oracle aws

Oracle Licensing on AWS RDS: Best Practices and Recommend.

What is Oracle Licensing for AWS RDS?

  • AWS RDS for Oracle: A managed database service offering Oracle databases.
  • Licensing Models:
    • License Included (LI): AWS holds the Oracle database license; no separate purchase is needed.
    • Bring Your Own License (BYOL): Use existing Oracle Database licenses on AWS RDS.

Licensing Models for Oracle on AWS RDS

License Included (LI)

The License Included model is a straightforward approach to Oracle licensing on AWS RDS.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Definition and Benefits: Under the LI model, there’s no need for separate Oracle Database licenses. This model offers a bundled approach where AWS holds the Oracle database software license. It’s a hassle-free option, especially for businesses with a simplified licensing process.
  • How AWS Holds the License for Oracle: AWS takes care of the Oracle database software license in the LI model. Businesses don’t have to deal with Oracle directly for licensing.
  • Pricing and Flexibility: One of the standout features of the LI model is its pricing structure. Businesses can include the cost of the Oracle Database license in the hourly price of the Amazon RDS service. This approach optimizes license costs and offers flexibility when scaling AWS RDS instances. With no upfront fees or long-term commitments, businesses can scale up or down based on their needs.

Bring Your Own License (BYOL)

For businesses with existing Oracle Database licenses or those looking for a more customized approach, the BYOL model is worth considering.

Here’s a deep dive:

  • Definition and Benefits: The BYOL model allows businesses to use their existing Oracle Database licenses on AWS RDS. It’s designed for those who prefer to leverage their current Oracle licenses or are considering purchasing new licenses directly from Oracle. This model offers a more tailored approach to licensing, especially for businesses with specific Oracle licensing agreements in place.
  • How to Use Existing Oracle Licenses on AWS RDS: If you’re considering the BYOL model, it’s essential to ensure that you have the appropriate Oracle Database license for the DB instance class and Oracle Database edition you plan to run. This model requires businesses to adhere to Oracle’s policies for licensing in the cloud computing environment. It’s a more hands-on approach, offering greater flexibility for businesses with unique licensing needs.
  • Oracle License Portability to AWS: One of the significant advantages of the BYOL model is Oracle license portability. Subject to specific license agreement terms, Oracle licenses can be transferred for use on AWS. This includes server-based licenses, Enterprise License Agreements, and more.

In conclusion,

Whether you opt for the License Included or Bring Your Own License model, understanding the intricacies of Oracle licensing on AWS RDS is crucial.

Critical Considerations for Oracle Licensing on AWS

When considering Oracle licensing on AWS, it’s essential to approach the topic with a discerning eye.

Here are some key points to ponder:

  • CPU and vCPU Considerations: Oracle Database licensing on AWS is determined by the number of virtual CPUs on the EC2 instance where the database is installed. It’s worth noting that each vCPU is a thread of either an Intel Xeon core or an AMD EPYC core, with some exceptions. The number of CPU cores can be customized, and multithreading can be disabled if desired.
  • Oracle Database Editions Supported Under Each Licensing Model: AWS offers two licensing models for Oracle: License Included (LI) and Bring Your Own License (BYOL). The LI model is available only for Oracle Standard Edition One and Two. For other editions and any edition on Amazon EC2, the BYOL model is required.
  • Oracle Licensing on Amazon EC2 vs. Amazon RDS: Oracle licensing policies apply similarly to Oracle Database on Amazon RDS and Amazon EC2. However, the critical distinction is that hourly licensing is exclusively available on Amazon RDS.
  • Oracle License Portability and Conditions: Oracle licenses might be portable to AWS, meaning existing licenses could potentially be transferred for use on AWS. However, specific conditions and potential costs are associated with porting licenses to AWS. It’s crucial to review the specific license agreement for details.

3 Common Mistakes Oracle Customers Make with Oracle on AWS

  1. Overlooking Oracle Support Policies:
    • Many customers mistakenly believe they can seamlessly transition to Oracle AWS RDS, even with unsupported licenses on-premise. It’s crucial to understand that to use Oracle on AWS RDS, one must strictly adhere to Oracle’s support policies.
  2. Neglecting License Compliance Management:
    • A prevalent misconception is that once on AWS, there’s no need to manage Oracle license compliance. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As with on-premise deployments, diligent compliance management is essential when using Oracle on AWS.
  3. Assuming Immunity from Oracle Audits:
    • A dangerous assumption some customers make is thinking, “Oracle won’t audit us.” In reality, using Oracle AWS on RDS is a significant audit trigger. It’s imperative to remain vigilant and prepared for potential audits.


What is the difference between LI and BYOL?

LI includes the Oracle Database license in the hourly RDS service price. BYOL allows the use of existing Oracle Database licenses on AWS RDS.

How is Oracle licensing on AWS RDS different from Amazon EC2?

Licensing policies are similar, but hourly licensing is only available on Amazon RDS.

Can I change my licensing model after creating an Oracle DB instance?

Yes, the licensing model can be modified after creating a DB instance.

What are the Oracle Database editions supported under each licensing model?

LI supports Oracle Standard Edition One and Two. BYOL is required for other editions and any edition on Amazon EC2.

How does Oracle licensing work on AWS RDS?

AWS RDS for Oracle offers two licensing models: License Included (LI) and Bring Your Own License (BYOL). With LI, AWS holds the Oracle database license, while BYOL allows you to use your existing Oracle Database licenses on AWS RDS.

How does AWS handle Oracle licenses in the License Included model?

In the License Included model, AWS holds the license for the Oracle database software, eliminating the need for businesses to purchase Oracle Database licenses separately.

What should I know about Oracle license portability to AWS?

Oracle licenses may be portable to AWS, allowing existing licenses to be transferred for use on AWS. However, specific conditions and potential costs are associated with this portability.

How does AWS License Manager help with Oracle licensing on AWS RDS?

AWS License Manager integrates with Amazon RDS for Oracle to monitor Oracle license usage in the BYOL model. It tracks RDS for Oracle engine editions and licensing packs based on vCPUs.

What is the primary difference between Oracle licensing on AWS RDS and AWS EC2?

AWS RDS is a managed database service, while AWS EC2 provides scalable computing capacity in the cloud. Oracle licensing policies apply similarly to both, but specific nuances exist regarding how licenses are utilized and billed.

Can I use my existing Oracle licenses on AWS RDS?

Yes, through the Bring Your Own License (BYOL) model, you can use your existing Oracle Database licenses on AWS RDS.

What should I be aware of when considering Oracle Multi-AZ deployments on AWS RDS in terms of licensing?

In a Multi-AZ deployment using BYOL, licenses are needed for both the primary and standby DB instance.


Understanding Oracle licensing on AWS RDS is not just about cost-saving; it’s about ensuring compliance and making informed decisions.

Need Help with Oracle on AWS RDS?

Navigating the complexities of Oracle licensing on AWS RDS can be challenging. Don’t leave your compliance to chance.

At Redress Compliance, we specialize in ensuring that your Oracle license deployments align seamlessly with your contracts. Let us guide you through the intricacies, ensuring you stay compliant and avoid costly oversights.

Reach out to Redress Compliance today and move to AWS RDS with confidence and peace of mind.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson possesses 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. Having worked at Oracle for 9 years, he gained an additional 11 years of expertise in Oracle license consulting projects. Fredrik has provided assistance to over 150 organizations worldwide, ranging in size and tackling various Oracle licensing challenges, including Licensing Assessments, Oracle audits, Oracle ULAs, and more.