About Virtual Machine Database Systems

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers single-node database systems and 2-node RAC database systems on virtual machines.

There are two types of database systems on virtual machines:
  • A 1-node virtual machine database system consists of one virtual machine.
  • A 2-node virtual machine database system consists of two virtual machines.
When you launch a virtual machine database system, you select the Oracle Database edition and version that applies to the database on that database system. You cannot change the selected edition. Depending on your selected Oracle Database edition and version, your database system can support multiple pluggable databases (PDBs). See the following Oracle Database licensing topics for information about the maximum number of pluggable and container databases available for your selected Oracle Database version.
A virtual machine DB system can have only a single Database Home, which in turn can have only a single database. A virtual machine DB system database uses Oracle Cloud Infrastructure block storage instead of local storage. You specify a storage size when you launch the DB system, and you can scale up the storage as needed at any time. To change the number of CPU cores on an existing virtual machine DB system, you must change the shape of that DB system. For more information, see Change the Shape of a DB System.

The shape-changer operation takes place in a rolling fashion for multi-node DB systems, allowing you to change the shape with no database downtime.

Available Shapes and How It Determines the Resources Allocated

When you launch a virtual machine DB system, you choose a shape, which determines the resources allocated to the DB system. After you provision the system, you can change the shape to adapt to new processing capacity requirements. However, you cannot change shapes from flexible to standard shapes and vice versa.

Flexible Shapes

Flexible shapes let you customize the number of OCPUs allocated to an instance. When you create a VM instance using a flexible shape, you select the number of OCPUs that you need for the workloads that run on the instance. This flexibility lets you build VMs that match your workload, enabling you to optimize performance and minimize cost. The amount of memory is determined by the number of OCPUs you choose. 16 GB of memory is allocated for each OCPU.

The amount of memory allowed is based on the number of OCPUs selected. The ratio of memory to OCPUs depends on the shape.

Currently, the following shape is supported.

Table 1-2 Flexible Shapes

Shape CPU Cores Memory Network Bandwidth
VM.Standard.E4.Flex Minimum is 1 and maximum is 64 OCPUs.

16 GB per OCPU.

Minimum is 16 GB and maximum is 1024 GB total memory.

1 Gbps per OCPU.

Minimum is 1 Gbps and maximum is 40 Gbps network bandwidth.


VM.Standard.E4.Flex shape is available for Oracle Database versions 21c, 19c, 12.2, and 12.1 with the April 2022 and later Release Update (RU).

Standard Shapes

Standard shapes are available with Intel processors.


VM.Standard2.1 shapes cannot be used for 2-node RAC clusters.

The following table shows the available shapes in the X7 series for a virtual machine DB system.

Table 1-3 VM Available Shapes X7 Series

Shape CPU Cores Memory
VM.Standard2.1 1 15 GB
VM.Standard2.2 2 30 GB
VM.Standard2.4 4 60 GB
VM.Standard2.8 8 120 GB
VM.Standard2.16 16 240 GB
VM.Standard2.24 24 320 GB

How various configurations affect the usable storage

Virtual machine DB systems use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure block storage. The following table shows details of the storage options for a virtual machine database system. Total storage includes available storage plus recovery logs.


  • You can scale your data storage and recovery storage separately. Oracle recommends keeping recovery storage at 20% of total storage or higher.
  • For 2-node RAC virtual machine database systems, storage capacity is shared between the nodes.
  • The recovery area storage is determined based on the storage selected. However, you can change the recovery area storage independently after provisioning. For more information on changing the recovery area storage, see Scale the DB System article.

Available data storage for flexible shapes

Table 1-4 Available data storage for flexible shapes

Available data storage (GB) Recovery area storage (GB) Total storage (GB)
256 256 712
512 256 968
1024 512 1736
2048 512 2760
4096 1024 5320
8192 2048 10440
12288 4096 16584
16384 4096 20680
24576 8192 32968
32768 8192 41160
40960 10240 51400
49152 12288 61640
57344 14336 71880
65536 16384 82120
73728 18432 92360
81920 20480 102600

Available data storage for standard shapes

Table 1-5 Available data storage for standard shapes

Available data storage (GB) Recovery area storage (GB) Total storage (GB)
256 256 712
512 256 968
1024 256 1480
2048 408 2656
4096 820 5116
6144 1228 7572
8192 1640 10032
10240 2048 12488
12288 2456 14944
14336 2868 17404
16384 3276 19860
18432 3688 22320
20480 4096 24776
22528 4504 27232
24576 4916 29692
26624 5324 32148
28672 5736 34608
30720 6144 37064
32768 6552 39520
34816 6964 41980
36864 7372 44436
38912 7784 46896
40960 8192 49352

Availability of Older Database Versions for Virtual Machine DB Systems

For virtual machine DB systems, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure also supports the creation of DB systems using older database versions. For each shape, the latest version and the two prior versions of the release are available at provisioning.


If you need to launch your DB system with an older database version, see Critical Patch Updates for information on known security issues with your chosen database version. You will also need to analyze and patch known security issues for the operating system included with the older database version. See Securing Databases for information on security best practices for databases in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Fast Provisioning Option for Single-Node Virtual Machine DB Systems

For 1-node virtual machine DB systems, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides have a "fast provisioning" option that allows you to create your DB system using Logical Volume Manager as your storage management software. The alternative ("standard provisioning") is to provision with Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM). For more information, see Logical Volume Manager and Oracle Automatic Storage Management.


  • When using the fast provisioning option, the number and size of the block volumes specified during provisioning determines the maximum total storage available through scaling.
  • Multi-node Virtual Machine DB systems require Oracle Automatic Storage Management and cannot be created using the fast-provisioning option.
  • You can clone virtual machine DB systems that have been created using the fast provisioning option.
  • You cannot use a custom database software image when provisioning a system with logical volume manager storage software. For more information on database software images, see Oracle Database Software Images.

Storage Scaling Considerations for Virtual Machine Databases Using Fast Provisioning


This topic applies only to 1-node virtual machine DB systems.

When you provision a virtual machine DB system using the fast provisioning option, the Available storage (GB) value you specify during provisioning determines the maximum total storage available through scaling. The following table details the maximum storage value available through scaling for each setting offered in the provisioning workflow:

Table 1-6 Storage Scaling Considerations for Virtual Machine Databases Using Fast Provisioning

Initial storage specified during provisioning (GB) Maximum storage available through scaling (GB)
256 2560
512 2560
1024 5120
2048 10240
4096 20480
8192 40960

Clone a Virtual Machine DB System

You can easily create a clone of a virtual machine DB system, whether the system uses Logical Volume Manager or Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) for storage management. For more information and instructions, see Clone a DB System.

Fault Domain Considerations for Two-Node Virtual Machine DB Systems

When you provision a 2-node RAC DB systems, the system assigns each node to a different fault domain by default. Using the Advanced Options link in the provisioning dialog, you can select the fault domain(s) to be used for your 2-node RAC DB systems and the system will assign the nodes to your selected fault domains. Oracle recommends that you place each node of a 2-node RAC DB system in a different fault domain. For more information on fault domains, see Regions and Availability Domains.

Reboot a Virtual Machine DB System Node for Planned Maintenance

Virtual machine DB system nodes use underlying physical hosts that periodically need to undergo maintenance. When such maintenance is needed, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure schedules a reboot of your virtual machine DB system node and notifies you of the upcoming reboot. The reboot allows your virtual machine DB system node to be migrated to a new physical host which is not in need of maintenance. (Stopping and starting the node will also result in the migration to a new physical host.) The only impact to your virtual machine DB system node is the reboot itself. The planned maintenance of the original physical hardware takes place after your node has been migrated to its new host, and has no impact on your DB system.

If your virtual machine DB system node is scheduled for a maintenance reboot, you can proactively reboot your node (by stopping and starting it) using the Console or the API. This lets you control how and when your node experiences downtime. If you choose not to reboot before the scheduled time, then Oracle Cloud Infrastructure will reboot and migrate your node at the scheduled time.

To identify the virtual machine DB system nodes that you can proactively reboot, navigate to your system's DB System Details page in the Console and check the Node Maintenance Reboot field. If the instance has a maintenance reboot scheduled and can be proactively rebooted, this field displays the date and start time for the reboot. When the Maintenance Reboot field does not display a date, your virtual machine DB system has no scheduled node maintenance events.

To check for scheduled maintenance events using the API, use the GetDbNode operation to check the timeMaintenanceWindowEnd field of the DbNode resource. This field specifies when the system will initiate the next scheduled node reboot.

To make it easier to locate nodes that have scheduled maintenance reboots, you can use the Search Service with a predefined query to find all DB systems that have a maintenance reboot scheduled.

For instructions on using the Console to reboot a node, see Reboot a DB System.

Security Hardening Tool for Virtual Machine DB systems

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure virtual machine DB systems provisioned using Oracle Linux 7 include a python script, referred to as the Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) tool, that you can use to perform security hardening for your virtual machine DB system. For more information, see Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) Tool For the DB System and Enable FIPS, SE Linux, and STIG on the DB System Components.

Boot Volume Backups

Oracle maintains a weekly boot volume backup of your virtual machine DB system so that the system can be easily restored in the event of a serious error or system failure. Boot volume backups are currently not accessible to users (there is no Console, API, or CLI access to a DB system boot volume backup), and Oracle bears the cost of keeping and maintaining the backup. In the event of a system failure, contact My Oracle Support to request that Oracle perform a restore of your system from the boot volume backup.