Oracle Data Guard licensing
Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson
historically been a great deal of
confusion about the licensing requirements for Oracle Data Guard.
Depending upon your implementation of Data Guard for standby database or
failover database, the licensing rules may be different.
There is only one outstanding
book dedicated to Oracle Data Guard, "Oracle
Data Guard: Standby Database Failover Handbook", a highly recommended
reference for all possible Oracle Data Guard configurations.
Oracle Data Guard
licensing for Failover
At one time, Data Guard "failover"
configurations that were used less than 10 days per year did not need to be
licensed. At one point, the following was posted in an Oracle online forum
by an informed user:
"I was told if the second
node is used less than 10 days a year, then no additional license was
Oracle Data Guard
licensing for Standby
A common use of Data Guard is to
create a "standby" Oracle server as protection against hardware failure. On
March 16, 2006, the Oracle documentation noted that all standby databases had to be
fully licensed if they might be used as production:
"Standby - In this type of recovery, a
copy of the primary database is maintained on a separate server at all
times. These systems are configured for disaster recovery purposes. If the
primary database fails, the standby database is activated to act as the new
In this environment, both the primary
and the standby databases must be fully licensed."
Oracle standby servers need to be fully licensed
if they are ?hot standby? servers that can be used for production SQL queries.
Some sources said that cold standby servers used less than 10 days per year did
not need to be licensed, but licensing requirements should always be verified with your Oracle
representative or the Oracle Store.
In sum, current 2006 Oracle Data Guard licensing policies suggested that if Data
Guard is installed for "standby" purposes, it required full licensing.
For a full current explanation
of Oracle Data Guard licensing prices and policies, contact your Oracle Customer
Support Representative (CSR).
on Oracle Pricing is available from