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Oracle changes the way it charges users on AWS

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January 30, 2017

We just learned that Oracle has changed the way it charges users to run its software in Amazon Web Services. The decision effectively doubles the cost to users.

The company's previous licensing method recognized that AWS's virtual CPUs were a single thread of a core that runs two threads. Each virtual CPU therefore counted as half a core.

Now, all of that has changed. Oracle's new cloud licensing policy says an AWS vCPU is now treated as a full core if hyperthreading is not enabled.

A user ordering two AWS vCPUS therefore needs to pay full cost for both, effectively doubling the number of Oracle licences required to run inside AWS, therefore doubling the cost as well.

The new policy also states-- “When counting Oracle processor license requirements in Authorized Cloud Environments, the Oracle Processor Core Factor Table is not applicable.”

That table says that Xeon cores count as half a licence. Making the table inapplicable to the cloud again doubles the licence count required.

Peter Jansen, owner of Navicle, an Australian Oracle licensing consultancy, confirmed this and the effect on the cost to users.

“The unit cost doesn't change,” Jansen asserted, but he said that he's yet to hear whether Oracle will 'grandfather' previous arrangements for current users, who face larger bills if Oracle doesn't change its plans.

The new policy also makes AWS and Azure equal in Oracle's eyes-- the latter now needs one licence per core as well.

Jansen also suspects the decision was made to make Oracle's own cloud a more attractive proposition. Nothing new there.

He may be onto something, as Oracle last year named AWS as public enemy number one in the cloud, claiming its own cloud will be cheaper and faster than the Amazonian offering.

These new licensing arrangements certainly look to be taking care of the cheaper side of the equation.

Source: Oracle.


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