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Report: Oracle Doubles Cost To License Its Software for AWS

The next front in Oracle's ongoing battle against Amazon Web Services (AWS) appears to be over licensing.

That's the upshot of a blog post late last week by certified Oracle DBA Tim Hall, who noted some recent changes to Oracle's cloud licensing policies that may negatively affect users who run Oracle software on the AWS cloud. IT news Web site The Register also took note of Hall's observations in an article this Monday.

Essentially, the issue is over a change in how Oracle counts each AWS virtual CPU (vCPU) for licensing purposes. vCPUs on AWS are hyperthreads, meaning they each make up just one half of a full Intel core (as opposed to Microsoft Azure, where a single vCPU also corresponds to a single full core). Earlier versions of Oracle's licensing policy accounted for AWS' two-vCPUs-per-core scheme.

However, as Hall noted, a Jan. 23 update to Oracle's licensing policies document (.PDF here) added this statement: "When counting Oracle Processor license requirements in Authorized Cloud Environments, the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table is not applicable."

The change effectively doubles the cost of running Oracle software on AWS, Hall argued.

"The intel core factor is 0.5, so an 8 core physical box requires 4 cores of licensing. Now on the cloud, an 8 core VM (16 vCPUs on AWS or 8 vCPUs on Azure) requires 8 cores of licensing," he wrote. "On the 23-Jan-2017 [update] the intel core factor was removed from the cloud licensing calculation and overnight your cloud licensing costs doubled!"

The new policy applies to users who want to license Oracle solutions to run on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). There's no word yet how or if this policy change will affect existing contracts.

Oracle has made no secret of its intent to compete directly against AWS on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), spending the past months building out its cloud portfolio. Earlier this month, the company announced its plans to open three new cloud regions by mid-2017, including ones in London and Virginia -- where AWS also has regions.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.

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