Feb 07, 2017

Psst! Oracle Cloud announces new license conditions for Amazon EC2/RDS and Microsoft Azure

A New Year has started! And, of course…there continue to be changes with licensing rules for Oracle in the Authorized Cloud Environments.

Here is a piece of advice for everyone! Please heed the footer lines of every Oracle document:

“Policies and this document are subject to change without notice”

So what’s new?

Oracle Processor Licenses consider Hyper Threading on the Amazon and Azure platforms, changing the license requirements for this configuration, so that two virtual CPUs might require 1 Processor license or 2 Processor licenses. According to the updated Oracle Policy, effective from January 2017, we have to take into account the following rules, for each approved vendor:

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Amazon Relational Database (RDS)

Microsoft Azure Platform


2vCPU = 1 Processor License if:

hyperthreading ON

1 Azure CPU Core =

1 Processor license

1vCPU = 1  Processor License if:

hyperthreading OFF



Here’s a simple calculation scenario for the Oracle Database Enterprise Edition on a Processor:

  1.  Oracle Database Enterprise Edition on an instance of 4 Amazon vCPUs with hyperthreading ON: 2vCPU = 1 Processor License, 2 Processor Licenses Required (4/2)
  2. Oracle Database Enterprise Edition on an instance of 4 Amazon vCPUs with hyperthreading OFF: 1vCPU = 1 Processor License, 4 Processor Licenses Required

In the old policy, 1 virtual Core was equal to 1 physical Core. The delimitations seem to be clearer now, however we are talking about Oracle here – so we never can be 100% accurate. For example, in the old policy, an Oracle Database Enterprise Edition installation on 8vCores on an Intel with a core factor 0.5, would have required 4 Processor licenses (8 cores*0.5 core factor). The hyperthreading was not previously mentioned in the calculation rules.

Defining the cloud major changes

  1. The Core Factor Table is no longer relevant when dealing with the Processor metric for these cloud environments. From a cost perspective, think of a core factor of 0.5 which reduced the number of licenses you needed in half.
  2. Only certain programs are valid for use within the Authorized Cloud Environments. A complete list can be accessed here. Take note that the prior policy applied to all programs licensed on Processor.
  3. A clear distinction in the calculation for different environments (hyperthreading enabled/disabled) has noticeable cost implications. Hint: Enabling hyperthreading can cut your costs.

Oracle has promised us a great deal of cloud offerings in the future. It’s critical to keep a sharp eye on these new cloud options, which are sure to also bring many new rules. Oracle has been steadily acquiring cloud providers since 2012. To date, Oracle Corporation attained over 10 such companies, some with IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offerings similar to Amazon EC2.

Aspera SmartTrack customers can read more about these changes in Oracle licensing – and access our extensive archive of educational resources in Aspera's Knowledge Center.

If you’re interested in talking with one of our licensing experts, please get in touch!

More Oracle licensing resources

Topics: Cloud, Oracle