What you need to know to properly license your Oracle backup systems

 Oracle offers you an easy to understand guide for each of these data recovery options.

A lot of businesses are wondering if they are over-licensed or if they are not properly licensing their backup systems.  Thankfully, Oracle has come out with a Software Investment Guide to help you know for sure.

Oracle has four different methods for recovering your database in case of failure.  These are:

  1. Backup
  2. Failover
  3. Standby
  4. Remote Mirroring

So what do you need to license, according to Oracle’s own Software Investment Guide?


Backups involve copying the database itself so that, if your data fails, you can easily use the backup files to continue operating.

You can store a backup copy of your server’s files on storage devices even without buying additional licenses.


In failover, you get nodes arranged in clusters.  The primary node is the production node or the one that you use in your operations.  Once the primary node fails, another node, usually the most updated, steps up to become the primary node.

For failover systems, customers can run unlicensed Oracle software on a spare computer provided that these failover systems are not used for more than ten days.  This means that you have ten days to fix the primary node or else you would have to license your Oracle software.


Very much like backups, but this time, copies of your primary database are kept on standby servers.  Your standby servers may be located in different places and would be updated routinely.

In this case, you would need to license both your primary database and its standby databases.

Remote Mirroring

Remote mirroring involves shared disk arrays or storage units.

Much like standby systems, your primary databases and mirrored databases must be licensed.  This is true even if you are not accessing the mirrored disk array, as long as it is installed on a mirrored storage unit.  Furthermore, if your primary storage unit fails and your database is installed there, you still would need to license both primary and remote systems if your database is accessing data from the remote mirror.

Take note that for standby and remote mirroring, you would need to apply some metrics to know for sure that you are doing your Oracle licensing properly.

Four Cornerstone can help you!

These are just a broad overview of licensing rules set forth in the Software Investment Guide.  Oracle offers you an easy to understand guide for each of these data recovery options and even provides an illustration of how to set up each and what to license in each case.  Oracle will run you through the different Oracle products that you might need to use in each scenario and the level of licensing required.

It also tells you about the various features, such as Oracle Secure Backup, Oracle Failsafe, Oracle Data Guard and others included in Oracle Database EE or SE that you could use in every scenario.

Four Cornerstone can easily take care of your Oracle licensing needs.   Much like Oracle’s Software Investment Guide, we have a team of Oracle experts that can help you not just put up backups, failovers, remote mirrors, or standby systems but also make sure that you are adequately licensed.

Call Four Cornerstone today and save up on license fees!

Photo courtesy of daryl_mitchell.

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