Oracle ULA Math (Max Deployment + Compliance = Freedom)

The Oracle ULA contract has been around for almost 20 years now. During this time there have been some changes to the ULA terms and conditions, added restrictions on usage, and new obstacles created to force a renewal and additional Oracle spend.

That being said, the basic concept of the ULA remains much the same as it did all those years ago. You give Oracle a bunch of money. For a few years you can use some of their stuff to do specific things. At the end of the ULA, you tell Oracle how much stuff you are using. Once you tell Oracle how much you are using, then you can continue to use that quantity of stuff forever.

That’s the Oracle ULA in a nutshell. This description applies to a 2005 ULA as much as it does to a 2022 ULA. Because the Oracle ULA has maintained this high-level consistency over the years, getting the most out of your Oracle ULA has also remained amazingly consistent over the years. I’ve been giving Palisade Compliance clients the following two pieces of advice since I started the company in 2011. I can’t think of a single ULA client that we’ve had at Palisade Compliance that did not benefit from what I’m about to write.

2 things you must do with your Oracle ULA

First, deploy the unlimited software on the largest possible footprint, both physical and virtual. Both on premise and in the cloud. You can never over-deploy properly licensed unlimited software. Many companies are reluctant to maximize their deployments because they don’t want to “get Oracle mad”. WHAT?! With all due respect to Oracle, who cares how they feel about your deployments?

You’ll be in the best possible position if you deploy, deploy, deploy. Oracle can’t raise your support costs. Oracle can’t charge you more for the next order. Oracle really can’t do anything to stop you. Go forth and deploy the heck out of your ULA.

Second, and this is just as important as the “maximize your deployment” strategy: make sure you are in compliance. Ensure you are not overusing non-unlimited software. Ensure you are contractually allowed to deploy where you are deploying (e.g. cloud). Make sure your contractual customer definition fits with your corporate reality. Be compliant in all your deployments. Conduct a thorough business review and technical review of your Oracle software usage regularly to ensure your position. You not only want to be in compliance, you want to be certain of your compliance. Don’t just guess you are in compliance. Actually know you are in compliance. If you know you are in compliance, then you will have more confidence in your dealings with Oracle.

Result – leverage over Oracle, and freedom

What do you get if you maximize your deployments and ensure your compliance? Simple. You get leverage over Oracle and freedom. Freedom to certify out of your ULA. Freedom to renew the ULA at a much lower cost and with much better terms. Freedom to do what is best for your company or organization. Without this freedom you will be forced into an expensive ULA renewal with terms and conditions that are more restrictive and pricing that is even higher than you have today.

Craig Guarente
Craig Guarente
Craig is the CEO 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.
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