Licensing options - AWS Prescriptive Guidance

Licensing options

Oracle Database licensing on AWS is based on the size of the instance on which the database is installed. Many Oracle Database workloads need high memory, storage, and I/O bandwidth, but are not CPU-bound, so you can reduce the number of virtual CPUs (vCPUs) in your deployment without affecting performance.

AWS offers the following CPU options for optimizing your Amazon RDS and EC2 instances for specific workload or business needs:

  • Number of CPU cores: You can customize the number of CPU cores for the instance.

  • Threads per core: You can disable multithreading by specifying a single thread per CPU core. 

For more information, see Optimizing CPU options in the Amazon EC2 documentation and Introducing Optimize CPUs for Amazon RDS for Oracle on the AWS website.

You can run Oracle Database on AWS under two different licensing models:

  • License Included

  • Bring Your Own License (BYOL)

License Included

In the License Included model, the Oracle Database software license is made available by AWS, so you don't have to purchase your own Oracle license separately. The License Included model pricing includes software, underlying hardware resources, and Amazon RDS management capabilities for Amazon RDS for Oracle. You pay for compute capacity by the hour your DB instance runs, with no long-term commitments. This frees you from the costs and complexities of planning, purchasing, and maintaining hardware.

For both Single-AZ and Multi-AZ deployments, pricing is per DB instance-hour consumed, from the time you launch a DB instance until you stop or delete the instance.

The License Included model supports Standard Edition Two (SE2). For pricing information, see Amazon RDS for Oracle pricing on the AWS website.


The Bring Your Own License (BYOL) model is intended for customers who prefer to use their existing Oracle Database licenses or purchase new Oracle licenses. If you already own an Oracle database license, you can use the BYOL model to run your Oracle database on Amazon RDS. If you're migrating your Oracle database to Amazon EC2 or to VMware Cloud on AWS, you must use your own Oracle license.

To run a DB instance under the BYOL model, you must have the appropriate Oracle Database license for the DB instance class and Oracle Database edition you want to run. You must also follow Oracle's policies for licensing Oracle Database software in the cloud computing environment.

If you use the BYOL model, you must have a license for both the primary DB instance and the standby DB instance in a Multi-AZ deployment. Amazon RDS supports Multi-AZ deployments for Oracle as a high-availability, failover solution. We recommend Multi-AZ for production workloads. For more information, see Configuring and managing a Multi-AZ deployment in the Amazon RDS documentation.

The BYOL model supports Oracle Database Enterprise Edition (EE) and Standard Edition Two (SE2).

For more information about licensing options for Amazon RDS for Oracle, see Oracle Licensing and the Amazon RDS for Oracle FAQs on the AWS website.