Trouble Finding Oracle on Your Network?

09 October 2009
3 minute read

Trouble Finding Oracle on Your Network?

09 October 2009
3 minute read

finding_OracleI spoke to Pat Durkin at IQuate as his team prepares to showcase their technology at Oracle OpenWorld 2009 next week.

Pat described how they have adapted their technology to allow their customers to gain an accurate view of their Oracle installations.

Most large enterprises that use Oracle will be familiar with Oracle License Management Services (LMS) who approach them at least once a year and ask them to complete an Oracle Server Worksheet. Whilst the LMS team do their best to make this a positive experience, this is usually an arduous task that may take many weeks or months to complete.

Even if the customer has very good ITAM processes and solid tools, discovering all Oracle instances, processors, CPUS, sockets and transposing these details into the worksheet can be quite a challenge.

  1. The biggest challenge is physically locating the servers with Oracle installed, since the installation fingerprint of an Oracle application is different to most software. The traditional approach for inventory tools is to look at the existence, size and header information of .exe files which doesn’t work for Oracle. Pat said “In 100% of cases we’ve found discrepancies between what the DBA discovered and what was actually installed“
  2. Sometimes a DBA will inadvertently install costly database options during install that are not required.
  3. The price of a license sometimes depends on the processor rating which can be tricky. For example an administrator might login to the machine to inventory the number of cpus and find four, but in reality two dual core processors are installed which can have expensive consequences.

IQuate uses agent less technology to find Oracle instances on a network, using a combination of techniques including ports and processes running. The tool then, given the appropriate credentials, will connect to those Oracle instances in an agent less fashion and run the oracle scripts that generate the information that is critical for licensing. This information is then auto-populated into the Oracle Server Worksheet (See the sample Oracle Server Worksheet on the Oracle website here).

Working Example

IQuate were invited to validate a detailed manual Oracle audit which had been completed for a large public sector organisation. The manual process had already taken weeks of elapsed time and had been completed by their own internal Oracle DBAs and external advisory support.

During a 2 hour process, Pat’s team installed the software and scanned the IT estate.  They discovered additional machines running Oracle, more instances than previously identified, detailed information on Database Options in use and an overstatement of 44% on the number of processors involved.


Pat admits that their company is not in the business of completing Oracle reconciliations but helping companies gather an accurate position. However generally he finds that as a result of their scans, customers typically find that they have a blend of under and over-licensing issues. They find servers that are unaccounted for (Which means the client owes Oracle more revenue) and database options that are overstated or not stated correctly (Which can deliver cost savings).

More about IQuate can be found here.

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