How to cut your WebLogic license and maintenance costs in half?

CutInHalfYourBudget I recently worked with an Oracle customer in Northern Europe helping them to replace WebLogic with WebSphere. You might ask why would a Fortune 500 company with significant existing investment of time, skills and money would decide to move off WebLogic? In this and many other cases high cost of WebLogic support and new license cost was such a powerful motivator that CIO decided to uproot their established environment and move it off WebLogic. Indeed, this has become a common pattern among former BEA and current Oracle customers. Since Oracle acquired BEA in 2008 there were a number of changes that WebLogic customers had to deal with. Most of these changes had to do with the way Oracle decided to price and license WebLogic Server (and other BEA software). One example of such change is the Oracle license policy for VMware and other hypervisors as I have described in this article last week. Unfortunately for ex-BEA customers none of those changes lowered their costs. Quite the opposite. While detailed pricing and licensing analysis could be a subject of its own blog post, here is a quick summary of the changes:

  • BEA sold licenses for the number of CPU cores assigned to the VMware guest, Oracle requires payment for all cores on the box – that is unless you use hardware partitioning or Oracle VM. Note that IBM charges only for cores being used and not for entire server (more details here).
  • BEA supported VMware as a platform, Oracle does not. Strictly speaking, if you have a difficult production issue with WebLogic on VMware, Oracle is not obligated to help you, unless you reproduce that same issue on the native OS instance. Note that IBM supports its software on VMware and most other hypervisors (more details here).
  • BEA did not require payment for disaster recovery (DR), warm backup and cold licenses. Oracle does. Without going into details – in most cases customers end up paying for their backup licenses. With IBM those are free.
  • Oracle increased list prices for the WebLogic by about 40% (depending on the package you are using) and discontinued WebLogic Express.
  • Many customers expressed their frustration with the poor quality of WebLogic support in recent years.

It should come as no surprise that those companies who needed to renew their expired BEA WebLogic Server support contract with Oracle have been shocked by the steep price increases. This translated into desire to look for alternatives. IBM had been contacted by lots of customers who wanted to move from WebLogic to WebSphere. These migrations were done by IBM Software Services for WebSphere (ISSW) team as well as Prolifics and other IBM business partners. In fact, due to increasing demand, IBM has recently quadrupled the staff on our ISSW migration team. This team’s mission is to provide free migration assessment services to those customers who are interested to migrate their WebLogic applications to WebSphere. IBM migration team works with our customers to provide (1) Complimentary Savings Assessment to understand up-front your estimated savings. (2) Complimentary detailed Migration Plan to minimize your migration risk. It is prepared by IBM technical specialists, laying out the logistics involved in migrating to the IBM software and systems. (3) Tailored bottom-line IBM offer. It includes migration services, training and education, as well as the applicable IBM Systems and maintenance, IBM Software licenses, subscription and support. If you are interested in migrating from WebLogic to WebSphere, here is what you can do:

Finally, you can always reach IBM experts on this Blog – just post your message in the comments section or send us an email to

Categories: Migration

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2 replies


  1. Oracle announces GlassFish roadmap and discontinues commercial support | Why WebSphere? Blog
  2. How to NOT buy enterprise software « Blog

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