Software Asset Management on Service Now- Part 04

Software Asset Management on Service Now- Part 04

In this blog; we will see the challenges of Oracle DB license management and how ServiceNow could help to maintain the same using SAM. Oracle creates more than 3000 products over several applications. In this blog we will talk only about Database Software wherein it is the market leader! We can easily see Gartner data to determine the huge market lead Oracle has

However, with its breadth of software’s it becomes difficult to manage it complex licensing models and it is imperative to understand how they work to determine accurate license compliance position and avoid pitfalls.

BASICS: –

Before, we go any further let’s start with understanding what are cores, sockets and hyper threading as it would enable us to understand Oracle Licensing better.

Cores: To increase performance, manufacturers add additional “cores,” or central processing units or processor. For ex. Dual core processor systems could run faster and process jobs together at the same time increasing speed. One can find the number of cores in their processor by just opening the run program in Windows and typing msinfo32; and thereby checking processor

Socket: The socket refers to a physical connector equipped with leads or pins on a computer motherboard that accepts a single physical chip. Many motherboards can have multiple sockets that can in turn accept multi-core chips.  Typical desktop PCs have a single socket, while standard servers use two to four sockets that share the same memory

Hyperthreading: – Hyper-threading is an Intel technology that originally preceded multi-core systems and was used to make a single core appear logically as multiple cores on the same chip. It is used extensively extensively to improve the performance of parallel computations on multi-core processors

TYPES OF ORACLE DBs

Let’s have a view on the different Oracle DB Products available in the market and thereby compare their licensing details

S.no.ProductComments
1Oracle Enterprise EditionMost comprehensive and Expensive (11g, 12g etc..)
2Oracle Standard EditionCosts same as MS SQL Server;An affordable, full-featured, data management solution suitable for all types of data and all applications, ideal for midsize companies
3Oracle Standard Edition 1This version is less expensive than the Standard Version
4Oracle Standard Edition 2Oracle has now replaced Standard Edition and Standard Edition One with just Standard Edition 2 (SE2).
5Personal EditionIs very inexpensive, full-featured version of Oracle DB, but is restricted to one user per database
6Xpress EditionFree, but limited to one database
7Oracle Enterprise ManagerDatabase Control and Grid control is provided free of charge, however, the management packs needs to be licensed for the number of users or CPU’s that you “monitor” with it.

 

The Management Packs to be licensed separately are: –

a)       Oracle Configuration Management Pack

b)       Oracle Change Management Pack

c)       Oracle Diagnostics Pack

d)       Oracle Tuning Pack (requires Diagnostics Pack)

8Oracle Application ServeriAS (Internet Application Server) is Oracle’s J2EE-based Application Server. iAS is divided into Infrastructure and Middle Tier components.

TYPES OF ORACLE DB Licensing

Majorly, Oracle DB offers 2 main types of license metrics and both are supported on Service Now SAM Module

  • Processor Licensing: – Used when users cannot be counted or verified; best examples are web-based applications. The number of required licenses should be evaluated by multiplying the total number of cores of the processor by a core processor-licensing factor specified on the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table provided by Oracle

  • Named User Plus: – Named User Plus licensing is when the licensee pays per user, but a user is defined as any end-node that receives or creates data from an Oracle database. This can include humans or systems. In addition, as per Oracle minimum user policy the following need to be adhered to

    • Oracle Database Standard Edition ONE: 5 Named User Plus licenses
    • Oracle Database Standard Edition: 5 Named User Plus licenses
    • Oracle Database Standard Edition 2: 10 Named User Plus licenses per server
    • Oracle Database Enterprise Edition: 25 Named User Plus licenses per CPU
    • Oracle Application Server Standard Edition ONE: 5 Named User Plus licenses
    • All other Oracle Application Server products: 10 Named User Plus licenses per CPU

In addition, the different environments also contribute to the way the license behaves.

S.no.EnvironmentDetails
1DevelopmentUsers can use Full Licenses downloaded from Oracle Technology Network. Users can develop but not deploy. In addition, only 1 person and 1 server can access the Oracle DB
2TestAll Application must be licenses under the Oracle License and Services Agreement
3ProductionAll Application must be licenses under the Oracle License and Services Agreement

 

Other than this Oracle Offer certain Database Options that are licensed separately. For ex. Oracle Active Data Guard; which enhances the Quality of Service (QoS) for production databases by off-loading resource-intensive operations to one or more standby databases, which are synchronized copies of the production database. There are as such around 13 such Options ranging from Advanced Analytics to security, compression of data etc.

Imp: All the Oracle Database options can be purchased with Oracle Database Enterprise Edition. Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) option is included with Oracle Database Standard Edition. You cannot purchase any options with Oracle Database Standard Edition One or Oracle Express Edition. The Personal Edition includes all options except Oracle RAC at no additional cost.

What Does Service Now Offer to accommodate Oracle Licensing

Service Now offers the Oracle Suite of licensing metrics as a separate content pack that must be installed in addition to SAM Premium.

  • Both Named User Plus and Per Processor licensing is covered (For Oracle Per Processor license metric, Hyper-Threading must be enabled if you are using a virtual machine (VM) running Amazon Web Services (AWS))

  • Service Now offers management of Database Option and management packs

Common Pitfalls in Oracle Licensing

  • Virtualization: Oracle determines whether your servers are “hard partitioned” or “soft partitioned” at the server. For Oracle, “hard partitioned” will only be recognized at different entities and even VMware partitioning, is not considered active portioning leading to issues. Hence, a detailed architecture assessment is necessary in this case.

    In many cases, the organization feels only the virtual server needed to be licensed, however the whole VMware cluster needs to be licensed for every physical server where the virtual server could potentially be running.This is the most common pitfall and can be explained better below; and occurs majorly in VMWare vsphereESXi 5.0 or below


    Oracle requires requiring the entire server farm in the cluster to be counted and licensed because a customer has the potential ability to run the Oracle database on all connected servers and cores. Whereas, VMware’s licensing interpretation only considers the actual cores assigned to the virtual machine running the Oracle database. This leads to issues in costing and audits on Oracle

  • Disaster Recovery: If processors are used for the primary site then the backup site also needs to be licensed by processor.  A common mistake is believing that Named User Plus licenses can be used for the backup site – in the hope of saving money

  • Options and Management Packs not licensed

  • License Minimums not understood, so Named User Plus licenses not counted correctly

  • Using Different Views to determine Oracle License Compliance: It is imperative to have one view of all Oracle assets to get a clear view of the license compliance

  • Using Unlimited License Agreement Incorrectly: Paying too much too soon and thereby not being able to use all licenses within the time frame leads to errors in judgement

Oracle conducts regular audits of the infrastructure of its partners at regular intervals. Oracle’s License Management Services (LMS) is the department within Oracle that typically performs the audits on behalf of Oracle Corporation, supported by several third parties (LMS partners) that can perform the audit on behalf of Oracle LMS.

Usually the Audits are notified at least 45 days prior to conduct the audit. During an audit, the organization are requested to complete an Excel overview (Oracle Server Worksheet) with the details of your IT infrastructure. In addition, you might be requested to run scripts on your servers or to execute various commands on the different software programs. The completed overview and the output log files are requested to be sent back to Oracle for analysis purposes. At the end, the results of the analysis are formalized in a final report, through which Oracle presents you with your license compliance status

With use of Service Now; all Oracle Compliance Overview can be seen at a single place that helps to aid audit and determining the real compliance of Oracle Servers in the Infrastructure. However, it is very important for organization to determine if Oracle Licenses compliance is being done correctly by conducting regular internal audits.

Credits:

ITAM Review

Oracle Licensing Guide

Oracle website

SNOW Software

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