Oracle has been in a feud with Amazon AWS around databases for some time, and now the company is pushing back into Amazon’s cloud turf with a new Always Free Tier. The company is trying to get more developers and users to try its services instead of AWS and believes that it now has the right incentive package to do so. Oracle is committing to a tier of services that will remain free and not be limited to a 12-month trial as with many other cloud providers.
Oracle Always Free Ups the Ante
First off, Oracle’s Free Tier program actually has two components. The first is what we are focusing on here, the Always Free services. These provide access to certain Oracle Cloud services for an unlimited time. More on that shortly. Beyond that, there is a Free Trial with $300 of 30-day time-bound credits. Oracle’s basic idea is that you will get some infrastructure to always use but then can spend 30 days doing more investigation with other services using the Free Trial.
The Oracle Always Free tier includes a variety of services that it will allow developers to sign up for and access for free. These include:
- 2 Autonomous Databases (Autonomous Data Warehouse or Autonomous Transaction Processing), each with 1 OCPU and 20GB storage
- 2 Compute VMs, each with 1/8 OCPU and 1GB memory
- 2 Block Volumes, 100GB total, with up to 5 free backups
- 10GB Object Storage, 10GB Archive Storage, and 50,000/month API requests
- 1 Load Balancer, 10Mbps bandwidth
- 10TB/month Outbound Data Transfer
- 500 Million ingestion Datapoints and 1 Billion Datapoints for Monitoring Service
- 1 million Notification delivery options per month and 1000 emails per month
Overall, that is a fairly sizable offer and goes beyond the AWS Free Tier’s Always Free offering with features like Compute VMs and Autonomous database instances.
It is a bit strange writing Oracle and Always Free together. The company has not been known as the veritable Santa Claus of the tech industry for decades. Still, Oracle has some catching up to do with some of the other large cloud players. AWS is looking to become the Microsoft and Oracle of the 1990’s combined with its infrastructure and vendor lock-in services so Oracle and Microsoft are striking back before customers get too ingrained. You can read more about Oracle’s Free Tier here.
Oracle and free doesn’t make sense
When Oracle starts to give away free stuff you know the struggle to stay relevant has begun.
Unfortunately even their free tier cannot hide how far they are behind, I used this offer to spin up a similar workload as I have in Amazons free tier and so far already experienced two spontaneous VM reboots and the VM hangs whenever there is some sustained disk IO.