Q: What types of licensing options are available with Amazon RDS for Oracle?

There are two types of licensing options available for using Amazon RDS for Oracle:

  • Bring Your Own License (BYOL): In this licensing model, you can use your existing Oracle Database licenses to run Oracle deployments on Amazon RDS. To run a DB instance under the BYOL model, you must have the appropriate Oracle Database license (with Software Update License & Support) for the DB instance class and Oracle Database edition you wish to run. You must also follow Oracle's policies for licensing Oracle Database software in the cloud computing environment. DB instances reside in the Amazon EC2 environment, and Oracle's licensing policy for Amazon EC2 is located here.
  • License Included: In the "License Included" service model, you do not need separately purchased Oracle licenses; the Oracle Database software has been licensed by AWS. "License Included" pricing is inclusive of software, underlying hardware resources, and Amazon RDS management capabilities.

Q: Which Oracle Database Editions are available with Amazon RDS for Oracle?

Amazon RDS currently supports the following Oracle Database editions under each of the licensing models below:

  • BYOL: Standard Edition Two (SE2), Standard Edition One (SE1), Standard Edition (SE), and Enterprise Edition (EE)
  • License Included: Standard Edition One (SE1), and Standard Edition Two (SE2)

Q: What are the licensing policies for using Amazon RDS for Oracle?

  • BYOL: To run a DB instance under the BYOL model, you must have the appropriate Oracle Database license (with Software Update License & Support) for the DB instance class and Oracle Database edition you wish to run. You must follow Oracle's policies for licensing Oracle Database software in the cloud computing environment. DB instances reside in the Amazon EC2 environment, and Oracle's licensing policy for Amazon EC2 is located here.
  • License Included: In the "License Included" service model, you do not need separately purchased Oracle licenses; the Oracle Database software has been licensed by AWS.

Q: How is Amazon RDS for Oracle supported?

  • BYOL: Under this model, you continue to use your active Oracle support account and contact Oracle directly for Oracle Database specific service requests. If you have an active AWS Premium Support account, you can contact AWS Premium Support for Amazon RDS specific issues. Amazon Web Services and Oracle have multi-vendor support process for cases which require assistance from both organizations.
  • License Included: In this model, if you have an active AWS Premium Support account, you should contact AWS Premium Support for both Amazon RDS and Oracle Database specific service requests.

Q: How does the license option impact DB instance scaling?

  • BYOL: You may scale your DB instances in accordance with the terms of your Oracle license(s).
  • License Included: DB instances running Oracle may be scaled up and down at any point, subject to the prevailing hourly pricing for each DB instance class.

For more information on the scaling implications of reserved DB instances, see the reserved instance page.

Q: How does the license option impact version upgrades?

  • BYOL: You should have "Software Update License & Support" from Oracle to use Amazon RDS for Oracle Database.
  • License Included: The cost of the "Software Update License" is embedded in the hourly price, enabling access to Oracle Database software updates.

Q: Can I change the licensing option for my DB instance (e.g. from 'BYOL' to 'License Included')?

Yes, you can use change your license options through the AWS CLI or through the AWS console by selecting Modify Instance and selecting the appropriate option in the ‘Licensing Model’ dropdown.

Q: Can I change the Oracle edition I'm running for a DB instance (e.g. from Oracle 11g R2 SE2 to EE)?

For the BYOL model, you can migrate from one edition of Oracle software to another as long as you possess an unused Oracle license appropriate for the edition and class of DB instance you plan to run. To change the edition and retain your data, you should take a snapshot of your running DB instance and then create a new DB instance of the desired edition from that snapshot. You should then delete the old DB instance, unless you wish to keep it running and have the appropriate Oracle Database licenses.

Q: What are Amazon RDS DB engine versions for Oracle and how do they relate to Oracle Patch Sets?

In the context of Oracle, Amazon RDS DB engine versions are organized as follows:

DB Engine Versions for Oracle = X.Y.Z

X = Major version (for ex: 11.2), Y = Release level (for ex: 0.2), Z = version number within release series (for ex: v2). For example, a DB Engine version for Oracle could be 11.2.0.2.v2

Oracle releases Database Patch Set Updates (PSU) for supported release levels on a quarterly basis. (e.g. 11.2.0.2.1). The PSUs include security fixes and additional non-security fixes recommended by Oracle.

The Amazon RDS DB Engine Versions are built with a given PSU as a baseline and may contain additional fixes beyond it.

From the Amazon RDS standpoint, a version change would be considered major if either major version or release level is being changed. Example: going from 11.2.0.2.Z -> 11.2.0.4.Z. A version change would be considered minor if the version number within the release is being changed. Example: going from 11.2.0.2.v2 -> 11.2.0.2.v3.

As of today, Amazon RDS supports major versions 11.2 (11g Release 2) and 12c. We plan to support additional major versions in the future.

Q: What is the patch set composition of my DB engine version for Oracle?

Refer to the Amazon RDS User Guide for details of the patch set composition of each DB engine version of Oracle.

Q: Does Amazon RDS provide guidelines for upgrading engine versions or deprecation of engine versions that are currently supported?

Yes. Please refer to the Amazon RDS FAQs.

Q: What types of replication does Amazon RDS support for Oracle?

Amazon RDS for Oracle supports Multi-AZ deployments for both the License Included and Bring Your Own License (BYOL) licensing models.

Q: Does Amazon RDS use Oracle Data Guard for Multi-AZ deployments?

Oracle Data Guard is a High Availability feature available for Enterprise Edition of Oracle database. Amazon RDS currently uses a different synchronous replication technology and automatic failover functionality to provide Multi-AZ deployments for Oracle DB Instances. Multi-AZ deployments are available for all Oracle database editions supported by Amazon RDS.

Q: Will I need an additional license(s) if I use Multi-AZ deployments for my Oracle DB Instances under the "BYOL" licensing model?

Yes, we expect that you will need to use twice as many licenses for Multi-AZ deployments as you would for a corresponding Single-AZ deployment to account for the stand by DB Instance. However, you should review your Oracle Software Licensing Agreement and comply with Oracle’s licensing policies.

Q: Is Oracle RAC supported on Amazon RDS?

No, RAC is not currently supported.

Q: Which Enterprise Edition Options are supported on Amazon RDS?

Following Enterprise Edition Options are currently supported under the BYOL model:

  • Advanced Security (Transparent Data Encryption, Native Network Encryption)
  • Partitioning
  • Management Packs (Diagnostic, Tuning)
  • Advanced Compression
  • Total Recall

Q: Which character sets are supported on Amazon RDS for Oracle?

Amazon RDS supports the thirty character sets in the Oracle "Recommended ASCII Database Character Sets" list. You can specify your desired character set when creating a new database instance. This is optional and the default character set is AL32UTF8. For more information, please refer to the Amazon RDS Documentation.

Q: Who manages the Oracle Wallet and Master Encryption Key when using Transparent Data Encryption on Amazon RDS?

Amazon RDS manages the Oracle Wallet and Master Encryption Key for the DB Instance.

How do I know if Amazon RDS supports a specific Oracle Database feature?

Oracle Database supports a number of features that vary with the edition of Oracle database you run. Refer to the Amazon RDS User Guide to know about the Oracle features that Amazon RDS currently supports.