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Oracle Database License Management Verification Standard V1.0

An independent verification for Oracle license management

An independent verification for Oracle license management

Back in April last year we published a comparison of five SAM tools with Oracle License Management capabilities (See: Oracle License Management Group Test – The Results).

This previous group test above was based on a questionnaire completed by participating vendors and an online briefing to quiz vendors on their capabilities.

For 2016, we would like to take this up a notch by formally benchmarking tool manufacturers against an open standard (This article) using real customer data.

An open standard for Oracle Database License Management

The details published below are a first draft of our open standard for the management of Oracle database.

i.e. If I want to invest in tooling to manage the risk and cost of Oracle database licensing in my environment – what should I be looking for?

We are publishing this standard so that others may add or critique it – please provide your feedback via the comments below and we will update the standard accordingly.

The ITAM Review will use this standard to verify tools for Oracle License Management. Oracle already run their own verification process for tools (Further info here). The ITAM Review verification process has two notable differences compared to the Oracle LMS program:

  1. Our verification process will be open, transparent and collaborative. It will evolve with the industry over time (Hence sharing this open standard).
  2. Oracle’s current tool verification process relates to inventory only and not the Oracle license management reconciliation process. The ITAM Review verification will test both inventory and reconciliation (as you can read below).

Tools will be benchmarked using real customer data to independently verify whether they meet the criteria below.


Oracle Database License Management Verification Standard V1.0 


Version 1.0 Published 17th November 2015

Implementation prerequisites

  • Are all the prerequisites required for successful discovery and Oracle license management reconciliation included in the documentation?
  • Does the customer or partner need to get more privileges along the way (root access when pre-requisite says read only, access to OVMM etc.) to complete the inventory?

Discovery

  • Ability to select and scan a network segment for the existence of Oracle instances when their existence is not known

Inventory

Software

  • DB version (Major and minor versions numbers e.g. Oracle 12.1.0.2)
  • DB edition
  • Options installed
  • Options in use
  • Access to raw data (user names, times and dates an option has been used)

Hardware set up

  • Physical or virtual (If virtual relationship to physical host and cluster)
  • Host hardware data incl. failover and other passive servers

Clusters

  • Ability to capture the complete hardware cluster

Virtualization

  • Ability to interpret hardware partitioning according to Oracle rules e.g. IBM, SUN, etc.
  • Ability to determine number of licensable cores in an Oracle VM set up

Application recognition

Components

  • Are the installations automatically assigned to the right product/license

Contract, License, Organization and Financial data

  • Manual or batch import
  • Skills profile – Is this something a SAM person could do or Oracle DB expert?
  • Support for all Oracle contract levels and interdependencies
    • Order number, contract number, support number and support contract number
  • Are all Oracle license models supported
    • Processor, NUP, nonstandard and old models
  • Organization structure support
  • Financial data management

Compliance calculation & reporting

  • Is compliance calculated automatically?
  • Are prerequisites considered e.g. if tuning is used then you also need diagnostics
  • Are unlicensed product installations shown as missing licenses or only the licensed ones?
  • Does the calculation take into consideration complete hardware clusters, hardware partitioning, DB options used by Oracle’s own users only, options used in the past that trigger an audit risk
    • Can licenses be tied to a server or business unit etc.?
    • Can licenses be handled as a pool?

Audit readiness

Does the tool automatically generate an Oracle Server Worksheet?

User friendliness and user manuals

  • Is there a manual that guides the SAM manager through the set up and management of the tool?
  • Is there a help desk that will answer customer SAM work related questions?
  • An active user group, forum, external consultants or other support network for the customer?

CALL FOR CRITIQUE

We welcome your feedback on this first draft, have we missed anything? is it realistic? Please let us know via our contact form or leave a comment below. Thanks, Martin

Image Credit

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource for worldwide ITAM professionals. The ITAM Review is best known for its weekly newsletter of all the latest industry updates, LISA training platform, Excellence Awards and conferences in UK, USA and Australia.

Martin is also the founder of ITAM Forum, a not-for-profit trade body for the ITAM industry created to raise the profile of the profession and bring an organisational certification to market. On a voluntary basis Martin is a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

He is also the author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management. In addition, Martin developed the PITAM training course and certification.

Prior to founding the ITAM Review in 2008 Martin worked for Centennial Software (Ivanti), Silicon Graphics, CA Technologies and Computer 2000 (Tech Data).

When not working, Martin likes to Ski, Hike, Motorbike and spend time with his young family.

Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

2 Comments

  1. Sherry Irwin says:

    Martin, this is an excellent start. A couple of suggestions (applicable, but not specific to Oracle):

    1. Financial data: Ideally, can accommodate both past and future (committed)payments, by type – e.g., license (new), license (upgrade or conversion), maintenance, training etc.
    2. License data: Model/type, metric(s), entitlements (limits), plus any restrictions; also, audit/history of license conversions/upgrades.

  2. Alin Sas says:

    Hi Martin,

    Nice document you’ve put together here, i would add the following:

    * Physical or virtual (If virtual relationship to physical host and cluster) -> ESX version and virtual relationship to VCenter is needed in certain situations.

    * Is compliance calculated automatically? -> The question is, is the compliance calculated automatically in the most cost effective way for the customer based on each server specs? assign the best licenses depending on the available metrics (NUP or Processor)?

    Extra questions:

    * Does it take into consideration storage disk licensing?

    * Automation: Is an automated solution?

    1) Scans -> Can you schedule the tool to scan on certain dates/hours?
    2) Data gathering -> Is the all the data flow automated to the tool?
    3) Interpretation of results -> Is additional analysis/confirmation required or is it an 100% automated and acurate interpretation that doesn’t require additional details
    4) VMWare infrastructure detection -> Is it automated on all levels or manual data import is required?
    5) Analysis -> Is the Licensing calculation of core factor automated, does this automatically consider the VMWare infrastructure?

    Thank you,
    Alin

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