Oracle on AWS Licensing Guide

Oracle on AWS Licensing

  • AWS EC2:
    • Use existing Oracle licenses (BYOL).
    • Apply Oracle’s Core Factor Table for vCPUs.
    • Regularly check Oracle’s policy updates.
  • AWS RDS:
    • Two options: BYOL or License Included.
    • Follow Oracle’s licensing policies for public cloud environments.
  • Compliance:
    • Ensure proper instance sizing.
    • Review Oracle agreements for restrictions.

Introduction Oracle on AWS Licensing

licensing Oracle on AWS

Moving Oracle workloads to AWS can offer significant benefits in terms of flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency. However, Oracle’s complex licensing policies require careful management to avoid compliance issues and unexpected costs.

This guide provides a detailed overview of Oracle licensing on AWS, including key considerations, licensing models, and best practices for ensuring compliance and optimizing costs.

Why Oracle Doesn’t Favor AWS

Oracle prefers customers to use its cloud services rather than AWS. Therefore, it’s crucial to be compliant when moving Oracle licenses to AWS. You have two primary options for deploying Oracle on AWS:

  1. AWS EC2: Deploy Oracle on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and manage your own licenses.
  2. AWS RDS: Use Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for Oracle, which includes licensing options.

Licensing Oracle on AWS EC2

Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) offers resizable compute capacity, but understanding Oracle’s licensing requirements is essential.

Core Factor Table

Oracle’s Core Factor Table determines the number of licenses required for different CPU architectures. This table is not subject to Oracle’s Cloud Licensing Policy, meaning each core counts towards the required Oracle licenses.

Licensing Steps for EC2

  1. Determine vCPUs: Calculate the number of vCPUs your Oracle software will use.
  2. Apply Core Factor: Use the core factor table to determine the number of licenses.
  3. Check Updates: Regularly review Oracle’s licensing policies for any changes.

Licensing Examples

  • Oracle Standard Edition: Limited to 4 vCPUs per CPU license.
  • Oracle Enterprise Edition: Multiply the number of vCPUs by 0.5 to determine the required licenses.

Licensing Oracle on AWS RDS

Oracle licensing on rds

Amazon RDS for Oracle simplifies database management by automating tasks like provisioning, patching, and backups.

Licensing Models for RDS

  1. Bring Your Own License (BYOL): Use existing Oracle licenses on RDS.
  2. License Included: The cost of the Oracle license is included in the hourly rate for RDS instances.

Key Points for RDS

  • RDS is fully managed by AWS, including database tasks.
  • Follow Oracle’s licensing policies for public cloud environments.
  • RDS supports various Oracle license models, offering flexibility.

AWS Bare Metal Solutions

AWS provides the option to run Oracle on Amazon EC2 Bare Metal, which offers high performance and scalability. Licensing Oracle on bare metal follows on-premise rules, providing flexibility in managing licenses.

Calculating Oracle Licensing on AWS

  1. Determine vCPUs:
    • With multi-threading enabled: Two vCPUs count as one processor license.
    • Without multi-threading: Each vCPU counts as one processor license.

Example Calculations

  • With Multi-threading: 8 vCPUs = 4 processor licenses.
  • Without Multi-threading: 8 vCPUs = 8 processor licenses.

Benefits of Licensing Oracle on AWS

  • Flexibility: License based on vCPU needs.
  • Cost Efficiency: This avoids licensing all physical hosts, unlike on-premise virtualization.

Compliance Issues and Best Practices

best practices for Oracle licensing compliance on AWS

Common Compliance Issues

  1. Instance Sizing: Deploying Oracle Standard Edition on instances with more than 8 vCPUs requires Enterprise Edition licenses.
  2. Incorrect User Counting: Miscounting Named User Plus licenses for SE2.
  3. Unauthorized Options: Using Enterprise Management options on Standard Edition databases.
  4. Inappropriate Use of RDS: Hosting proprietary applications on RDS (license included).
  5. Review Licensing Agreements: Ensure BYOL deployments comply with existing licensing terms.

Best Practices

  1. Regular Reviews: Conduct frequent reviews to ensure compliance.
  2. Stay Updated: Keep abreast of changes in Oracle’s licensing policies.
  3. Use SAM Tools: Implement Software Asset Management (SAM) tools for tracking and compliance.
  4. Plan for Growth: Ensure your licensing strategy accommodates future expansions.

Oracle Licensing on AWS: FAQ

Can I deploy Oracle ULA software on AWS?

Yes, but check restrictions on the number of licenses for ULA certification.

Can I deploy Oracle EBS on AWS?

Yes, but review your contract for any specific restrictions.

How does WebLogic licensing work on AWS?

WebLogic licensing follows the same method as the database, based on vCPUs.

How do you count Java licensing on AWS?

Count Java vCPUs similarly to enterprise licensing.

What is AWS CPU optimization?

AWS CPU optimization allows customers to shape EC2 instances based on their requirements, potentially lowering licensing costs.


Licensing Oracle on AWS requires careful planning and ongoing management to ensure compliance and optimize costs. By understanding Oracle’s licensing models and following best practices, organizations can successfully navigate the complexities of Oracle licensing on AWS.

How We Can Help

We offer comprehensive services to help organizations review and optimize Oracle licensing on AWS:

  • License Agreement Review: Understand the terms and conditions for using Oracle software on AWS.
  • Compliance Checks: Identify potential compliance issues and areas of risk.
  • Cost Optimization: Provide recommendations for optimizing Oracle licensing to save money.
  • Migration Assistance: Ensure all necessary licenses are in place during the migration process.
  • Ongoing Support: Offer continuous support to maintain compliance with Oracle licensing rules on AWS.

By following this guide, organizations can effectively manage Oracle licensing on AWS, ensuring compliance and maximizing cost efficiency.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson is an Oracle licensing expert with over 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. He spent 10 years working for Oracle corporation and then 10 years at a consultant leading engagements on Oracle license assessments, audits, ULAs. He is a public speaker and author

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