How we helped a Fortune 500 retail company move their Oracle workloads to Amazon EC2 and RDS

oracle amazon ec2 rds

Moving to the cloud can be challenging – but it doesn’t have to be

Company: International Fortune 500 company

Case: Transformation from on-premise to public cloud

Cost Avoidance: $3.5 M

Many enterprises are transforming their on-premises Oracle workloads to a public cloud solution of either Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2/RDS or Google Cloud Platform.  This was the case for an international Fortune 500 company – they had Oracle Database Enterprise Edition with associated options and pack licenses on a Processor and Named User Plus licensing model. The customer made the decision to transform their on-premise deployments to the public cloud and issued an RFP. During the RFP process, Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle and Google were invited to participate. Based on the selection criteria defined in the RFP, the decision was made to go for Amazon EC2 and RDS. The customer informed the other participants about their definitive choice which might have had an impact on the relationship with Oracle. The customer was afraid of an audit and engaged B-lay to support them through this period.

The challenge

The customer believed they had a clear view of their available licenses for their on-premise Oracle Database deployments. However, in their licensing agreements with Oracle, there was actually no specific contractual language about how to count the number of Oracle Database licenses if they were to be deployed on a third-party public cloud provider like Amazon. The customer was aware of Oracle’s Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment document but was worried because the policy states “for educational purposes only” and that these rules may not be incorporated into any contract and are subject to change without notice at Oracle’s discretion.

In addition, because the customer did not choose Oracle’s Universal Cloud Credits model for Oracle IaaS & PaaS services, the Oracle Sales team started to push for an audit and informed the customer that they would require an additional investment of $2.2 M (net license and net support fees at a discount of 75%) to cover their period of “double” use. The customer explained in their RFP that they would have a period of approximately 6 – 12 months in which the Oracle Database software would be installed and/or running both on the existing on-premise environments and in the new Amazon cloud instances, requiring both environments to be fully licensed.

Our solution

Despite the fact that the customer believed they had a complete and accurate view of their current licenses and actual deployments, we decided to perform an internal audit first to determine the actual compliance position. During our internal audit, we made use of our Zyncc platform to guide the customer through the different scripts that needed to be executed and data elements that were required  in order to have a complete and trustworthy data set. The scripts and methodologies included in our Zyncc platform are 100% identical to the scripts and audit methodology used by Oracle during the course of an audit.

The results of our initial compliance baseline showed a number of compliance issues related to the unlicensed use of Oracle Database Enterprise Edition options (Advanced Compression use triggered by the use of Data Pump Compression and OLTP Table compression) and Oracle Database Enterprise Management packs (Cloud Management Pack and Database Lifecycle Management Pack). These non-compliance issues summed up to a net license and net support fee of $1.4M USD. Through our remediation support services, we helped the customer to reduce this financial exposure to a net license fee of $102K USD (net license and net support fees).

The results of the internal audit also showed that the customer had 25 Processor licenses for Oracle Database Enterprise Edition available. Based on these licenses, we supported the customer to create a plan to gradually deploy Oracle Database licenses on the Amazon EC2 cloud within their current available licenses.

With this plan, we were able to help the customer stay within their available licenses at all times by providing insight on what database environments should be deinstalled on-premise before new Amazon instances could be spun up with an Oracle Database. Upon the completion of the migration a new internal audit was performed to ensure that all the deployments of the Oracle Database programs were within their current available licenses. This validation resulted in a compliance issue separate from the already identified database option licenses the customer was short on. The additional licenses for an amount of $102K USD were obtained through our negotiation support services. Apart from obtaining the desired discount of 75%, we negotiated specific contractual language in the agreement specifying the (contractually binding) licensing rules and definitions for counting the deployments of Oracle software if and when deployed on public cloud environments like Amazon. We did this to make sure that the customer had contractual coverage with regards to the rules specified in Oracle’s Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment document and would not be at risk if Oracle changes these licensing rules in the future.

Business impact and results

As a result of the services we provided, the customer was able to achieve a cost avoidance of $3.5 M, purchase the licenses with a discount of 75%, and obtain “peace of mind” by having contractual coverage with regards to the licensing of Oracle software programs on Amazon EC2 and Amazon RDS.

In addition to this, our customer developed an understanding of the need for constant license management and  the contractual and technical knowledge to manage their Oracle estate properly. If the customer had not engaged B-lay’s services, they would have most likely entered into an Unlimited License Agreement with an additional license and incurred ongoing  support costs instead of the overall cost reduction they wanted to achieve by transforming from on-premise to the public cloud.

“We’re happy we chose to involve B-lay in this project; this way we actually avoided spending high costs and entering into an agreement that wasn’t suited to our needs.”