Understanding Oracle Linux License Model and Working

Oracle offers a comprehensive and flexible licensing model for Oracle Linux to meet the needs of different organizations. Here’s a detailed look at the primary licensing models and support options available for Oracle Linux:

Oracle Linux Licensing Models

  1. Oracle Linux Basic Support

    • Description: Provides access to Oracle Linux Network (ULN) for software updates and security patches.
    • Features:
      • Access to the latest Oracle Linux updates, errata, and security patches.
      • No phone or 24/7 support.
    • Suitable For: Environments that require regular updates and patches but do not need extensive support or high availability features.
  2. Oracle Linux Premier Support

    • Description: Offers a comprehensive support package for enterprise environments.
    • Features:
      • 24/7 phone and online support.
      • Access to Oracle Linux Network (ULN) and Ksplice for zero-downtime kernel updates.
      • Support for high availability services, Oracle Clusterware, and Oracle VM.
    • Suitable For: Mission-critical environments that require round-the-clock support and advanced features.
  3. Oracle Linux Premier Limited Support

    • Description: Aimed at systems that do not need 24/7 support or advanced features

Here’s an overview to help you understand the relationship between physical server licenses and virtual machines.

Licensing Models

  1. Oracle Linux Basic Support and Oracle Linux Premier Support:

    • These licenses are typically based on the number of physical servers or CPUs.
    • Each physical server license covers the entire physical server regardless of the number of VMs.
  2. Oracle VM Server for x86:

    • Oracle VM Server is a free enterprise-class server virtualization solution.
    • When using Oracle VM, Oracle Linux is typically licensed per physical server or CPU.

Determining the Number of VMs

  1. Physical Server Licensing:

    • If you have 4 physical server licenses, you can deploy Oracle Linux on 4 physical servers.
    • Each physical server can run an unlimited number of VMs, provided the hardware resources (CPU, memory, storage) support it.
  2. CPU-based Licensing:

    • If your licensing is based on the number of CPUs, ensure that the total number of CPUs across all your VMs does not exceed the licensed amount on each physical server.

Example Scenario

Assuming you have 4 physical servers each licensed with Oracle Linux Premier Support:

  • Physical Server Configuration:

    • Each physical server is equipped with adequate resources (CPU, RAM, storage) to support multiple VMs.
  • Virtual Machine Deployment:

    • There is no specific limit to the number of VMs you can create per physical server.
    • The actual number of VMs depends on the server’s hardware capacity and the resource requirements of each VM.

Practical Considerations

  • Resource Allocation:

    • Ensure that the physical servers have sufficient CPU, memory, and storage to handle the desired number of VMs.
    • Over-provisioning can lead to performance degradation.
  • Management and Support:

    • Oracle Linux Premier Support provides comprehensive support, which includes assistance with virtualization and VM-related issues.
    • Regularly monitor the performance and resource usage of your VMs to ensure optimal operation.

With 4 physical server licenses for Oracle Linux, you can create as many VMs as your hardware resources allow on each licensed physical server. The key is to ensure that the physical servers have sufficient resources to support the desired number of VMs without exceeding the hardware capabilities.

Understanding Oracle's Licensing Policies USE CASE

Oracle's licensing policies allow for the use of Oracle software, including Oracle Linux, in third-party cloud environments like Microsoft Azure. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Bring Your Own License (BYOL):

    • Oracle allows customers to bring their own licenses (BYOL) to cloud environments, including Azure.
    • This means you can use your existing Oracle Linux licenses on Azure VMs.
  2. Licensing in the Cloud:

    • Oracle's cloud licensing policies often use vCPUs (virtual CPUs) instead of physical CPUs.
    • Typically, two vCPUs in the cloud are equivalent to one Oracle processor license.

Steps to Use Oracle Linux Physical Server Licenses on Azure

  1. Verify Your Licenses:

    • Ensure that your Oracle Linux licenses are eligible for BYOL.
    • Review the terms of your Oracle support agreement to confirm that it allows for cloud deployment.
  2. Plan Your Azure Deployment:

    • Determine the number of Azure VMs you need and their required resources (vCPUs, RAM, storage).
    • Map your physical server licenses to the Azure vCPUs based on Oracle’s licensing rules (generally, 2 vCPUs = 1 Oracle processor license).
  3. Set Up Your Azure Environment:

    • Create an Azure Account: If you don’t already have one, sign up for Azure.
    • Set Up Networking: Configure virtual networks, subnets, and network security groups as needed.
    • Storage: Plan and configure Azure Storage for your VM disks.
  4. Deploy Oracle Linux VMs on Azure:

    • Choose the Appropriate VM Size: Select an Azure VM size that matches your resource requirements.
    • Deploy the VM: Use the Azure portal, CLI, or PowerShell to create VMs with Oracle Linux.
  5. Transfer Licenses:

    • Bring Your Own License (BYOL): During the VM setup process, specify that you are using your own Oracle Linux licenses.
    • Install Oracle Linux: If Oracle Linux is not available as a pre-configured option, you may need to manually install it from an ISO file.
    • Configure the VMs: Ensure that the VMs are configured according to Oracle’s best practices for running Oracle Linux.
  6. Manage and Monitor Your VMs:

    • System Updates: Use Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) for system updates and patches.
    • Monitoring: Utilize Azure Monitor and Azure Advisor to keep track of your VMs’ performance and security.

Example Scenario

Existing License:

  • You have 4 physical server licenses for Oracle Linux.
  • Each physical server license is equivalent to 2 physical CPUs.

Azure Deployment:

  1. Licensing Calculation:

    • Each physical CPU license can be translated to cover 2 vCPUs in Azure.
    • Thus, each physical server license can cover up to 4 vCPUs (2 physical CPUs x 2 vCPUs).
  2. Deploying VMs:

    • If you deploy VMs with 2 vCPUs each, each physical server license can cover 2 such VMs.
    • For 4 physical server licenses, you can cover 8 VMs with 2 vCPUs each (4 licenses x 2 VMs per license).
  3. Steps:

    • Create Azure VMs: Use the Azure portal to create VMs with 2 vCPUs.
    • BYOL Option: During the setup, specify that you are bringing your own Oracle Linux license.
    • Configure and Install: Install and configure Oracle Linux on these VMs.


By leveraging Oracle’s BYOL policy, you can use your existing Oracle Linux physical server licenses to deploy and run Oracle Linux on Azure VMs. Ensure that you understand Oracle’s cloud licensing equivalencies, set up your Azure environment correctly, and configure your VMs to comply with Oracle’s best practices. This approach provides flexibility and cost efficiency while leveraging cloud infrastructure.

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