October 30, 2018 - Licensing and Support for Oracle Applications on AWS

Moving Your Legacy Applications to Cloud

One of the most frequent questions that we are asked by customers is whether their Oracle license and support will remain valid when running on Amazon Web Services (“AWS”). The short answer is ‘yes’.

There is a growing number of our customers that have made the move in order to realize the benefits inherent with on demand, utility-based cloud as well as AWS maturity and breadth of services. For additional insight, listen to customer experience and resulting operational gains at Integer Holdings Corp (NYSE: ITGR) cited during excerpts of a recent session, “Migrating Oracle Applications to AWS Cloud”.

Licensing and Support for Oracle Applications on AWS

Of course, licensees must comply with the agreed upon terms and conditions of their current Oracle license and support agreements and related published policies. This requirement is universal for all software vendors, whether legacy or SaaS subscription based.  Licensing grants the end customer certain rights, such as use and distribution, in exchange for vendor obligations relative to the software.

As legally binding, these agreements can be complex and the obligations and compliance risk must be managed as is the case with any type of contract.  However, whether legacy software is deployed in a cloud environment or in your on-premise data center, you are responsible to understand the requirements and ensure that your applications are deployed according to the specifications agreed upon with the vendor.

In early 2017, Oracle issued a policy statement defining how to license Oracle products when used with Amazon and Microsoft cloud services, designated by Oracle as Authorized Cloud Environments.  Planning is vital to assess the impact of the policy for the contemplated cloud environment.  Cost benefits can be gained by leveraging a move to the cloud but the effects on license should be calculated and compared fully.  A lift-and-shift migration will not, in itself, drive the ROI.   Invariably, there are other factors that support the economics and also align to ‘big picture’ strategy and initiatives of the organization.

There have been many false misconceptions and misinformation, often sourced from various vendors that have motivation to plant a seed of doubt.   No need for panic or consternation.  We’ve all seen this movie before throughout the course of computing history.   After all, customers grappled with similar questions and confusion in the past when faced with paradigm shifts and emerging options such as shared facility hosting and virtualization.

To help sort through the intricacies of compliance, organizations should rely on legal counsel and/or firms that specialize in license management, compliance audit and contract negotiation.   For more information, you might be interested in a white paper by Miro Consulting, “Oracle Application Licensing on Amazon Web Services”.

Relative to product support, customers are also hearing that their applications might not be supported as AWS is not certified by Oracle.   Well, the fact of the matter is that many 3rd party products are not certified by Oracle and remain supported.  It is not possible for Oracle, or any major software vendor, to certify all 3rd party products and environments that they support.  To maintain support, you must ensure that you meet the minimum requirements that have been tested and certified.

For example, consider E-Business Suite, one of the flagship ERP applications.  Oracle will provide support and patches for issues that can be reproduced on certified operating systems. Steven Chan, Sr. Director of Oracle Applications Technology Group writes:  “One of the most frequently asked questions I answer daily is this:  Is my third-party product ___ certified with the E-Business Suite?  The short answer is, ‘No, it’s not’.  But wait…don’t leave just yet!  That doesn’t mean that you can’t use these products with the E-Business Suite, it just means that we haven’t certified them ourselves…We support more than we certify.” For additional background, obtain an overview provided by Wilfrido Solano, Director Cloud Services of Apps Associates, during one of our webinars, “10 Licensing and Support Mistakes To Avoid When Migration Oracle to AWS”.

To avoid any issues, always be sure to understand the terms and conditions of your licensing and support agreements and the latest policies from Oracle or any of your software vendors and plan properly.  Then, you can run your legacy applications hosted in AWS public or in private, co-location facility or in your own data center without issue.

Oracle and related products (e.g., E-Business Suite) are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) and related products and services are a registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. and/or its affiliates. 
Microsoft and related products and services are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation and/or its affiliates.

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Bill Saltys

Bill Saltys is Senior Vice President, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Program Management. Bill is responsible to drive the strategic direction of a cross-functional program across Apps Associates focused on customer value through AWS cloud adoption, transformation and managed services. Prior to joining Apps Associates, Bill held executive and senior management positions within the high technology sector in both entrepreneurial firms and Fortune 500 companies such as Texas Instruments and Digital Equipment Corporation in the areas of strategic planning & engineering.

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