Oracle is notorious for its licensing. The company is very unclear about how their software needs to be correctly licensed. This leaves room for multiple interpretations. And Oracle takes advantage of that in many cases by claiming the customer did not license Oracle software in the correct way. Part of their business model is to get additional income from claims.
Many customers are ignorant, are afraid for court cases, do not want the hassle and settle the claim.
Recently Oracle Germany announced that all CPU’s in all ESXi hosts in multiple clusters managed by the same vCenter Server need to be licensed for Oracle. The reason for this change is that with the introduction of vSphere 5.1, virtual machines can be vMotioned to other clusters.
So before vSphere 5.1 , Oracle claimed customers needed to license all CPU’s of the VMware cluster. Even when Oracle VM’s never run on all of that cluster hosts.
Now Oracle even goes a step further.
The new Oracle statement was published on the German Oracle Users Group (DOAG) website at September 18.
This is all legally incorrect statements by Oracle. Not a single official Oracle document clearly mentions a host CPU requires licensing even when Oracle software has not run on it.
Dave Welch, CTO of House of Brick, an Oracle consultancy firm the the US wrote a blog about Oracle licensing and mentioned the new statement.
The VMware communities has a thread on this as well.
In the past I wrote many blogposts on Oracle licensing. See here , here and here.
If you are in doubt make sure to contact a realy independant Oracle licensing expert.