ORACLE database on AWS : Licensing and Support

Recently (Few months ago) , i started exploring the AWS cloud services and i can say that it’s pretty interesting ! During my learning journey, i discovered a lot of new and interesting things and also got few certifications 🙂 I decided to start this blog series to share things that may be useful to which ever is thinking about putting there oracle database in the AWS cloud.

So first things first : Let’s start by taking a look about oracle support and Licensing in the AWS cloud.

Oracle support on AWS CLOUD :

As per the following documentation the AWS cloud is listed as an “Authorized Cloud Environments”

We can use either of the EC2 or the RDS services to deploy an oracle database. For the full list of oracle program supported we can check this document.

One important point to note is that oracle RAC is not supported on the AWS cloud !

You may ask why ? My personal thought is that this is only a commercial restriction and to me it’s bad move from oracle !

There is of course many ways to deploy oracle RAC on the aws cloud such for example :


Using VMware Cloud on AWS :

Other ways :

So if you want you can go for it and assume the risk anyway what can go wrong (They will be just a little bit upset :p )

Let’s now take a look at Licensing :

For the Licensing there it two modes. Let’s start with easier one !

License Included model :

In this case, you don’t need to purchase Oracle licenses separately; The Oracle Database software has been licensed by AWS. This mode of licensing is only available with Amazon RDS for Oracle Standard Edition One and Standard Edition Two. Basically here your are not the owner of the license but you are renting it. So it may seem cheaper at first compared to the BYOL model but in the long term this may become more costly. This may be interesting if you don’t need to have your database running all the time (say for example you use it only 8 hours per day and not in the weekend).

Bring you own License (BYOL) model :

So here you buy your own license and to do that you must follow the “Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment

For “Oracle Processor license” here is the basic rules :

Oracle enterprise edition :

One important point here is that Oracle Processor Core Factor Table is not applicable here so the price will be the double compared to your on-premise deployment.How great it that !

For oracle standard edition :

So in this case 1 socket = (1-4) VCPU. How great it That ! So if you have an on-premise server with one socket and 24 cores you will pay the same price for an EC2 instance with 4 VCPU ( 2 core / 4 thread) ! And there is more wait !

For oracle standard edition 2 you can not use more that 8 VCPU ! SO basically an EC2 with 8 VCPU (4 core 8 threads) will cost double the price of an on-promise server of 1 socket 24 cores. How awesome is that !

To lower the cost and keep the same price as our on-premise servers it seems that there is some (“Risky”) alternatives to bypass this oracle cloud policy :

Of course you must double check that with oracle LMS and watch out for your oracle contract. But for me using the Bare Metal based on the nitro system seems to be safe as there is no hypervisor involved (I’am still waiting for oracle LMS for there feedback on that since 2 months) .

Side note : whenever they hear the word hypervisor every one start screaming ahhhhhhhh !

For Vmware cloud on AWS i also think that oracle licensing should be the same as on-permises vSphere environment although our oracle commercial seem not to agree with that !

There is another tricky subject related to the “optimize CPU feature” which let you specify and customize the number of cores and threads in your RDS and EC2 instances. So do you need to license all the thread/cores or only the enabled ones ! (Still waiting for oracle LMS since two months also)

That was the first part of the series stay tuned for the next one !

That’s it 😀

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