Demystifying Oracle’s Universal Credits

In Blog, Cloud by Nymad

A brief guide to the simplification of Oracle Cloud Licensing….

This isn’t Larry Ellison looking to make money from Britain’s benefit system, or indeed is it yet another unfathomable pricing policy designed to increase to confuse and obfuscate whilst actually increasing price. Instead it’s – on the face of it – a simple and clear pricing policy that should be understandable by the majority of IT professionals.

In its infancy, Oracle Cloud was made up from a number of different services that fell into 3 categories:

  • IaaS – renting IT resources such as compute and storage (think of hardware in the cloud)
  • PaaS – renting IT software to create systems such as application servers and databases
  • SaaS – renting Business Applications for running the business such as Financials and Payroll

You could pay for some or all of these services through either a metered – pay as you go – or an unmetered subscription service. It was hard to understand what you were paying for and even harder to budget correctly across multiple services.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) in contrast had a much simpler and easier to understand model.

The perception with customers was:

  • AWS is easier to use and manage
  • AWS is cheaper
  • AWS is easier to migrate into and out of

In contrast

  • Oracle Cloud was complicated
  • Oracle Cloud was unmanageable
  • Oracle Cloud was expensive
  • Oracle Cloud was a long term lock in

This latest announcement by Oracle should go a long way towards transparency and building trust in the market.

The new model provides a single commercial play across three consumption models for all of Oracle’s IaaS and PaaS services (SaaS remains as it was).

Clients now need to buy just a single product – Universal Credits. These credits are then used to acquire Oracle’s IaaS and PaaS services (not SaaS yet unfortunately) across one of the following 3 consumption models:


Oracle are also to be praised for its billing controls and alerts. They are far easier to set up from the portal than its competitor equivalents.

So, happy days are here – Oracle has a simplified pricing model and its pricing compares favourably to its cloudy competitors. We can leave happy as our job is done… or is it?

What this does, is enable simplicity and clarity on how to buy Universal Credits, however the key fact remains that the value is in the burn rate and not the cost.

For example, petrol from your local Tesco is the same price per litre regardless of what car it goes into however the burn rate or how many miles will it go are different for each car – think of a big V8 muscle car vs. a Ford Fiesta.

In this regard there is still a long way to go for simple transparent pricing although to be fair to Oracle, this is the same for AWS and Azure. The more innovative they are the more things there are for us to learn and understand.

Overall a big “thumbs up” to Oracle with this latest update. The next scheduled update is to enable you to bring your own licences to the party which will result in a significantly reduced PaaS pricing.

Chris Jones, COO, Nymad – Oracle Licensing Specialist


I’ll be hosting a presentation on Cloud Licensing at the OUG Licence Management Event on the 24th October 2017, please get in touch if you’re attending and would like to schedule some time to discuss any of the issues I’ve raised above…if you aren’t attending then please feel free to drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help.