Oracle change their Cloud licensing rules

Oracle have announced a change in their licensing terms which looks to have a significant impact on organisations using Oracle software in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

No Core Factor table for Cloud Environments

Up until the 23rd of January, Oracle applied a “Core Factor” when licensing their software in the Cloud. (This is a concept that will be familiar to those of you who’ve licensed Microsoft SQL 2014.)

The Core factor table shows that Xeon processors (those used in AWS & Azure datacenters) have a core factor of 0.5, so the calculation was “number of cores * 0.5 = number of licenses required. So 16 cores in a Cloud VM would require 8 Oracle core licenses.

However, Oracle have updated their Cloud licensing document and it now says:

When counting Oracle Processor license requirements in Authorized Cloud Environments, the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table is not applicable

This means that 16 Cloud cores now needs 16 Oracle core licenses – causing customer costs to double without making a change to the environment!

Will these changes apply to existing scenarios or just new licenses purchased going forwards – that seems unclear at this point. One would assume that current implementations will be unchanged until contract renewal but that doesn’t seem to have been confirmed by Oracle at this point.


I generally only cover Microsoft licensing but saw this earlier today and found it very interesting. One must assume this is aimed at gaining customers for Oracle’s Cloud services but it presents organisations with a choice:

Move from your existing Cloud platform provider and continue using Oracle DB


Remain on your existing Cloud platform and use a different DB – SQL, PostgreSQL etc.

I will certainly be keeping an eye on how this progresses.

For more info on this, and Oracle in general, head over to The Oracle Base Blog.





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