Cloud, Licensing, Oracle,

What is Oracle’s policy for licensing AWS, Azure, GCP, and other clouds?

Short Answer

One (1) Processor covers (2) vCPUs in AWS and Azure for Enterprise Edition(s) if hyperthreading is enabled.

In-Depth Answer

Oracle’s public-facing policy document on licensing its software in the cloud is Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment.

The first confusion in the policy is mention of hyperthreading.  While most cloud instances are hyperthreaded by default, it’s worth asking your technical staff to confirm. If hyperthreading is DISABLED, then one (1) Processor covers one (1) vCPU.  Disabling hyperthreading confines each physical core to one thread instead of two or more, thereby increasing the throughput of each vCPU; in accordance, Oracle effectively doubles the price of its software.

Customers are often confused by Oracle’s silence on GCP, Alibaba, and other peers to AWS and Azure. While Oracle software runs in these clouds just fine, the practice is discouraged by Oracle. Our advice is to apply the same policy as AWS in good faith to GCP and others; then, contact Remend when audited or questioned by Oracle Sales. From a technical perspective, Oracle Support reserves the right to refuse break/fix, patching, etc., to an unauthorized deployment.

Finally, products with Standard in the title are treated differently than Enterprise. Four (4) vCPUs equals a socket, which equals a Processor, akin to Oracle’s long-standing policy to ignore core-counting for Standard Edition(s). Round up to the nearest four vCPUs, up to 16 vCPUs per instance, except for Database Standard Edition One and Two, for which the limit is 8 vCPUs. In addition, Database Standard Edition 2 requires a minimum of 10 Named User Plus for each 8 vCPUs.

Note that Oracle’s own cloud (OCI) falls under a different set of policies.

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