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unsichtbarre
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Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by unsichtbarre » May 07, 2019 2:39 pm

Hi all, while this post does not directly involve Veeam, it goes to the root of everything we do:

When can a software/platform vendor require you to have additional licensing in order to protect their solution as deployed at a single site (AKA "Production") using Veeam?
  • Can a Vendor require additional licenses if I use Veeam to replicate my product/solution to a DR site?
  • Can a Vendor require additional licenses if I use Veeam to back-up my product/solution to the "Cloud"
  • Can a Vendor require additional licenses if I use Veeam to back-up my product/solution to a self-hosted site at site remote to the primary production site?
What I have found relates to Oracle: https://www.oracle.com/assets/data-reco ... 070587.pdf
It seems that IF your Oracle solution is registered to or could directly run on a host virtualization platform (AKA "_replica" VMs), it needs to be licensed for all of the hosts on which it could run. That means that if I have 3 hosts in Production and 2 hosts at DR and I replicate; I would effectively need to license Oracle for all 5 hosts. However, IF I use Veeam exclusively for backup (incremental, deduplicated), I could restore backups for the purposes of testing, not exceeding 2 days in any given calendar year.

How about other solutions/Vendors? Can a vendor control how/where I back-up my data/VMs. Can they charge me extra to backup off-site? Are there any references to such strategies?

THX!
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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by HannesK » May 07, 2019 3:34 pm

Hello,
the only strategy is to check with your vendor. There are too many license models so that we cannot answer that question. I heard from vendors who allow DR replica.

Best regards,
Hannes

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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by unsichtbarre » May 07, 2019 3:49 pm

Hi Hannes;

Where Replication is concerned, I agree.

What I am concerned with primarily is: Can a vendor tell me how/where/how often I can back up my data?

If I can not use Replication because it is cost-prohibitive, can a vendor also charge extra for offsite backup or cloud backup?
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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by HannesK » May 07, 2019 5:57 pm

Hello,
I'm not a lawyer, but I have never heard of issues with backup. Just guessing by your username that you are located in the EU... there are some laws in EU which are more pro-customer than in other countries, so that might be a place where you could search.

Best regards,
Hannes

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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by unsichtbarre » May 07, 2019 6:45 pm 1 person likes this post

I am also unaware of any situation where a vendor gets involved in backups. The question arises, however, for solutions like Oracle where traditional replication with Veeam would require licensing Oracle, not only for hosts in production, but also for hosts at DR.

Since Veeam has Instant Recovery; I have proposed that we host Oracle VMs at a DR site with Backup Copy and GFS exclusively. A *.vbk, *.vib, *.vrb file is most definitely NOT a registered VM or (using Oracle's own terms) "installed and/or running." Nevertheless, should a true disaster occur, we could use Veeam Instant Recovery to bring the VM online at the DR location with relatively little trouble.

Oracle even defines backups differently with the terminology:
For the purpose of testing physical copies of backups, your license for the Oracle Database
(Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition or Standard Edition One) includes the right to run the
database on an unlicensed computer for up to four times, not exceeding 2 days per testing, in
any given calendar year.
Does this idea hold water?

THX

BTW: I go by "invisible admin" on some forums - thus Unsichtbarre (actually Unsichtbare) :wink: I am EEUU (USA), however I work with multinational solutions.
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nitramd
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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by nitramd » May 07, 2019 9:15 pm

John,

Do you have access to legal counsel?

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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by unsichtbarre » May 08, 2019 2:39 pm 1 person likes this post

Yes, I do but that is irrelevant. Why should an end-user be placed in the position of seeking legal representation to simply protect products with Veeam? In fact, to acknowledge such a requirement sets a dangerous precedent whereby EVERY vendor could require their and only their proprietary backup solution be used to protect their product.

If Oracle is willing to make the statement:
For the purpose of testing physical copies of backups, your license for the Oracle Database(Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition or Standard Edition One) includes the right to run the database on an unlicensed computer for up to four times, not exceeding 2 days per testing, in any given calendar year. The aforementioned right does not cover any other data recovery method - such as remote mirroring - where the Oracle program binary files are copied or synchronized.
Should you not be able to count on running backups without going afoul of licensing?
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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by HannesK » May 08, 2019 2:47 pm

more or less every vendor can do instant recovery today and some vendors even name their product "backup and replication". I don't see that as a Veeam specific thing.

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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by unsichtbarre » May 08, 2019 2:56 pm

So the question remains - can a vendor stipulate where, when or how you create backups?
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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by nielsengelen » May 09, 2019 8:21 am 1 person likes this post

John, I've never heard anyone force it so I'm sure a vendor can't stipulate on this. Veeam will never do this and Oracle and Microsoft don't do this either.
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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by csydas » May 09, 2019 7:53 pm 1 person likes this post

Honestly the premise seems really silly, especially given it's Oracle.

Oracle is well known for using its licensing and the threat of audits and fines to bludgeon companies not willing to tell Oracle to go swivel on it. A layman's reading of the contract suggests that you are allowed to run the Oracle DB on an unlicensed computer 4 times per calendar year at max.

Now, this outright precludes Surebackup for your Oracle Servers, but in fact it seems to mean that replicas require additional licensing.

I really don't know why you'd want Veeam to comment on this when a cursory read of HackerNews/StackOverflow is going to show you that not even Oracle cares about what their licensing terms actually say, you'll still get audited and threatened with a fine regardless of whether you're compliant or not.

You should ask Oracle for a complete list of legal methods protecting their their software, or better yet, just get off of such an awful product from an awful company.

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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by bdufour » May 09, 2019 8:15 pm

when we went through a microsoft audit a few years back - they told us that our replica VMs need to be licensed, separate from the source VM youre replicating from. we were using standard licenses, and we since moved to the datacenter licensing model.

https://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/microsof ... revisited/

'Replicas are actual virtual machines, and they are not the same virtual machines as the ones they are replicating. Therefore, they must be licensed independently of the source virtual machine. The license that you bought for the source virtual machine does not cover the replica.'

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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by Gostev » May 12, 2019 10:10 pm 1 person likes this post

As always, it depends. This was a highly popular topic back in the early days of Veeam (since we were the first VMware backup vendor to introduce built-in VM replication). And long story short, Microsoft customers that were on what was called "Software Assurance" at the time (AFAIR) were specifically allowed to have offline replicas without extra licensing. It was very long ago, but you can definitely still find this information (and quotes from Microsoft licensing documentation) on these forums if you have time to go through all the search results. I don't bother doing this now just because again, it was very long ago and many things have probably updated/changed/renamed since then. But, it would be highly unlikely that they removed this benefit, just because it makes so much sense.

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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by unsichtbarre » May 13, 2019 1:29 pm

I agree with you about Oracle, however that's not the point. We often don't get to pick the solutions we protect. Furthermore, my first post in this thread did actually cite Oracle's most relevant information on the subject.

The question remains: Can I make an Offsite Backup of any software solution, or can a vendor regulate my backup policy?
csydas wrote:
May 09, 2019 7:53 pm
I really don't know why you'd want Veeam to comment on this when a cursory read of HackerNews/StackOverflow is going to show you that not even Oracle cares about what their licensing terms actually say, you'll still get audited and threatened with a fine regardless of whether you're compliant or not.

You should ask Oracle for a complete list of legal methods protecting their their software, or better yet, just get off of such an awful product from an awful company.
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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by unsichtbarre » May 13, 2019 1:32 pm

Hi bdufour

It is already stipulated and understood that a vendor can require licensing of replicas.

The question remains: Can I make an Offsite Backup of any software solution, or can a vendor regulate my backup policy?
bdufour wrote:
May 09, 2019 8:15 pm
when we went through a microsoft audit a few years back - they told us that our replica VMs need to be licensed, separate from the source VM youre replicating from. we were using standard licenses, and we since moved to the datacenter licensing model.

https://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/microsof ... revisited/

'Replicas are actual virtual machines, and they are not the same virtual machines as the ones they are replicating. Therefore, they must be licensed independently of the source virtual machine. The license that you bought for the source virtual machine does not cover the replica.'
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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by csydas » May 13, 2019 4:45 pm 1 person likes this post

unsichtbarre wrote:
May 13, 2019 1:29 pm
I agree with you about Oracle, however that's not the point. We often don't get to pick the solutions we protect. Furthermore, my first post in this thread did actually cite Oracle's most relevant information on the subject.

The question remains: Can I make an Offsite Backup of any software solution, or can a vendor regulate my backup policy?
My point perhaps is lost in the snarkiness. In my opinion, you should press Oracle for a specific answer here. Veeam is in no way qualified or able to comment on how Oracle will act in such a situation, and I wouldn't trust a non-authoritative source unless they had specific documents on the backup rules. Furthermore, let's assume it was the case for a moment that Backups required specific licensing from Oracle -- I would imagine this would be huge, with people complaining rather loudly on the subject, and I've not heard such complaints. (Doesn't mean they don't exist, just I haven't experienced it)

I have never heard of a restriction on "backups" in all my time in IT except from the Backup Vendor itself. However, all things being equal, I would ask Oracle itself and force an answer out of them. Contact your Oracle Licensing Specialist and ask them straight up -- am I restricted in how often I may back up my VMs hosting Oracle content?

No one except Oracle can tell you this, and I wouldn't believe anyone except them in such situations. I would demand written proof, with references to the public policy.

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Re: Vendor licensing and Offsite Backup/DR

Post by evander » May 14, 2019 7:32 am

Not Oracle, but for Windows Server if you have Software Assurance you will be able to run a DR/Backup environment with no additional cost
https://www.microsoft.com/en-za/downloa ... px?id=1732

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