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Be IT investment smart with Oracle BYOL

Jon Tucker
Principal Solution Architect

This post is a follow-up to the blog post Two Oracle Programs to Help with Your Transition to the Cloud.

Virtually every IT decision is about people, process, and technology. These drivers are consistent whether you’re talking on-premises installations or cloud-based environments. But when adopting the cloud, another driver takes center stage: investment protection. As any architect, CTO, or CFO knows, technology investments can’t simply be abandoned when functionality and services move to the cloud.

In this article, we focus on software licenses themselves, which represent a significant IT investment that must be protected to avoid business risk.

Oracle can preserve these investments

Oracle achieves this protection with our bring-your-own-license (BYOL) program. Designed to help our customers mitigate replatforming investment-risk, BYOL allows them to avoid rewriting, retesting, recertifying, and retraining development teams. The program helps you create and deploy a cloud-migration strategy that conforms to your needs, while preserving your existing technology investments.

As Larry Ellison, Oracle Chair and CTO, explained during the FY2021 Q1-earnings conference call, in the context of describing the many avenues for increased Oracle cloud adoption, “We encourage our customers to buy licenses.” Ellison elaborated that BYOL not only lets you “run those licenses in your data center on-premises,” it also lets you “bring those licenses to the cloud and get big discounts running database in the cloud.”

During that same call, Safra Catz, Oracle CEO, spoke to perhaps the most powerful aspect of BYOL: By allowing businesses to port the products they need during cloud-migration, BYOL enables enterprises a smoother journey to the cloud.

But here’s the real silver-lining. Not only does BYOL let you use your previous software- and hardware-licensing investments, while reducing the technology risk of replatforming your systems, it empowers you to migrate on your own unique timeline.

Tailored for your needs, to move at your own speed

The BYOL program allows our customers to create a flexible cloud portfolio, comprised of the exact blend of on- and off-premises capabilities, on a migration timetable that matches their goals and needs. An Oracle-enabled hybrid approach can include on-premises, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), and third-party clouds.

The question then becomes, is BYOL right for your company? From a financial standpoint, the decision isn’t as hard as it might initially seem. The trick is to accurately convert license usage into subscription usage by cataloging all software licenses currently held, then parsing them against how much OCPU resource each license is consuming. Resulting in a clear picture of what each expenditure yields, you can better and intelligently evaluate the cloud subscription licenses that are most necessary within your unique context.

With this clarity gained, you can then match the license requirement with the OCPU shape that diagrams your needs. Similarly, it’s important to spotlight licenses you’re not using by evaluating your ULA investments.

When you’ve completed a software review that includes everything above, you have a solid sense of your total license landscape, and you might discover that your move to the cloud, license-wise, is already paid for.

Moving beyond a review, let’s look at some of the specific ways BYOL can make you investment smart.

Investment smart use cases

In a recent case study, Oracle worked with a large retail company that operates many small kiosk locations around the country. Our customer wanted to move their application- and database-infrastructure to OCI, because they didn’t have an adequate disaster recovery infrastructure and wanted to capitalize on using multiple regions in OCI. But our customer needed to be mindful of the database licenses that they already owned, which worked on their existing WebLogic platform.

Our account team led our customer through an architecture-review session, which helped them realize that they could use BYOL in meeting their WebLogic requirements. By adding Oracle Multitenant to the mix, our customer reduced further database-license needs. Oracle Multitenant is an option for the Oracle Database that helps customers reduce IT costs by simplifying consolidation, provisioning, upgrades, and more. It’s supported by an architecture that allows a container database to hold many pluggable databases. Our customer then moved from CapEx to OpEx for the infrastructure Compute purchase and reduced cost overall by using BYOL to add software licenses only where necessary.

Using OCI delivers a host of advantages, from better performance, simpler management, integration to the Oracle technology and applications portfolio and comprehensive single-vendor support. Even for hybrid architectures that include third-party clouds, we still have you covered, thanks to BYOL.

After having made a corporate acquisition, a large insurance company came to Oracle. This customer decided not to bring the acquired company’s infrastructure in-house and chose a third-party cloud solution that fits their needs. Because their application’s database was on Oracle and they already owned database licenses, our customer ported database licenses from on-premises to the third-party cloud by using BYOL. As part of their migration strategy, they purchased more licenses for use in the third-party cloud, knowing they would soon experience growth. Looking forward, our customer plans to reuse those licenses for on-premises workloads when the application is removed from the third-party cloud in a few years.

Cost benefits

Pivoting from performance to cost, if you’re looking to remove guesswork when going over-budget on license usage, or meeting timelines dictated by license purchases, Oracle again provides a powerful way to be investment smart.

Deal-sweetening incentives include a license-free, 100-day migration period, during which new licenses are not in effect. This migration forgiveness is unique to OCI. If you’re folding in third-party clouds or longer implementations, we also provide one-year term licenses on Oracle products. You can modify your license term through various pricing options, based on planned and unplanned business expansion, even as we provide a fixed cost for Oracle licensing.

The comprehensive savings derived from BYOL-smarts can add to as much as 70% of your IT bottom line. Gayleen Rothrock, Group Vice President of Strategy and Innovation in Oracle’s Technology organization, included the following slide in a recent BYOL presentation. During her presentation, Rothrock also touched upon Oracle’s Amazon Guarantee, which, if you make the move to OCI, promises to cut your Amazon bill in half.

A graphic comparing the cost of BYOL to Ent Edition Extreme LiPaaS subscription.

When considering a cloud-migration strategy that allows you to successfully protect your technology investments, Oracle’s the one to get the job done.


Our bring-your-own-license program is a key differentiator that gives you the freedom and flexibility to flow between on-premises to the cloud and back as your needs and context dictate, all while protecting the IT investments you’ve already made. And we think that’s pretty smart—investment smart.

If you’re considering a cloud migration and are ready to get investment smart, we’re here and ready to help.

A graphic depicting Oracle's Amazon guarantee.

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