Oracle in the Amazon Web Services Cloud

Frequently Asked Questions


Amazon EC2 and Oracle AMIs

Database Backup in the Cloud

What is the nature of relationship between Oracle and Amazon Web Services?

Amazon Web Services is the leading Cloud infrastructure provider today and the first Cloud vendor that Oracle has partnered with. Oracle is working with Amazon Web Services to provide customers Cloud solutions that are both practical and relevant from an enterprise perspective. However, Oracle does not promote, endorse, or resell Amazon Web Service offerings. Oracle strongly recommends that customers take time to fully understand Amazon Web Services offerings before using any of the associated Oracle products and services.

Is Oracle open to working with other Cloud infrastructure and service providers?

Yes. Our intent is to expand our current and future Cloud offering to other platforms. The decision regarding which platforms we support next and the associated time lines will be primarily based on customer demand.

What kind of support does Oracle provide for its offerings on AWS?

Oracle fully supports Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle’s Siebel CRM, Oracle's JD Edwards and other Oracle Enterprise Applications certified on Oracle VM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Database, and Oracle Linux on the portion of Amazon EC2 which uses Oracle VM.

Oracle fully supports deploying Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Enterprise Manager and Oracle Linux on the portion of Amazon EC2 which uses Amazon's Xen virtualization technology. However, it may be noted that Amazon EC2 is a virtualized environment and uses a virtualization engine that is not supported by Oracle. Users will therefore be directed to Amazon for any virtualization-related issues.

Oracle will also provide full support for the Oracle Secure Backup Cloud module from a software perspective. In other words, Oracle will help resolve any issues that customers may encounter while using our software. However, we assume no reliability or responsibility for data stored in AWS S3 and customers will be directed to AWS for any issues related to AWS S3 infrastructure. Customers are encouraged to sign up for Amazon Web Services Premium Support to get prompt and personalized technical assistance for any issues related to AWS infrastructure. Customers can also buy support for Oracle Linux deployments on EC2.

Does Oracle offer short-term licenses?

As a part of our standard licensing practices, Oracle offers term licenses for periods ranging from 1 to 5 years. A one-year term license, for example, can be purchased at as low as 20% of the list price.

What is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and what are Amazon Machine Images?

Amazon EC2 provides compute capacity in the Cloud. It allows users to rent virtual machines by the hour. Using Amazon provided web services APIs, users can dynamically provision virtual machines to develop and deploy their applications. Click here for more information.

An AMI is a virtual machine image that allows quick provisioning of a pre-installed and pre-configured Oracle software environment on Amazon EC2.

I heard that Amazon EC2 storage is ephemeral and my data will be wiped out once I shut down the EC2 instance. Is that true and how can I persist my data beyond the life of an EC2 instance?

An EC2 instance comes with a certain amount of “local” storage, which is ephemeral and any data placed on those devices will not be available after that instance is shut down. However, Amazon also provides another service called “Elastic Block Storage” (EBS) that provides block level storage volumes for use with Amazon EC2 instances. Amazon EBS volumes are off-instance storage that persists independently from the life of an instance. Oracle highly recommends using Elastic Block Storage for placing database files.

Does Amazon EC2 provide static IP addresses?

Yes. You can use Amazon EC2's Elastic IP Address functionality to assign static IP address to your EC2 instances.

Can I run Real Application Clusters (RAC) on Amazon EC2?

No. Amazon EC2 currently does not provide the clustering infrastructure required to run RAC.

How secure is Amazon EC2 environment to run my Oracle Database?

Amazon Web Service security white paper contains the details of EC2's security infrastructure.

Additionally, Oracle recommends encrypting your data to protect it from any unauthorized access using Oracle Database's rich encryption capabilities.

How do I connect to my EC2 machine? How do I FTP data to and from EC2?

Amazon EC2 supports Secure Shell (SSH) connection using tools such as PuTTY. You can also establish a Secure FTP connection to EC2 using WinSCP or any other SFTP tool.

Am I required to use AMIs to deploy Oracle on EC2 and does Oracle support AMIs?

AMIs are provided to you purely for convenience of deployment and are not officially supported by Oracle. You are not required to use this AMI to install Oracle Software on EC2. Alternately, you can download the software yourself and install it manually using the standard installation process.

What is Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)?

Amazon S3 is Amazon's storage cloud. It provides a simple web-services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. More details can be found here.

Why should I consider backing up my database to the Cloud? What are the benefits?

Enterprises have traditionally relied on tapes for offsite backups. New disk economics and the compelling price point offered by the storage cloud vendors presents new opportunity to make offsite backups more accessible and reliable.

Oracle's Cloud backup functionality provides the following advantages over traditional tape-based offsite backups:

· Continuous Accessibility: Backups stored in the Cloud are always accessible – much in the same way local disk backups are. As such, there is no need to call anyone, and no need to ship or load tapes before a restore can be performed. Administrators can initiate restore operations using their standard tools (Enterprise Manager, scripts, etc.) just as if the offsite backup was stored locally. This can help make restores faster and reduce down time from days to hours/minutes in many cases.

· Better Reliability: Storage Clouds are disk based and thus inherently more reliable than tapes. Additionally, the Cloud vendors typically keep multiple redundant copies of data for availability and scalability purposes.

· Cost Savings: Lowers or eliminates upfront capital expenditures, as well as tape backup licensing and offsite storage costs.

Do I need to license any Oracle products to be able backup my database to the Cloud?

The Cloud Backup module is a part of Oracle Secure Backup family. Oracle Secure Backup is Oracle's next-generation tape backup management solution and it now provides customers the flexibility to back up data to either tape or the Cloud.

Does Cloud Backup only work with databases running within Amazon Cloud (EC2) or can I use it to backup my on-premise database as well?

Oracle Secure Backup Cloud module can be used to backup both in Cloud as well as on-premise databases. For on-premise databases, Oracle recommends making a local disk based backup first and use the Cloud as an on-demand accessible offsite backup location.

Which database versions can be backed up to the Cloud?

Cloud backup can be used with all supported versions of the database i.e. Oracle9i Release 2 or higher.

Which operating systems and database versions are supported for Cloud backup?

Oracle Secure Backup Cloud module is currently available on Linux and Windows platforms. It can be used with all supported versions of the database i.e. Oracle9i Release 2 or higher.

Can I make image copies backups to the Cloud?

No. Oracle Secure Backup Cloud module currently only supports backup sets.

Can I use Enterprise Manager to do Cloud backups?

Yes. Once you have installed and configured Cloud backup by running the Cloud Backup Installer, you can use EM's tape backup management interface to backup your data in the Cloud.

Do I need to install Oracle Secure Backup media and administrative servers in order to do Cloud backup?

No. You just need to download and run the Cloud Backup installer to install required software and configure your environment for backing up your data to the Cloud.