Oracle certifies its database for Arm architecture on-prem and in cloud

Only for Ampere – but with a licencing twist that means Intel and AMD can't relax

Oracle has certified its flagship Database 19c Enterprise Edition database for the Arm architecture, in the cloud or on-prem – provided it runs on an Ampere processor.

Databases are a critical and ubiquitous workload, so Oracle bringing its flagship product to Arm will make the architecture easier to consider for many enterprises. As such it's a fillip for Arm servers, which – despite having a strong story in terms of price/performance and energy consumption – haven't yet made a dent in the server market.

(Notably, earlier this year our sibling publication The Next Platform crunched the numbers and suggested Arm-powered boxes could account for 19 percent of server shipments by 2026.)


AMD's 128-core Epycs could spell trouble for Ampere Computing


That's good news for Ampere – a standout player in Arm servers with its manycore Altra processors, which are offered by Oracle, Microsoft, Equinix, and Google in their hyperscale clouds.

It's also good news for Oracle, which invested in Ampere in 2019.

And maybe it's good news for Oracle users. The announcement states that "Oracle Database 19c costs half as much when running on Ampere Altra processors due to the low Core Factor."

A "Core Factor" is one of Oracle's licensing constructs that sees most recent AMD and Intel CPUs rated as requiring 0.5 of a license for each physical core. Ampere CPUs are presumably rated at 0.25 licenses per core – a level Oracle already offers for its own SPARC processors.

Oracle's promised migrations to Arm will be simple: its Recovery Manager (RMAN) can be used to back up databases on their existing platform, with restores then able to use Arm machines as a restore target.

While certifying its database on Arm is a big deal, Oracle continues to back other architectures – it recently upgraded some of its data-munching appliances with recent AMD Epyc CPUs.

And Big Red's database is far from the first such tool to run on Arm: MySQL has done so for years, MariaDB can too, as does MongoDB. If you really wanted to revisit Informix, it also runs on Arm. ®

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