Oracle Cloud – Which Edition?

In my previous post I discussed General Purpose versus High Memory instance option types in Oracle Cloud.

Another decision you’ll need to make is which Edition of the database do you wish to use? Here the options are slightly different to if you host ‘On-Prem’ (as the marketing speak goes).

Using the Non-Metered service as our comparison, we can see there are 4 Editions available

 

cloud7.png

Non-metered Editions

The Editions available are the same whether you choose Virtual Image versus DBaaS, Metered versus Non-Metered or indeed General Purpose versus High Memory. The Editions are (at the time of writing) described as

  • Standard Edition
  • Enterprise Edition
  • High Performance
  • Extreme Performance

Underneath the pricing information there is some extra information detailing the options available in the High Performance and Extreme Performance Editions,  for High Performance it lists:

High Performance: Multitenant, Partitioning, Real Application Testing, Advanced Compression, Advanced Security, Label Security, Database Vault, OLAP, Advanced Analytics, Spatial and Graph, Diagnostics Pack, Tuning Pack, Database Lifecycle Management Pack, Data Masking and Subsetting Pack, and Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database.

whereas for Extreme Performance it lists:

Extreme Performance: In-Memory Database, RAC (Real Application Clusters), Active Data Guard, Multitenant, Partitioning, Real Application Testing, Advanced Compression, Advanced Security, Label Security, Database Vault, OLAP, Advanced Analytics, Spatial and Graph, Diagnostics Pack, Tuning Pack, Database Lifecycle Management Pack, Data Masking and Subsetting Pack, and Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database.

My first thoughts were that this is not exactly easily digestible information. I had to stare long and hard at two lists (and actually paste them into a Text Editor to format for more easier comparison). Also where is the list of features for Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition?

Let’s look at each Edition in turn.

Standard Edition

What’s to say here? Since there’s no definitive list, I’m going to assume that the list of features is identical to if you had installed it On-Prem. It would be nice if Oracle explicitly stated that though IMHO.

Enterprise Edition

Again, there is no list of options displayed, so I’m going to have to assume that the options are identical to if you installed it On-Prem. However as every Oracle veteran knows, you can’t just assume things about which Options you can use, especially where Enterprise Edition is concerned (think $$$ here). However I like to think that Oracle have thought about this long and hard and will prevent me from using any Option I’m not licensed to use in Oracle Cloud. However it would be beneficial to have something clearly written on the Oracle Cloud site that let me know what I could expect feature-wise with the Enterprise Edition.

High Performance Edition

Ok here’s where we start to see the differences emerge and things start to get interesting. With High Performance, we get everything in Enterprise Edition plus the following options:

  • Multitenant
  • Partitioning
  • Real Application Testing
  • Advanced Compression
  • Advanced Security
  • Label Security
  • Database Vault
  • OLAP
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Spatial and Graph
  • Diagnostics Pack
  • Tuning Pack
  • Database Lifecycle Management Pack
  • Data Masking and Subsetting Pack
  • Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database.

 

Straight off the bat, the one that catches my eye here is the Multi-tenant option. I’m no Oracle Licensing Expert (please don’t rely on my advice here), but my understanding was that Multi-tenant was an extra licensing option cost in addition to Enterprise Edition, plus I believed each additional PDB incurred extra licensing (however this might be based on my misunderstanding or old information).

So I can pay $1500 / OCPU / month for Enterprise Edition, or for an extra $500 / OCPU / month I can get High Performance Edition which gives me the ability to create as many Pluggable Databases (PDB’s) as I like for “just” an extra $6,000 a year. That’s actually a pretty good deal when you look at the Oracle Global List price. That’s without even taking the other options you get thrown in for that extra $500 / OCPU / month.

If you add up the cost of some of those extra licensable Option Packs, the extra $500 / OCPU / month (in this example) starts to look like an extremely good deal versus hosting it On-Prem and having to pay the additional option prices.

This I think is where Oracle got really smart. They’re beating the competition by offering prices you just can’t compete with elsewhere. They’re making options that were previously unaffordable for many businesses now much cheaper.

Extreme Performance Edition

With Extreme Performance Edition we get everything we got with High Performance Edition (and therefore also Enterprise Edition), namely:

  • In-Memory Database 
  • RAC (Real Application Clusters)
  • Active Data Guard
  • Multitenant
  • Partitioning
  • Real Application Testing
  • Advanced Compression
  • Advanced Security
  • Label Security
  • Database Vault
  • OLAP
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Spatial and Graph
  • Diagnostics Pack
  • Tuning Pack
  • Database Lifecycle Management Pack
  • Data Masking and Subsetting Pack
  • Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database

However I’ve marked in bold the 3 new options specific to Extreme Performance. The stand-out one here is the In-Memory option, which again if you were to host On-Prem would be a not insignificant extra licensing cost, but in my previous example of General Compute it’s an extra $500 / OCPU / month over the cost of the High Performance Edition, thus bringing it into the ‘not too pricey’ range.

The “rub” here however is that the In-Memory option isn’t that useful unless you have a reasonable amount of memory to throw at it. Since Oracle Cloud will charge you more for an instance with more memory you may find that it could be more cost effective to run this option On-Prem since In-Memory licensing cost isn’t driven by the amount of memory you have, but rather by the processors. So in theory you may have a machine with say (for example) 2 Processors but 120Gb of memory, which is an option that Oracle doesn’t provide with their standard instance types.

All in all, I’m pretty impressed with the features provided by the instance types, particular since it opens the door to getting access to some options you might not have been able to afford previously.

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