Oracle Licensing Requirements for Uninstalled RPM Packages

By John Emmitt and Adrian Bideaua

Licensing Expert Tips Graphic

As all Software Asset Managers know, software licensing can be quite complex and there are many special cases that require deep understanding of licensing models, as well as contract terms and conditions. This blog is the first in a new Flexera License Optimization blog series called “Licensing Expert Tips.” The goal is to tap into the software licensing expertise we have in-house, as well as external experts (guest bloggers), to share tips and insights on specific licensing questions.

Here’s the scenario for the first Licensing Expert Tips blog:

The customer has Oracle Coherence RPM (RPM Package Manager) packages on machines running the Red Hat Linux operating system. The RPM packages are not being picked up by the inventory agent because they are NOT installed on the machines, they are “just sitting there.” The customer believes that these uninstalled RPM packages require Oracle licenses. Is that true?

Licensing Expert Response:

One of our resident Oracle licensing experts, Adrian Bideaua, responded as follows—

Oracle Coherence is available in three editions: Oracle Coherence Standard Edition One, Oracle Coherence Enterprise Edition, and Oracle Coherence Grid Edition. All of these editions are listed in the Oracle Technology Price List and are available under a Processor or Named User Plus (NUP) licensing metric.

Going back to the licensing metric definition, for the Processor license model the Oracle document states:

Processor: shall be defined as all processors where the Oracle programs are installed and/or running.

Similarly, for NUP licenses, the Oracle document says “… the programs which are installed….”  NUP licenses also require an understanding of the Processor quantities in the server that has the Oracle software installed.

Here is the Oracle definition for Named User Plus:

Named User Plus: is defined as an individual authorized by you to use the programs which are installed on a single server or multiple servers, regardless of whether the individual is actively using the programs at any given time. A non-human operated device will be counted as a named user plus in addition to all individuals authorized to use the programs, if such devices can access the programs. If multiplexing hardware or software (e.g., a TP monitor or a web server product) is used, this number must be measured at the multiplexing front end. Automated batching of data from computer to computer is permitted. You are responsible for ensuring that the named user plus per processor minimums are maintained for the programs contained in the user minimum table in the licensing rules section; the minimums table provides for the minimum number of named users plus required and all actual users must be licensed.

Thus, from a licensing perspective, if the software, in the RPM Package in this case, is not yet installed, there is no need to consume a license. From a practical audit perspective, because there is no software usage that could be detected that can be associated with this software, I don’t see this being an issue with Oracle LMS. During my time there we only looked at installed and/or running software during the software audit process.

If you have a licensing question, please send it in and we will ask our experts!


For information on Flexera’s market leading Software Asset Management and License Optimization solutions, please visit our website or Contact Us.


You may also be interested in attending our webinar with R “Ray” Wang, CEO and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research: Crafting Your Oracle License, Contract and Vendor management Strategy.

Available Dates:

Key topics to be covered include:

  • Navigating the Oracle audit process
  • Implementing mature SAM processes for Oracle license management
  • Crafting Win-Win scenarios
  • Setting your own strategy for moving to the cloud with Oracle
  • Application strategy development

Register here.

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