Is the Multitenant Option mandatory in the Oracle Cloud?

No, not necessarily.

All Oracle databases from version 12.1 in the Oracle Cloud are automatically deployed using the Multitenant architecture. This is probably the reason why this question is asked. Let’s have a deeper look.

Database Cloud Service (DBCS)

License Included

Oracle provides four pre-defined software editions in the Oracle Cloud to choose from. Each edition has specific options and packs included. The higher editions include the options from the previous ones.

For EE-HP and EE-EP, you can create up to 4096 PDBs.

For SE and EE using version 12.1 through 18c, the container database architecture is available in single-tenant mode: one user-created PDB, one user-created application root, and one user-created proxy PDB.

For SE and EE using version 19c, then you may have up to 3 user-created PDBs in a given container database (independent of the PDB type, e.g., “normal” PDB, application root, or proxy PDB, all count as user-created).

Bring Your Own License (BYOL)

If you go with the BYOL model, you’ll choose the SE or EE-EP edition while database creation and use only the options you are licensed for on-premises. If you are not licensed for Oracle Multitenant, then:

For version 12.1 through 18c, the container database architecture is available in single-tenant mode: one user-created PDB, one user-created application root, and one user-created proxy PDB.

For version 19c, then you may have up to 3 user-created PDBs in a given container database (independent of the PDB type, e.g., “normal” PDB, application root, or proxy PDB, all count as user-created).

Oracle Autonomous Database

License Included

In this case, you don’t worry about anything. You just use all options available in the Autonomous Database.

Bring Your Own License (BYOL)

For SE, no additional requirements regarding options.

For EE, Multitenant (and RAC if using more than 16 OCPUs) options are required. But this requirement is waived until May 31, 2021. ADG is required when using Autonomous Data Guard.

Conclusion

All Oracle databases in the Oracle Cloud are automatically created using the Multitenant architecture. Exception: on ExaCS, you can create a non-CDB manually.

The non-CDB architecture was deprecated in version 12c and is unsupported in version 21c.

Recommendation: use the long-term support release 19c and benefit from up to 3 user-created PDBs without the Multitenant license, even for Standard Edition. For Standard Edition, the 19.5.0 RU is required. To make sure that you don’t violate the licensing rules, set that parameter MAX_PDBS = 3. This will prevent you from accidentally creating more PDBs than you are allowed to.

As this article is regarding licensing, please read the Oracle PaaS and IaaS Universal Credits Service Descriptions and further licensing documents before making any decision.

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