What’re the differences between Oracle and RDS Oracle?

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Amazon RDS makes it easy to setup, operate, and scale Oracle database deployments in the cloud. With RDS, you can deploy multiple editions of Oracle Database in minutes with cos-efficient and re-sizable hardware capacity. It’s a good option but still doesn’t cover all the cases. This post represents the Oracle’s features are not supported by RDS Oracle until now.

First of all, RDS just supports the following Oracle Database engine.

# Engine Version
1 11.2.0.2 Version 11.2.0.2.v7
Version 11.2.0.2.v6
Version 11.2.0.2.v5
Version 11.2.0.2.v4
Version 11.2.0.2.v3
2 11.2.0.4 Version 11.2.0.4.v8
Version 11.2.0.4.v7
Version 11.2.0.4.v6
Version 11.2.0.4.v5
Version 11.2.0.4.v4
Version 11.2.0.4.v3
Version 11.2.0.4.v1
3 12.1.0.1 Version 12.1.0.1.v5
Version 12.1.0.1.v4
Version 12.1.0.1.v3
Version 12.1.0.1.v2
Version 12.1.0.1.v1
4 12.1.0.2 Version 12.1.0.2.v4
Version 12.1.0.2.v3
Version 12.1.0.2.v2
Version 12.1.0.2.v1

Beside engine and version, RDS still doesn’t support the following features.

# Feature Description Supported Notes for AWS RDS
1 Oracle Data Guard and Oracle Active Data Guard Allows you to create standby databases. No AWS provides similar functionality when run in Multi-AZ mode.
2 Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) Grid Control Allows you to manage multiple Oracle database and application servers. No Can manage your AWS RDS databases individually with Oracle 11g OEM Database Control (port 1158) or Oracle 12c OEM Data Express (port 5500).
3 Automated Storage Management (ASM) data files, control files and log files. No AWS RDS manages all Oracle files for you.
4 Oracle Streams Propagates database changes within and between Oracle databases. No Can use AWS RDS Multi-AZ to create a synchronous standby database.
5 Oracle XML DB Provides native XML storage and retrieval capabilities. Partially It is supported by AWS RDS (pre-installed on version 12c and later) without XML DB Protocol Server.
6 Real Application Clusters (RAC) Is cluster database with a shared cache and shared disk architecture. No You cannot run RAC in AWS RDS or EC2 either
7 Oracle Java Support Allows you to deploy Java server-side applications in the database. No
8 Oracle Locator and Oracle Spatial Aid you in managing geographic and location-data in a native type within the database. No
9 Oracle Application Express (APEX) Is a development and runtime environment for web-based applications. Partially Can use APEX in RDS Oracle 11g (Oracle APEX version 4.1.1 & Oracle APEX Listener 1.1.4) and RDS Oracle 12c (Oracle APEX version 4.2.6 & Oracle Rest Data Services)
10 Oracle Native Network Encryption Available on Oracle Enterprise Edition. You can encrypt data as it moves to or from a DB instance. Partially AWS support Oracle native encryption for any DB instance class larger than db.t1.micro.

Non-default TDE encryption algorithms only work with Oracle version 11.2.0.2.v7 and later.

11 Oracle Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) Available on Oracle Enterprise Edition. This feature automatically encrypts data before it is written to storage and automatically decrypts data when data is read from storage. Partially You cannot disable TDE from a DB instance once that instance is associated with an option group with the Oracle TDE option.

AWS RDS manages Oracle Wallet and TDE master key for BD instance

12 Oracle Statspack Oracle Statspack is no longer supported by Oracle and has been replaced by the more advanced Automatic Workload Repository (AWR), which is available for Enterprise Edition only. Yes Oracle Statspack can by used with any Oracle DB engine on AWS RDS.
13 Oracle Time Zone Change DB instance to have time compatibility with an on-premises environment and a legacy system. Partially Can only be applied once to a DB instance.
14 Oracle SSL Partially Must configure Oracle clients.

Just support the following version:

•11.2.0.2.v* (all versions) – Enterprise Edition

•11.2.0.3.v* (all versions) – Enterprise Edition

•11.2.0.4.v* (all versions) – Enterprise Edition

•11.2.0.4.v6 and later – Standard Edition, Standard Edition One, Enterprise Edition

•12.1.0.1.v* (all versions) – all editions

•12.1.0.2.v* (all versions) – all editions, including Standard Edition Two

Cannot use both SSL and Oracle native network encryption.

15 Oracle Data Vault Restricts access to specific areas in an Oracle database from any user No Not supported for Oracle 12c on AWS RDS
16 Oracle Multitenant Database A new option for Oracle Database 12c, Oracle Multitenant delivers a new architecture that allows a multitenant container database to hold many pluggable databases. No Not supported for Oracle 12c on AWS RDS
17 Oracle Label Security Easily categorize and mediate access to data based on classification No Not supported for Oracle 12c on AWS RDS
18 Network Access Utilities Network access utilities such as utl_http, utl_tcp, utl_smtp, and utl_mail. No
19 Oracle Database Links Enables you to access objects on another database. Partially To use Oracle database links with DB instances inside a VPC, the two instances must be either in the same VPC or you must create an EC2 or VPC security group that both DB instances are a member of.
20 Manage users, roles & privileges Almost Master account cannot run the some statements such as: ALTER DATABASE, ALTER SYSTEM, etc.

AWS RDS provides wrapper procedures for many common DBA tasks.

Son Nguyen

Son Nguyen

Son Nguyen is a Cloud Consultant working for FPT Software’s Cloud Innovation team. With deep knowledge in AWS and MS Azure, Son acts as a cloud consultant in various areas, ranging from assessment to architecture design, supporting customers from Japan, EU to US.

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2 Responses

  1. Ajay says:

    Nice article. I think you miss the data pump export/import not supported in RDS.

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