Case Study

Cloud Migration Challenges: What’s the Impact on Your Oracle License Count?

Federal agencies are facing increasing pressure to outsource their IT infrastructure to Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

Seven years ago, President Obama announced the “Cloud First” Policy which stated that before building any new data centers, the government should strongly consider utilizing Cloud services instead. At the time, there were 10,584 data centers open. Since then, more than 4,000 have been shut down. In 2017, The Trump Administration has continued to voice support for aggressive Cloud migration.

One question agencies often overlook when planning a Cloud migration is “how will this impact our software license requirements?” Unfortunately, the answer is more complicated than one might think.

A prominent example is Oracle’s Database software. Most agencies have some form of Oracle Database installed in their networks. The annual spend on Oracle software licenses and maintenance alone can total tens of millions of dollars for a single agency. When migrating data center infrastructure to the Cloud, agencies often assume that their Oracle licensing count will remain constant.

In reality, due to the intricacies of how Oracle defines license requirements in different environments, customers could end up requiring up to four times as many licenses after migration. At >$10K per processor license (even after steeply negotiated discounts), licensing costs can escalate rapidly in the Cloud environment.

Through our work with Federal CIOs and IT acquisition organizations, the Censeo team has encountered this licensing issue at multiple agencies. As a result, we’ve compiled our answers to the top FAQs clients tend to ask when tackling this challenge.

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