Oracle Partners On Java Price Changes: ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’

Oracle Partners On Java Price Changes: ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’

Computer News Wade Tyler Millward February 02, 2023, 09:43 AM EST

“Having to lay off your entire number of employees is not reasonable because you might have 10,000 employees, maybe only 500 of them need Java. And maybe you only have a few servers for a few applications. But if you have to license your entire number of employees, it just doesn’t make sense,” says Jeff Stonacek of House of Brick Technologies.

Oracle’s change to Java Standard Edition (SE) license pricing based on total number of employees is likely to irritate customers who have a fraction of employees who work with Java, partners said. Oracle at CRN.

But the added complexity is an opportunity for partners to help customers adjust their spend with Austin, Texas-based Oracle.

Jeff Stonacek, principal architect at House of Brick Technologies, an Oracle partner based in Omaha, Neb., and chief technical officer of House of Brick’s parent company, OpsCompass, told CRN that the change has already affected at least one project, with his company in the middle of a licensing review for a major client.

He called the change “a clear overshoot.”

“Having to lay off your entire number of employees is not reasonable because you might have 10,000 employees, maybe only 500 of them need Java,” Stonacek said. “And maybe you only have a few servers for a few applications. But if you have to license your entire number of employees, that just doesn’t make sense. »

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Oracle Changes Java Pricing Rules

In an email to CRN, Mike Ringhofer, Oracle’s senior vice president of global Java business, said, “The new Java SE Universal Subscription was developed based on feedback from our enterprise customers including Java workloads run in increasingly diverse environments”.

“Enterprise customers no longer need to count every CPU, workstation, or named user that can use the subscription, and authorized use is universal across workstations, servers, and cloud infrastructure,” said said Ringhofer. “Java SE Universal Subscription is a new product and does not change anything for existing enterprise customers with the previous subscription offering. The new Java SE Universal Subscription also does not change how Java is sold when integrated into a device, application or sold with “shrinkable” software.

The Java SE Universal Subscription replaces a legacy subscription launched in 2018 that charged per processor for servers and cloud instances and per user for PCs, according to sister publication CRN Computing. Oracle promises that legacy users will, for now, be able to renew under their existing terms and conditions.

The subscription is also not eligible for application-specific full-use licenses, embedded software licenses, ISV licenses, or redistribution, according to Oracle.

The Oracle Java SE Universal Subscription Global Price List released in January shows that subscriptions cost $15 per employee for less than 1,000 employees, which means companies pay less than $15,000 per year. The number of employees includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers as well as contractors, agents and consultants.

The price drops to $12 between 1,000 and 2,999 employees, or between $12,000 and $35,988. The price decreases to $10.50 for between 3,000 and 9,999 employees, costing between $31,500 and $104,989.50.

The price drops to $8.25 for 10,000 to 19,999 employees, bringing the cost between $82,500 and $164,991.75.

The price is $6.75 for between 20,000 and 29,999 employees, a cost between $135,000 and $202,493.25. The price is $5.70 for between 30,000 and 39,999 employees, a cost between $171,000 and $227,994.30.

Between 40,000 and 49,999 employees, the price drops to $5.25 per employee, which costs between $210,000 and $262,494.75. Customers with more than 50,000 employees are asked to “contact for details”.

Oracle Partners Respond

Stonacek and his team have been talking with customers about migrating to Open Java Development Kit (JDK), a free and open-source version of Java Standard Edition (SE), although this practice began before the price change.

He estimated that about half of the customers his team talks to are able to switch to OpenJDK easily. Sometimes customers have third-party apps written for Java that are immutable, as opposed to custom apps that in-house engineers can just rewrite.

Other vendors, including Red Hat and Microsoft, have their versions for OpenJDK. Amazon offers Corretto, a production-ready cross-platform OpenJDK distribution, as another example.

The old subscription model was $2.50 per month for each desktop user and $25 per month for each Java SE processor.

According to House of Brick, a company with 250 employees, 20 Java desktop users, and eight installed Java processors would pay $3,000 per year under the old licensing model.

With the new model, the price increases to $45,000, which is 15 times the old amount.

For a 250-employee company with all employees using a Java workstation and 48 installed Java processors, the price under the old model was $21,900 per year.

Under the new model, the price jumps to $45,000 per year, more than double the previous amount.

Oracle started charging license fees for Java in 2019 for patches and updates, according to The Register. In 2021, it released a free license with free quarterly updates for three years for Java 17.

Wayne Federico, COO and vice president of technical services at Miro Consulting, an Oracle partner based in Woodbridge, NJ, told CRN that Oracle audits on Java only hit the scene last year.

When trying to move some customers to an open source option, they sometimes push back for fear of losing update support and potential security vulnerabilities.

Federico said he expects most customers to end up paying more with the new model.

“I don’t want to say completely, but I would say most situations I can think of, it’s going to cost more,” he said. “And in many cases it could be a lot more expensive.”

Still, the Java situation is another point of proof of the value a partner brings to customers, Federico said.

“Those kinds of things, they just add more complexity to the situation,” he said. “So it doesn’t really have a negative impact for us.”

Ron Zapar, CEO of Re-Quest, an Oracle partner based in Naperville, Illinois, told CRN that even without a direct effect on partners from the Java license change, this decision leaves customers wondering if they want purchase Oracle Cloud offerings and other Oracle products. lest they face future changing conditions or blockage.

Re-Quest is working to achieve Oracle Cloud certification this year and has seen demand for the disaster recovery and backup offering, Zapar said. He doesn’t want to see this business change because of negative headlines.

“Being out of the resale part, we just get the return but we don’t participate in the process,” he said. “It does nothing to improve the positioning of Oracle solutions, including the cloud.”

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and channel partner programs from Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud providers. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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