Licensing Models

 Licensing Models

Existing licensing models are too complex. The trend towards service based models such as database as a service (DaaS) with commercial offerings such as AWS RDS add the additional measure of time where it is no longer owned but can be turned off and on with the ability to scale up or down on demand. With more technologies in place today than ever before, there are greater varieties of models than ever before. A licensing model for software should be easy to understand, ensure compliance, be consumption based and reflect the costs. We are very interested in your views around licensing and what would be appealing.

Many licensing models today for databases, replication and cloud services work by licensing to the compute of the server, specifically, some sort of processor count. The server itself is increasingly virtualized with the ability to set a ratio between the virtual processors and the physical cores. The software is licensed to a core. Oracle uses the Oracle Core Factor Table (OCFT) which adds another level of complexity. Here’s how to find the ratio of virtual processors to physical cores on VMware ESX 5.5.


Many databases are scalable in symmetrical multiprocessor architectures and therefore licensing to the processor compute is one good measure of how substantial the database is. The more substantial, the greater the value to the business, likely more to support and competitive offerings are priced in accordance with the value they provide. When using the OCFT along with the processor count, this provides a reasonable measure of the consumption of processor.

Another measure of consumption can be the permanent right and ownership through perpetual license versus a time based or service approach. With the service approach, you pay only for the time you use. If you’re not paying, you cannot use it. You can control how much you pay.

We are developing other, simpler license models which reduce the complexity of measuring the consumption and are service based. For example, a much simpler measure besides calculating CPU is to base it on the size of the database or the amount of data replicated or the redo log processed. Your opinions on the ideal license model are welcome as develop a new model.