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Oracle Data Guard licensing tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson

There has 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 required."

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 primary database.

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).

Information on Oracle Pricing is available from Oracle Corporation.


If you like Oracle tuning, you may enjoy the new book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", over 900 pages of BC's favorite tuning tips & scripts. 

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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

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