Part 2/10: Introduction to Oracle Database Cloud Services

In this part, we will talk about the different database service offerings and their characteristics in Oracle cloud to help you determine the right service to move to according to your needs and requirements.

There is no THE ORACLE DATABASE in the cloud, but many different service offerings that primarily differ in their level of administration and control. These can be divided into two groups:

  • Database Cloud Service (DBCS): a managed service where the customer has full access to the database machine and is responsible for database administration and tuning. Oracle provides tooling to simplify management tasks like patching, backup, recovery, and building high availability and disaster recovery solutions.
  • Autonomous Database (ADB): a fully automated service where the customer has no access to the database machine. Administration and tuning of the entire infrastructure and database are automated. It is highly available by design, backups are automatically taken, and patches automatically applied without customers’ intervention.

Each group offers different services to satisfy different requirements regarding isolation, database size, available shapes, scaling capabilities, database editions, and versions, etc.

Database Cloud Service (DBCS)

On-premise, database options and packs can be acquired one by one as needed. For example, you have Enterprise Edition with Multitenant option. Later on, when you need another option, let’s say In-Memory, then you would acquire the In-Memory option and pay for it.

In the cloud, the options and packs for DBCS are “pre-packaged” as follows:

When you provision a DBCS database, you choose one of these four editions and use the options and packs already associated with them. Each edition includes the options and packs from the previous “lower” one (on the left). For example, EE High Performance includes all options in the first three columns in the above image.

A major benefit for Standard Edition customers in the cloud is the availability of Tablespace Encryption, which is available only on Enterprise Edition on-premise. It is also possible to use Data Safe for Data Masking.

Have a look at this amazing page for more information about features and licensing.

DBCS databases can be deployed on different infrastructure:

  • Virtual Machines (DBCS VM)
  • Bare Metal machines (DBCS BM)
  • Exadata: also called Exadata Cloud Service (ExaCS)

The following table describes the characteristics of DBCS services:

Autonomous Database (ADB)

Autonomous Database runs on Exadata, uses Enterprise Edition including the following options:

These options are included in the Autonomous Database subscription and do not need to be acquired separately. Oracle RAC is used internally by the Autonomous Database.

The Bring Your Own License (BYOL) requirements are described on ADB’s pricing page

Autonomous Databases have the following Exadata infrastructure options:

  • Autonomous Database on Shared Exadata Infrastructure (ADB Shared)
  • Autonomous Database on Dedicated Exadata Infrastructure (ADB Dedicated)

The following table describes the characteristics of autonomous databases:

Cloud at Customer (C@C)

In case you need to keep the infrastructure in your own data center behind your firewall, but benefit from Cloud features and automation at the same time, then Oracle offers you two options:

  • Exadata Cloud at Customer (Exa C@C), which is similar to ExaCS in the public cloud.
  • Autonomous Exadata Cloud at Customer (ADB ExaC@C), which is similar to Autonomous on Dedicated Exadata Infrastructure in the public cloud.


To understand which Oracle Database Cloud service is best for your use case, you have to consider many factors regarding manageability, performance, database size, available editions, and options, need for high availability and disaster recovery, etc.

Further Reading

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