Oracle 18c: New features are no longer available on premises

Everybody knows:  the licensing of Oracle databases is quite difficult. There are so many things to consider in order to be sure that everything is correct. In the past, it was easy to understand what you got from Oracle: If you paid for Oracle Enterprise, you got the same, no matter what’s your hardware and operating system. So you could move from Windows to Linux or AIX and regarding the features everything was available.

According to the new release documents for Oracle 18c this will change. There is a matrix that tells you, which Oracle 18c feature is available on Engineered Systems (Exadata / ODA) in the Oracle Cloud or on prem for 3rd party hardware. If you use Engineered Systems, you should be fine for the moment. But not all features of Oracle 18c will also be available on prem. If you – like we do – run your Oracle stack on cost- and license-optimized 3rd party hardware, you could have some problems.

If you read the release notes, you’ll find that the following features will not be available on prem for non-Oracle Systems:

  • CDB Fleet Management
  • PDB Snapshot Carousel
  • Refreshable PDB switchover
  • Oracle Data Guard – automatic correction of non-logged blocks

Regarding the MT, more or less none of the new features are available for us. The pressure to invest in Oracle Engineered Systems will definitely be bigger in the future. If you don’t want to move to Engineered Systems, you’ll have to come to terms with working only with what you get.

In the last two years I repeatedly spoke at Oracle Open World about MT and the benefit that you can get as a company. That’s over and done, unless we change our hardware: If we can’t use the new features on premises, we won’t be able to talk about them to the community in the future.

Personally I think this is a bad decision – and I hope Oracle will consider it again for one of the next releases.

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