May 24, 2011

Quick thoughts on Oracle-on-Amazon

Amazon has a page up for what it calls Amazon RDS for Oracle Database. You can rent Amazon instances suitable for running Oracle, and bring your own license (BYOL), or you can rent a “License Included” instance that includes Oracle Standard Edition One (a cheap version of Oracle that is limited to two sockets).

My quick thoughts start:

Of course, those are all standard observations every time something that’s basically on-premises software is offered in the cloud. They’re only reinforced by the fact that the only Oracle software Amazon can actually license you is a particularly low-end edition.

And Oracle is indeed on-premises software. In particular, Oracle is hard enough to manage when it’s on your premises, with a known hardware configuration; who would want to try to manage a production instance of Oracle in the cloud?


7 Responses to “Quick thoughts on Oracle-on-Amazon”

  1. Brian Poissant on May 24th, 2011 12:45 pm

    I want to bring light the fact that AWS managed to do something that MANY other software vendors have not been able to, and that’s design and secure an agreement with Oracle for an on-demand licensing models.
    While there have been on-premise, and OEM based license models for decades (Oracle & SAP as an example), having a licensing model that tracks, and generates revenue for temporary, on-demand use of a license is no small task to deploy – and in some cases may be seen as precedent setting.
    Even if this “rented” AWS Oracle RDS license model is just for the Oracle SE1 product today, I doubt that this will be the last we hear of new Oracle RDS offerings from Amazon Web Services.

  2. Curt Monash on May 24th, 2011 1:05 pm

    I would imagine one reason they only did the cheap license is that they had trouble agreeing on pricing for others. If Oracle actually does leave a bit of Standard Edition One money on the table, it won’t miss it much; the same obviously wouldn’t be true for, say, Enterprise Edition.

  3. Mohan Arun on June 11th, 2011 4:26 am

    As regards ‘production’ vs ‘non-production’ appeal of the Oracle instance on Amazon RDS, there is also another use case where you could, in theory, ‘rent out’ use of your database. You will have access to the database as the database owner, you will have SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE privileges on the tables. The user of the database would probably only have SELECT privileges. This is an alternative to the REST architecture model for letting others use your up-to-the minute database… instead of passing packets over HTTP you could give your customers access to an Amazon RDS-hosted Oracle instance …

    That said, here’s a cost-benefit analysis of Amazon RDS-hosted Oracle from my blog:

  4. Oracle database perches on the Amazon RDS cloud « Julian Dontcheff's Database Blog on June 18th, 2011 8:43 pm

    […] do you agree with Curt Monash’s Quick thoughts on Oracle-on-Amazon where he claims that there is non-production appeal but that this isn’t for production […]

  5. Ranko Mosic on October 4th, 2011 6:16 am

    Amazon RDS has too many limitations to be seriously considered for production deployment. Oracle on Amazon EC2 is more likely candidate since you have OS level access and have more installation options.
    Offsite backups and DR site setup are typically considered as parts of production environments. Amazon service is natural choice as tape backup replacement destination and much cheaper alternative to building your own DR site.
    Ranko Mosic, CEO
    Lotus – Oracle Database Administration Cloud Service Provider
    Web site:
    cell phone: +381-60-33-00-464

  6. Curt Monash on October 4th, 2011 7:07 am

    Hi Ranko,

    I happen to have just posted about Teradata Unity, one of whose purposes is to make DR copies of a database useful for other purposes too. But without something like that, it’s a minor semantic point.

    The bigger point is that there are sharp limitations as to who will want to host the primary copy of their database in this way.

  7. Ranko Mosic on March 9th, 2012 8:22 am

    Hi Curt,
    Small to mid size shops who couldn’t afford DR site before or anybody wanting reliable, ready made Oracle database backups ( read non-tape based backups using Oracle Cloud Module/S3 backups ) would be likely candidates.
    I think more critical, techno-economy questions are: a) network bandwith between primary and DR ( or backup ) sites
    b) price for network traffic
    c) overall price point of such solution since you will need AWS reserved instances etc. for serious DR solution
    Issue a) is partially addressed by AWS Direct Connect feature ( dedicated network connection from your premise to AWS )
    I do not see issues b) and, consequently c) properly addressed, especially since AWS Direct Connect means increased price, which beats the purpose of moving to the Cloud. Your gain
    is having reliable backups and/or DR site.
    Speed of restore ( network bandwith problem again) from Cloud backups is another critical factor to be tested, benchmarked and TCO’d properly.

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