Oracle announces Standard Edition 2 Database 19C won’t have RAC (Real Application Clusters)

A recent notice, posted January 1st, outlines changes coming with Database 19C, which directly impact Standard Edition 2.  As of 19C, RAC is no longer included or deployable for clients utilizing Database Standard Edition 2.  This is not a situation of unbundling, where RAC can still be obtained and utilized for additional cost, but a technical change to the underlying software itself.  Attempts to implement RAC with Standard Edition 2 19C will be blocked by the Universal Installer.

What does this mean for my SE2 RAC deployments?

Oracle outlines within the notice several options for clients currently utilizing a RAC configuration with their SE2 deployment.  While none of them are perfect, they do provide clients with guidance in how to move forward.

  • Clients can opt to stay on 18C with no impact to their current RAC configurations. The change does not affect past versions of Database SE2, only 19C and beyond
  • Convert the RAC Database into a Non-RAC Database instance.
  • Upgrade from Standard Edition 2 to Enterprise Edition. Though potentially costly, this option allows clients to retain their RAC deployments, while also opening up additional functionality and the ability to implement Options and Packs not available with SE2.
  • Convert to Oracle Cloud with Autonomous Database.

What if I utilize RAC as part of my DR (Data Recovery) strategy?

Based on the fact that this is an unavoidable technical change to Oracle Database, options regarding the use of RAC with SE2 are limited to those outlined above.  If you are using RAC for the purposes of High Availability, and do not wish to move off of SE2, then you are left with only a couple of options.

  • Remain on 18C. 18C was introduced in April of 2018 and Premier Support runs until June of 2021.  Extended Support for 18C however will not be made available as 18C is not an Oracle Long Term Support version.
  • Consider the use of RMAN (Recovery Manager) for Backup functionality. While not generally considered high availability, RMAN can be utilized at no additional cost with all editions of Oracle Database.

Although this is not an optimal situation for clients that utilize RAC with SE2 deployments, Oracle has provided this information in a timely manner, with nearly a year and a half of Premier Support remaining for 18C.  This should provide enough runway for clients to plan for the coming changes, prior to an imminent requirement to upgrade.

These changes are in addition to the changes to Database EE, with Spatial and Advanced Analytics now being included with Database Enterprise Edition.  You can read more about that here.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the licensing of your current or future DR solution, please contact us.