Without completely copying everything our Oracle on EC2 Licensing page, I wanted to provide a quick overview of Oracle Processor licensing for EC2.
Oracle can be licensed on Amazon EC2, but we have to translate processor use to core use to determine licensing costs. Where bare-metal processor licensing uses a CPU socket to define a processor, EC2 instances use cores. Oracle has provided a metric of 4 cores = 1 socket, rounded up to the nearest 4 cores. So, a small instance with 1 core would require 1 socket (1 core rounded up to 4), or one processor license. An extra large instance with 4 cores would also require 1 socket – same as a small instance.
It must also be noted that licenses may not aggregate cores across instances. For example, 4 small instances with 1 core each require 4 sockets, or 4 processor licenses; each instance counts as an independent system and must be rounded up to 4 cores even though each instance has only 1 core.
Finally, Oracle has placed restrictions on the use of Standard Edition (SE) and Standard Edition One (SE1). SE1 is only allowed on instances with up to 8 cores, and SE is only permitted on instances up to 16 cores. Before getting too upset about these restrictions, though, take a look at the chart below:
|Instance Type||Cores||EC2 Compute Units per Core||Total EC2 Compute Units|
|High-Memory Extra Large||2||3.25||6.5|
|High-Memory Double Extra Large||4||3.25||13|
|High-Memory Quadruple Extra Large||8||3.25||26|
|High-CPU Medium Instance||2||2.25||5|
|High-CPU Extra Large Instance||8||2.25||20|
Notice there aren’t any instances with more than 8 cores, so SE1 could run on any EC2 instance with no trouble. Much like clockspeed on a physical CPU, Amazon indicates the relative power of a virtual core in Amazon Compute Units, where one EC2 Compute Unit (ECU) provides the equivalent CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 Xeon processor. The total computing power of an instance is therefore measured by multiplying the number of cores by the number of compute units per core.
So if you’re going to license Oracle on EC2, unless you really need an Enterprise Edition feature, remember that you can run the dramatically less expensive SE1 on any of the current EC2 instances and still be in licensing compliance, even though some of the instances have far more power than others.