Moving to the Cloud with an Oracle ULA

Can you move to the cloud with an Oracle ULA?

Answer – yes.

That should be the end of this article. Unfortunately, Oracle, as Oracle does, tries to muddy the waters and cast doubt on the freedom you have to adopt technologies that are best for your organization. Whether you want to move to Oracle’s cloud, AWS, Google cloud, or any other cloud, your decisions should be based on what’s best for your organization, and not based on fear of Oracle’s response.

Oracle’s Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) is still their preferred method to sell you licenses and lock you into the Oracle ecosystem. In fact, Oracle has doubled down on the ULA with the Perpetual ULA, and the ULA with a path to Oracle cloud. Both these contracts are designed to extract more money from you while limiting your ability to adopt technologies that are often better than Oracle’s systems.

Oracle cloud or non-Oracle cloud?

Too often we get new clients who are at the end of their ULA and want to move to a non-Oracle cloud, only to be faced with a barrage of threats and arguments from their Oracle sales teams. These clients are then stuck between doing what they think is best for their company (moving to a non-Oracle cloud) and what Oracle wants them to do. That’s when they come to Palisade Compliance for help to determine the best course of action.

The first thing I do in these situations is ask the client: “Let’s forget what Oracle is saying. If you could do whatever you wanted for your company, what would you do?” The client then always answers: “I would like to move my Oracle to Google cloud, or AWS.” That’s when I respond with, “Okay, we will figure out a way for you to do that.”

Ultimately, companies and government agencies must make decisions that are good for them in the long term, even if those decisions make Oracle unhappy.

After 25 years in the Oracle ecosystem I can’t believe I’m still discussing how Oracle is often seen as a threat to their clients. Amazing!

Know what is – and isn’t – in your contracts

The first step is completely understanding what your contract says, and how you’ve already deployed to the cloud. In a perfect world, you would know your Oracle contracts before you deploy – whether it’s Oracle cloud or Google cloud or AWS or any other cloud vendor.

Look before you jump!! If your contracts have language prohibiting your movement, you have options. First, you can renegotiate those agreements. Yes, Oracle will negotiate. Second, you can buy new cloud-ready licenses. Third, you can certify out of your ULA and then deploy. (Again, make sure this is a good tactic in accordance with your contracts). There are fourth, fifth, and sixth options as well. These all depend on your specific agreements. I’m not trying to hide them from you, I simply can’t tell you what they are until I see your Oracle contracts.

One thing we also recommend is that you understand what’s not in your contracts and how Oracle will try to use that. Despite your contracts saying that non-contractual documents do not apply to you, Oracle will try to use their non-contractual documents against you. This time, it’s their Licensing Oracle Technology In A Cloud Computing Environment PDF. Again, use it if it helps you, and understand how to not use it if it hurts you. Don’t take Oracle’s word for it.

We can help you move to the cloud of your choice

At the end of the day Palisade Compliance has helped dozens of clients move to non Oracle clouds even if those companies have Oracle ULAs. In fact, we have not had a single instance where a company came to us for help and we were not able to help them move to the cloud of their choice. The key for any company is understanding their contracts, their compliance position, and their goals. Once we know those things then we can chart a path to your shiny new cloud infrastructure.

Craig Guarente
Craig Guarente
Craig is the President and Founder of Palisade Compliance, which he founded in 2011. Before 2011, Craig worked at Oracle for 16 years where he was the Global Vice President of Contracts, Business Practices, and Migrations. He was also the Global Process Owner for Oracle’s audit teams (LMS), a member of Oracle’s CIO advisory board, and on the Oracle User Group’s contract and licensing advisory board. Craig is now the leading expert on Oracle licensing, is quoted in dozens of publications, and assists with many high-profile Oracle disputes.