Best Practices for Running Oracle Database on Amazon Web Services
AWS Whitepaper

Choosing Between Amazon RDS and Amazon EC2 for Your Oracle Database

Both Amazon RDS and Amazon EC2 offer different advantages for running Oracle Database. Amazon RDS is easier to set up, manage, and maintain than running Oracle Database in Amazon EC2, and lets you focus on other tasks rather than the day-to-day administration of Oracle Database. Alternatively, running Oracle Database in Amazon EC2 gives you more control, flexibility, and choice. Depending on your application and your requirements, you might prefer one over the other.

If you are migrating multiple Oracle databases to AWS, you will find that some of them are a great fit for Amazon RDS while others are better suited to run directly on Amazon EC2. Many AWS customers use a combination of Amazon RDS and Amazon EC2 for their Oracle Database workloads.

Amazon RDS might be a better choice for you if:

  • You want to focus on your business and applications, and have AWS take care of the undifferentiated heavy lifting tasks such as provisioning of the database, management of backup and recovery tasks, management of security patches, minor Oracle version upgrades, and storage management.

  • You need a highly available database solution and want to take advantage of the push-button, synchronous Multi-AZ replication offered by Amazon RDS, without having to manually set up and maintain a standby database.

  • You would like to have synchronous replication to a standby instance for high availability for Oracle Database Standard Edition One or Standard Edition Two.

  • You want to pay for the Oracle license as part of the instance cost on an hourly basis instead of making a large upfront investment.

  • Your database size and IOPS needs are less than the RDS Oracle limits. See the documentation for the current maximum.

  • You don’t want to manage backups and, most importantly, point-in-time recoveries of your database.

  • You would rather focus on high-level tasks, such as performance tuning and schema optimization, rather than the daily administration of the database.

  • You want to scale the instance type up or down based on your workload patterns without being concerned about licensing and the complexity involved.

Amazon EC2 might be a better choice for you if:

  • You need full control over the database, including SYS/SYSTEM user access, or you need access at the operating system level.

  • Your database size exceeds the 80% of current maximum database size in Amazon RDS.

  • You need to use Oracle features or options that are not currently supported by Amazon RDS. See the documentation for currently supported options in Amazon RDS Oracle

  • Your database IOPS needs are higher than the current IOPS limit. See the documentation for the current IOPS limit.

  • You need a specific Oracle Database version that is not supported by Amazon RDS. For more information, see Oracle Database Editions.