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Oracle Databases in the Cloud

This article presents an overview of options for deploying Oracle databases in the cloud.

Related articles.


Some common terms used in this article.

A Word about Pricing

I've avoided mentioning pricing in this article for the following reasons.

General Oracle Licensing for Cloud Providers

For certified cloud providers (Oracle, AWS, Microsoft Azure) Oracle products are licensed based on a physical core on the cloud. The relationship used to be a physical core in the cloud was the equivalent of a physical Intel core.

Physical Cores = vCPUs

How the physical cores are presented in the cloud depends on the cloud provider.

The licensing multiplier for Intel cores is “0.5”. Prior to the update on the 23-Jan-2017 the cloud licensing policy could be described as follows.

Type            vCPUs    Physical Cores    Licenses
============    =====    ==============    ===========
AWS HT             16                 8    8 * 0.5 = 4
AWS Non-HT          8                 8    8 * 0.5 = 4
Azure HT           16                 8    8 * 0.5 = 4
Azure Non-HT        8                 8    8 * 0.5 = 4
Physical          N/A                 8    8 * 0.5 = 4

The cloud licensing policy document changed on 23-Jan-2017 to say that, "When counting Oracle Processor license requirements in Authorized Cloud Environments, the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table is not applicable." This suggests the following licensing approach.

Type            vCPUs    Physical Cores    Licenses
============    =====    ==============    ===========
AWS HT             16                 8              8
AWS Non-HT          8                 8              8
Azure HT           16                 8              8
Azure Non-HT        8                 8              8
Physical          N/A                 8    8 * 0.5 = 4

All features/options are licensed in the normal way, based on the above formula. Licensing for Standard Edition is based on sockets. The relationship between physical cores and sockets is described in the document linked below. This licensing policy is described in the following document.

You should always confirm your licensing requirements with Oracle Licensing Management Services (LMS) or an official licensing partner before embarking on any work with Oracle products in the cloud. It is important you have a contract specifying what you will be using and what you will pay to use it!

Oracle Cloud

The Oracle Cloud Database offerings and pricing structure are described here.

Oracle currently offer a number of distinct cloud database services. They change all the time.

You can see examples of using some database services here.

Amazon AWS (EC2 and RDS)

Amazon’s cloud platform is called Amazon Web Services (AWS), which amongst many other services allows Oracle databases to be run in two distinct ways.

Both methods allow SQL*Net access to the database, so existing applications can connect without modification to the technology stack.

You can see examples of using EC2 and RDS here.

There are other targeted data services, which are not based on Oracle technology.

Microsoft Azure

Oracle certifies and supports many of their products on Microsoft’s hypervisor (Hyper-V) and their cloud services called Azure.

There is no DBaaS offering for Oracle, so if you want to use Azure, you would be responsible for the management of the operating systems and database in the virtual machines.

You can see an example of using Azure here.

There are a number of Azure data services not based on Oracle.

Google Cloud Platform

The Oracle database isn't supported to run on Google Cloud Platform, although it would certainly work if you installed it on a Linux or Windows virtual machine.

Google offer a number of data services to target different use cases.

Quick Tips

Using X emulation from most cloud providers is incredibly slow and painful, but it's easy to avoid it.

Get used to doing silent installations! Build a response file on a client using the Oracle Universal Installer (OUI).

$ ./runInstaller -record -destinationFile /tmp/11gR2.rsp

Use the response file on the cloud server to perform a silent installation.

$ ./runInstaller -silent -ignoreSysPrereqs -responseFile /tmp/11gR2.rsp

In a similar way, you should get used to using the Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) in silent mode. You can either specify all parameters on the command line, or use a response file.

$ dbca -silent -createDatabase \
 -templateName General_Purpose.dbc \
 -gdbname cdb1 -sid cdb1 -responseFile NO_VALUE \
 -characterSet AL32UTF8 \
 -sysPassword OraPasswd1 \
 -systemPassword OraPasswd1 \
 -createAsContainerDatabase true \
 -numberOfPDBs 1 \
 -pdbName pdb1 \
 -pdbAdminPassword OraPasswd1 \
 -databaseType MULTIPURPOSE \
 -memoryMgmtType auto_sga \
 -storageType FS \

Connections to cloud services are over public networks (the internet), so you need to make sure all connections are encrypted. This is easy to do with Oracle using Native Network Encryption or TCP/IP with SSL/TLS.


There are a number of concerns associated with moving any service to the cloud. These have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Middle Tier in the Cloud

One of the concerns about moving a database to the cloud relates to the latency and data transfers between the application servers and databases. All the cloud providers listed above would allow you to run WebLogic, Apache and Tomcat in the cloud, thereby minimizing any latency issues between them.

The impact of possible separation of the between the database and application server must be assessed on a case by case basis.

For more information see:

Hope this helps. Regards Tim...

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