Power On/Off your Oracle Databases in 1 minute and save $$$

By | May 15, 2019

As most people know, an Oracle Database license is not really cheap ­čśë On-premise you have to buy licenses for each server, no matter how long that server is actually running. In the Oracle Cloud this is NOT the case! With the Oracle Database Cloud Service (DBCS) you can have the Database license included in your subscription fee. When you turn off your DB instance you actually also STOP paying for the licenses!

3 of the 4 Database cloud services support this Power ON/Off feature. You can also scale up/down your database CPUs, again just paying for the amount of DB licenses for the actively used CPUs per hour.

Hidden Feature: On/Off of the DBCS VM instances

Probably the most common service is the Database Cloud Service as Virtual Machine Instance. This service supports the On/Off functionality, but it is really hidden in the UI ­čÖü

The Cloud UI Shows your DBCS VM as a “Database System”, inside that DB system, you have DB nodes. If you are not running RAC, your system will just have one node. This Node can be power on/off, which essentially just powers on/off the underlaying VM and stopping consumption cost.

Powering ON/OFF the Database Node takes about 1 minute, so this is really fast and you can very easily schedule this to happening in the morning and when you leave back home, making sure you only pay for the usage during your working hours. You will likely not use this for production databases, as they need to run 24/7, but for development / test environments this could really help save cost.

TIP: For 24/7 databases you can still scale up/down based on your needs to control cost. See my auto scaling for ATP/ADW and BM Databases:

6 thoughts on “Power On/Off your Oracle Databases in 1 minute and save $$$

  1. Kai Uwe Fischer

    Hi Richard,
    i have one comment to the Database Services Overview slide.
    If you use DBCS-VM with local NVME Disk, you can stop the vm but you have to pay even if the system is stopped!
    I made this experience in my last client poc, with block storage it works fine.

    1. richard Post author


      What shape are you referring to, as I do not know of a DBCS shape with local storage.

      1. Kai Uwe Fischer

        We used iaas vm with dense io shape (2.8) not dbcs-vms, because the client couldn’t use ASM.

        1. richard Post author

          When using IaaS, you DB license is never included in the fee, it is always BYOL, so you can never have license flexibility.

    2. Laurie Hines

      In Docs https://cloud.oracle.com/database/faq
      Does Oracle Database Cloud Service support stop billing?
      Yes, Oracle Database Cloud Service supports stop billing for virtual machine databases. To take advantage of this capability, go to the virtual machine database system and select the desired node to stop. The database remains intact while the node is stopped. You are not billed for hours the node is not running. For partial hours, you are billed for the maximum number of OCPUs used by the database system during that hour.

      Stop billing is not applicable to Bare Metal Dense I/O or Exadata DB systems, and billing continues after stopping a node, since you continue hold on to the entire hosted environment. To reduce costs for Bare Metal Dense I/O or Exdata shapes you can make use of the online CPU scaling capability of the database shape and reduce the OCPUs to 2 for DenseIO and 0 for Exadata in unused and minor used environments. Setting the OCPU count to 0 in an Exadata Cloud Service will shut down the VMs as well as any databases running.


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