database licensing

Oracle Failover Licensing – Oracle Disaster Recovery License

database licensing

Oracle Failover Licensing – Oracle Disaster Recovery License

To license Oracle in failover and disaster recovery scenarios:

  1. Install and Running Rule: License all Oracle software considered “installed and/or running” in any environment.
  2. Failover – 10-Day Rule: Utilize unlicensed spare servers in a cluster for up to 10 days per year.
  3. Standby Configuration: License both primary and standby servers.
  4. Remote Mirroring: License Oracle fully on primary sites; secondary sites require licensing if Oracle is “installed and/or running”.

What Is Oracle Failover Licensing?

What Is Oracle Failover Licensing?

What is Oracle Failover Licensing exactly?

Understanding Oracle disaster recovery (DR) licensing can be challenging as a business.

Oracle’s licensing policies can be complex and confusing, even for the most experienced professionals!

Fret not, though; we’re here to help.

This comprehensive guide aims to answer common questions and clarify the process of Oracle DR licensing, allowing you to make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

Oracle Failover Licensing – The Essentials

Oracle Failover License

The Foundation: Understanding “Installed and/or Running”

Before diving into the specifics of Oracle DR licensing, it’s crucial to comprehend the core licensing rule for Oracle software.

This rule applies to DR environments and dictates that all Oracle software considered “Installed and/or running” must be licensed.

Regardless of whether you actively use the software, a license is required if installed on your machines.

This applies to all environments: production, test, staging, and development.

However, Oracle offers a restricted-use development license. This means it cannot be employed for the test, production, failover, or any internal data processing and commercial activities.

Oracle licensing and Disaster Recovery

4 Key Oracle Disaster Recovery Methods

Oracle categorizes its DR methods into four main categories: Backup, Failover, Standby, and Remote Mirroring.

  1. Backup: Licensing is not required for database backups as long as they are not live copies (full install). Oracle permits the storage of backups without licensing, but it is important to note that a backup is not an actual running copy of the database software.
  2. Failover and the 10-Day Rule: Oracle allows you to operate its database software for up to 10 24-hour periods within a calendar year on one unlicensed spare server in a clustered environment with shared storage. Only one server per cluster can be unlicensed.
  3. Standby: In a standby configuration, both the primary server and any standby servers must be licensed, with licensing matching the primary server’s metrics and software.
  4. Remote Mirroring: Oracle must be fully licensed on the primary site, and if it is ever “installed and/or running” on the secondary site, all servers must be licensed.

Notable Exceptions and Questions

  • Oracle allows testing of backups on an unlicensed server four times a year, with each test not exceeding a two-day duration.
  • Synchronization or copying of binary files is not permitted during testing.
  • Backup solutions, including third-party solutions, do not require licensing as long as they adhere to the “installed and/or running” rule.
  • The 10-day rule only applies to clustered environments, as defined by Oracle, sharing one logical disk array in a single data center.
  • While Oracle Data Guard is included with the Oracle Database Enterprise Edition, it does not permit running and maintaining a standby copy of the database for free. Active Data Guard, on the other hand, requires additional licensing.
  • In Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC) licensing, RAC does not need to be licensed on the recovery server unless it has been used.
  • Some exceptions also apply to Oracle Data Management Cloud Services.

By understanding the intricacies of Oracle DR licensing and the various methods, businesses can better navigate this complex landscape and ensure compliance with Oracle’s licensing policies.

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  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, improving organizational efficiency.

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