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Oracle Pricing Model Update 2023: What It Means For Your Organization  

Oracle recently announced a major change to Oracle Java subscription pricing. Gone are the days of calculating how many desktops are running Oracle Java or how many processors are associated with servers running it. Oracle is now licensing Oracle Java SE by “Employees.1 

This change is a welcome one for many licensees, as it eliminates the need for annual monitoring and measurement of Java deployments. However, there are still some potential drawbacks to the new pricing model, particularly for organizations with a disproportionate number of employees compared to servers/desktops. 

How will Oracle’s new pricing model impact your organization? Will you have to pay more Oracle Java?

Let’s analyze the impact. 

Java measurements 

Oracle’s previous Java pricing model was based on the location where Java SE was installed/running. This forced Oracle licensees to monitor and measure their Java deployments at least once a year for purposes of renewing their Oracle Java subscription. Oracle licensees typically had to report on the number of desktops (end-user workstations) and processors available to servers that use Oracle Java SE. Further complicating this measurement is the embedded Oracle entitlement for Oracle Java SE with many Oracle programs.2  

This embedded entitlement identified that if a desktop or server was only running Oracle programs with Oracle Java; those devices would not require a Java subscription. Measuring and reporting Java consumption was no easy task, even for seasoned Oracle license professionals. Therefore, not having to track Java deployments will be a welcome change by many Oracle licensees. Even better, an employee metric means no more Oracle Java audits for most licensees.  

So what’s the catch? 

Java Deployment Restrictions

A move to an employee license metric allows licensees to deploy Oracle Java without restriction, right? Wrong.  

The new employee metric limits organizations to no more than 50,000 processors3 meaning that those with large Java deployments may still need to demonstrate consumption to Oracle and could still be at risk of an audit. However, for organizations with smaller Oracle footprints, the employee metric means they no longer need to track Oracle Java deployments. This allows SAM teams to focus on other license compliance risks. 

The Financial Impact of Oracle’s New Java Pricing 

Will you end up paying more for Oracle Java? If you already have a Java subscription with desktops and processors, will Oracle force you under the new employee metric in your next renewal? 

Oracle has announced that clients who already have Java entitlement through perpetual licenses or under a subscription can renew under their existing terms and conditions.  

But what license approach is best for your organization? The financial impact of Oracle’s Java pricing metric change will likely be different for every Oracle licensee. Organizations with a disproportionately large number of employees compared to servers/desktops may be in for a rude awakening under Oracle’s new pricing model.  

Conversely, organizations with large server footprints or who are at risk of inflated usage counts with Oracle’s policy on VMware (soft partitioning), may benefit from this new employee metric. The only way to know where you stand is to perform a Java usage assessment. Use your Java consumption data to evaluate pricing under Oracle’s old model and compare it to pricing under the new employee model. Historically, Oracle was known to be non-negotiable on Oracle Java subscription pricing. However, organizations who may face dramatic increases in Java subscription fees should understand their usage and negotiate based on the ROI of Oracle Java to their organization. 

Will This New Metric Work For You? 

Remember, organizations without existing Java entitlements will now pay for Java based on their employee population, regardless of their Oracle Java consumption. If even one Oracle Java SE instance is running in an organization’s environment, Oracle could require Java licensing for the entire organization. If Oracle proceeds with this employee-based license approach (with no option to license by historical Named User and Processor licenses), organizations will need to question whether Oracle Java is worth the cost or if open-source or 3rd-party Java solutions might be a better option.  

When negotiating with Oracle, knowledge is power. Don’t renew your Oracle Java subscription without understanding your Java consumption and your options. If you have questions on your Oracle Java licensing and the impact of Oracle’s Java license metric change, contact Anglepoint today. 

1 Definitions, Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription, Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription Global Price List, January 23, 2023.

2 Support Entitlement for Java SE When Used As Part of Another Oracle Product, My Oracle Support, Document ID 1557737.1

3 Pricing Notes, Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription Global Price List, January 23, 2023.

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