How to get out of Oracle ULA and save up to 60% by migrating to IBM Power

Exiting an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) contract and migrating to IBM Power systems can be a complex process, but executed well, it can offer significant savings and long-term benefits. In this article, we will explore how to make this transition effectively and without penalties, based on real examples.

Understanding Oracle ULA

First, it is essential to understand what an Oracle ULA entails. It’s a contract that Oracle bought from a third-party company and continues to scare and delight in equal parts. Allows unlimited use of certain Oracle software products for a specified period of time, usually between 3 and 5 years. At the end of the ULA contract, the company must declare the use of these products and this becomes their “certification” for future license audits. There is a famous saying that it is better to know the bad than to know the good. And another that the devil is in the details. In the case of Oracle, no two ULAs are the same. They are all based on the same premise “when Oracle believes it can get money from its customer”. But beyond that, there are rules of the game that, once understood, allow us to help our clients.

Steps to Exit the Oracle ULA

  1. Initial audit: Prior to the completion of the ULA, we conduct an internal audit to fully understand your current usage of Oracle products. This includes identifying which products are essential and which can be replaced or discarded.
  2. Future needs analysis: We evaluate the future needs of your company in terms of software and databases. This step is crucial to determine whether the transition to IBM Power is feasible and what the potential savings are.
  3. Third-party licensing contract review: Since Oracle contracts can be complex, it is advisable to work with specialized Oracle licensing consultants. They can help you understand the implications of your ULA and how to get out of it without incurring penalties.
  4. We negotiate with Oracle: We help you negotiate a new agreement that best suits your current and future needs.
  5. Migration planning: Develop a detailed plan to migrate from Oracle to IBM Power.

Migration to IBM Power

Migrating to IBM Power involves moving Oracle database and application workloads to an IBM environment. This may include the use of IBM Db2, which is known for its high performance and security.

  1. Compatibility assessment: We ensure that your current applications are compatible with IBM Power. Oracle is Oracle in all its current and future versions, but there can always be an application that requires some modification to change architecture (we do it every day and without problems).
  2. Design of the new environment: Based on the previous audit, we design a new secure, simple, powerful and stable environment adapted to your needs and budget.
  3. IBM Power Implementation: We help you acquire and deploy IBM Power. We configure the necessary databases and applications.
  4. Data Migration: We move data from Oracle to IBM Power, ensuring that data integrity is maintained during the process.
  5. Performance, HA and DR testing: Perform extensive testing to ensure that all applications and databases function correctly in the new environment.
  6. Training and technical support: We train your team in the use of the new platform and if you need it, you can use our preventive maintenance and technical support services to help them.

More things to like about Oracle in Power

We have official and supported Ansible playbooks to automate all deployments and day 2 operations:

Lots of documentation:


And at SIXE, as an official IBM training provider, we ensure that your technical teams master the platform within weeks. As technicians ourselves, we guarantee that they will be very grateful for the change.



How much budget can I save by migrating Oracle to IBM Power?

In terms of costs, migrating from Oracle to IBM Power can result in significant savings, although these vary from customer to customer. Real-world examples have shown savings of 20% to 60% in total cost of ownership (TCO) by migrating from Oracle to alternative solutions such as IBM. These savings come from lower licensing costs, reduced need for high-performance hardware due to the efficiency of IBM Power, and lower maintenance and support costs.

But Oracle licenses for Power are more expensive!

True, but we have customers where we can do with 25 Power10 cores the same as with 100 in an Exadata, but IBM Power is not restricted to Oracle (although there are more than 80,000 installations worldwide). You can deploy OpenShift, SAP HANA or any other workload running on SUSE, Red Hat, AIX and IBMi. In reality, the most common use case is the consolidation of all Exadata and most x86 servers into one Power10 in each data center. Running everything on a hypervisor that is at another level, where instead of “mapping cpus” as KVM or VMWare does, the capacity of each one is shared in real time, gaining in overall system utilization as well as performance. Exadatas have been a great marketing achievement, but they are neither cheaper, nor do they deliver better performance or provide the security of IBM Power.


Exiting an Oracle ULA contract and migrating to IBM Power is perfectly feasible. By doing this correctly, not only can penalties be avoided but also considerable cost savings can be achieved, while improving the efficiency and technological adaptability of the company. It is essential to have the support of licensing experts and conduct a thorough analysis to ensure a successful transition.

We do not expect to have convinced you, but perhaps we could talk without obligation, discuss any questions and, if you find it interesting, perform a feasibility analysis free of charge . In the worst case, you renew the ULA as is. Just kidding (or not) :)

SiXe Ingeniería
× ¡Hola! Bonjour! Hello!