future compliance.
The House of Brick MLSS service provides such clients with annual assessments to validate that Oracle deployments align to entitlements. This includes review of current and any new agreements and ordering documents. The OpsCompass Database Compliance software is also deployed for ongoing use, including an integrated governance consulting service that presents license dashboards with guidance to adapt entitlements and deployments to business needs. Most importantly, because of the compliance tool and governance services, House of Brick will provide unlimited audit defense support for the term of the service.
This client is now able to continue with their corporate integration and Cloud deployment plans. The OpsCompass tools and House of Brick services are providing ongoing governance support while ensuring ongoing Oracle license compliance. For large or small companies, ongoing use of compliance tools with governance consulting can both save and avoid significant Oracle costs – and help proactively be prepared for any Oracle audits or future company acquisition or divesture strategies.
House of Brick, along with our parent, OpsCompass, has been helping Oracle customers to mitigate the risks of enterprise system and cloud deployments for years. Compliance and governance best practices will continue to be important for Oracle customers that want to avoid entitlement gaps while also ensuring the proper deployment options for on premises or Cloud workloads. For further information on Oracle Licensing Compliance and Governance best practices, see https://houseofbrick.com/expert-services/compliance-governance/