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Oracle’s New Java Pricing Model Is Like Cold Coffee – Send It Back

Imagine you stop at a diner with four friends. Only you order a $5 cup of coffee. Your server brings you a check for $25. You complain, and your server explains that they don’t charge for how much coffee you drink. They charge for how many people are in your party.

Oracle's new pricing model charges by the number of employees in your entire company.

Outrageous, right? Well, that is exactly what Oracle is doing to you with their new Java SE Universal Subscription pricing (the latest of four licensing or pricing updates in four years). They’re not charging you based on consumption. They’re charging based on the number of employees and contractors across your entire company, regardless of whether they’re even using Java. 

At Azul, we want our customers to stay focused on building great apps with Java. And we want to ensure Java apps perform their best, are secure, and remain stable. 

The more you dig into Oracle’s pricing, the worse it is for you

Who are your employees anyway? According to Oracle’s new pricing model, they’re all your full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. But wait – you know your agents, contractors, outsourcers, and consultants who support your business? It’s them too. 
“Your company has a total employee count of 28,000 as detailed in the Employee for Java SE Universal Subscription definition below. This includes 23,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees plus 5,000 agents, contractors and consultants. Therefore, the price would be 28,000 X $USD 6.75/month X 12 months = $USD 2,268,000/year.”

Oracle claims the new model simplifies pricing so customers don’t have to count their Java instances or servers or cores running Java. Under the new plan, each “employee’s” subscription covers all her devices, so she doesn’t need a separate subscription if she works on desktop computers, servers, and third-party clouds. 

The previous pricing model came with Oracle’s excruciating Java audits of their customers. As Craig Guarente, CEO of Palisade Compliance, wrote in his January 25 LinkedIn article, “The new model replaces that problem with the new problem of having to license Java for people who never use it.“ 

Trade in your vendor for a partner with Azul 

Azul takes a different approach. Our customers trust us with their most business-critical applications, and we earn that trust by charging a fair price for a great product with unparalleled support. The credit cards you use, the movies you stream, the backend services for countless apps on your phone – many of these are being serviced by Java applications running on Azul’s solutions.  
Instead of asking more of our customers, we focus on their success – and on evolving Java so our customers can build the next great app or service. Whether it’s powering green energy, personalizing healthcare, or supercharging financial services, the role of Java is to move the world forward. And that’s how we see our role — we empower you with the best Java and the best Java support. 

We charge based on your consumption and the value Java brings to your business, and we do it for typically 70% less than Oracle. 

Oracle is vastly more expensive and divorced from user value 

Oracle says existing Java SE Subscription customers are grandfathered into their legacy subscriptions and can renew their legacy pricing when the time comes. Which begs this question – if the employee-based subscription is such a low-cost model, why is keeping the legacy subscription even a perk? 

Guarente adds in his article, “Given our analysis of over a dozen active Java contracts, Palisade sees Oracle fees increasing anywhere from 2x to 10x!” 

It’s no wonder. If you have 10,000 employees and one Java instance, you have to pay based on 10,000 employees. As House of Brick CEO Nathan Biggs wrote in his January 23 blog post, “What this means for your organization is that regardless of your Java users or server footprint, you now must count every employee, contractor, consultant, and agent to determine your Java subscription bill. You are potentially on the hook for a massive subscription fee increase that may have very little benefit to your operation.” 

Another challenge the new model presents is there’s no way to slowly move off Oracle Java. Literally if there’s one single laptop or server or cloud instance running Oracle Java, then your entire enterprise is exposed to the full price based on your “employee” count. Literally one running instance of Oracle Java for a 5,000-employee business results in $630,000 per year in Oracle Java support costs. The implication is that when you begin to move off Oracle Java, you need to move completely off Oracle Java, and ensure that no one in your organization downloads or uses Oracle Java ever again. 

Take action now and select a Java alternative 

If you’ve been putting off a move from Oracle Java, this latest pricing change should be just the thing to motivate you. With renewal season upon us, now is the time to act before you get locked up with Oracle for another year. When you migrate to Azul Platform Core, you get:

  • A drop-in identical replacement for Java SE that is certified to perform exactly the same (since Oracle and Azul’s Java are both based on the same OpenJDK open-source code) 
  • A licensing/support bill that is typically 70% less expensive 
  • Quarterly security-only fixes that keep your apps threat-free with an ability to rapidly deploy without extensive testing
  • Broadest support for platforms and versions, including Java 6 and 7 that Oracle no longer supports (see Azul’s Support Roadmap for more details)
  • Patent indemnification and non-contamination assurance 
  • The largest Java engineering team outside Oracle 
  • OpenJDK leadership – originator of CraC, macOS Apple Silicon; top contributor to most deployed Java versions 

This is all from the only company 100% focused on Java. 

Read Oracle’s FAQ and price list for more detail on their new Java SE Universal Subscription offering. Then ask informed questions when speaking with Oracle about your Java support options. If you decide it’s time to move to the leading Oracle Java alternative, we’re here for you with our 100% customer satisfaction rating. 

Oracle’s new pricing leaves a bad taste in your mouth like cold coffee. Send it back.

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70% less expensive typically than Oracle