Automate License Assignments With Snow’s New Compliancy Engine

A deeper dive into Snow's new Oracle Compliance Engine and Dashboards to help businesses manage their Oracle estate more efficiently and effectively

For IT leaders and SAM practitioners tasked with managing complex Oracle estates, maintaining a compliant and effective license position is a constant, time-consuming and expensive challenge. The vast amount of data that needs to be collected, analyzed and reported against means that the resultant compliancy view is often out of date before it’s even complete.

One of the key problems is that to manually review, assign and re-assign licenses depending on how Oracle is deployed is a massive task, with changes to the environment, such as deploying new virtual machines, often being overlooked. For many organizations, this task is too large, assignments remain static, and they risk paying Oracle for over-usage found during an audit. This approach risks creating significant, unbudgeted spend, particularly where virtualization technologies not recognized by Oracle, such as VMware have been used. In this case, Oracle requires licenses for any physical core that the virtual machine may have landed on rather than for just the virtual cores assigned to the virtual machine Oracle is deployed on.

Oracle continues to be one of the mega-vendors that regularly audit their customers so it’s a matter of when an audit is going to happen, rather than if. My colleague, Christian den Boer, an ex-Oracle LMS Auditor told me that in all his time running audits at Oracle, he only had one customer found to be fully compliant – so the financial risk is real and usually significant.

Snow has been helping businesses gain visibility and management over their IT ecosystem for over twenty years, and we’re excited to announce the availability of our new Oracle Compliance Engine and Oracle Dashboards to help businesses manage their Oracle estate more efficiently and effectively.

How does the Compliance Engine work?

The Compliance Engine automatically assigns Named User Plus or Processor licenses based on defined rulesets and standard Oracle licensing rules; making license assignments and generating effective license position reports take minutes rather than weeks.

The new auto-assignment feature lets you create and activate rulesets with the ability to trial “what-if” scenarios to test different options.

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The final step of the wizard shows what the results of the auto-assignment would be, allowing you to clearly see where any discrepancies lie.

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The actual license assignment based on the defined rules capability can then be run as a one-off task or scheduled to run daily so that any changes in the Oracle environment are automatically recognized and taken into account by the engine.

This new feature gives organizations visibility into the common areas where they typically fall out of compliance. As all the Oracle licensing rules are embedded and updated as they change, the task of staying on top of changes, such as core factor calculations, is dramatically reduced and in many cases eliminated.

The combination of actionable insights into unused licenses and dynamic license assignments means your team can focus their efforts and budget on ensuring exactly the right licenses are being used and purchased.

Oracle Dashboards

The huge amount of data that must be analyzed in order to get a picture of an organization’s license position is often either managed externally or manually through spreadsheets, making it an incredibly, labor-intensive and expensive exercise. This, in turn, makes it difficult for businesses to see where licenses are being used, and importantly where licenses are being paid for but not being used.

With Snow’s new intuitive Oracle dashboards, IT and SAM teams can see a visual representation for their compliance position with the ability to drill into the details for deep insight into entitlements and assignments, making it simpler to see where actions can be taken to optimize spend. With the dashboard, it’s easy to see if you’re paying for a product that you’re not using and take the necessary action to resolve. The dashboard shows which part of the organization is consuming the licenses, enabling accurate internal cross-charging.

At a high level, an overview of the organization’s compliance position is shown, giving an at-a-glance summary of the current license position and providing insights into spend optimization possibilities. 

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The filters allow you to slice the data in different ways and focus on a specific product or products.

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The dashboard view on Oracle spend shows gives insight into total spend on Oracle, cost of (un)assigned licenses and potential spend-optimization opportunities.

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With technology spend growing significantly year-over-year and business units being able to deploy their own Oracle databases and middleware products, managing the company spend is getting more and more complex. Spreadsheets are not enough and without effective management, organizations spend too much on what they need without realizing a discernible business value.

Snow’s latest Oracle enhancements provide the visibility you want to implement the controls you need. Time to value is key for any technology investment and with Snow you can have this information within weeks rather than months and once deployed, the information is available within minutes.

Click here to learn how improved visibility enables you to take control of your complex Oracle estate, reduce audit risk and unbudgeted costs.