Recap: Support Periods for Oracle, on-prem and in the cloud

You may have recognized that I don’t update the blog as frequent as usual. But these times are very busy with plenty of conferences and many of our customers preparing for the move to 19c in the more quieter period of the year. And this is the right time to do a quick recap: Support Periods for Oracle, on-prem and in the cloud.

Recap: Support Period for Oracle, on-prem and in the cloud

Photo by Arnaud STECKLE on Unsplash – this car is a VW Karman Ghia


Ah, well. Do you remember when Oracle Database got released?

No worries, I’ve had to look it up by myself as well. There is this nice Wikipedia page which dates back much longer than MOS Note: 742060.1. We released Oracle Database in September 2009. Do you remember what you did in September 2009? I do. And just to put this into the right relation, in early 2009 Bitcoin was introduced, Google released GMail officially as Microsoft started Bing, USB 3.0 became available and Palm launched WebOS. Ah yes, and some of us had just collected their brand new iPhone 3Gs from the Apple stores.

End of August 2013, we released the terminal patch set Oracle And two years later, Oracle Database went out of bug fixing support on August 27, 2015, while we extended the Extended Support for Oracle further and further. And we waived parts of it.

I know from our SR stats, patch download numbers and of course also from customer meetings that some of you still have databases out there.

Certainly you are aware that you need to move to Oracle Database 19c. On-Prem

For those of you using Oracle Database on-prem, the Extended Support will end on December 31, 2020. That will be in 14 days from now on while I type this blog post. Given the fact that got released almost 6.5 years ago, I think this was a generously long support time frame. Especially since the Extended Support got waived until December 31, 2018. And if you have a ULA/PULA, you’ve had access to the following two years at no extra cost until now.

And even now, I can’t write “It’s over!” as it isn’t over completely. For those seeking for ongoing severity 1 and security bug fixes, you can still purchase Market Driven Support for Oracle from Jan 2021 until maximum Dec 2022.

You know that the only release you will upgrade to is Oracle Database 19c. It is the Long Term Support Release of the 12.2 release branch. This is the release you will upgrade all your 11g and other databases to. And of course, you will use AutoUpgrade as this is the only recommended way to upgrade databases.

But how about having databases in the Oracle Cloud? in the Cloud

Extended Support for Oracle in the cloud runs until end of March 2021.

This applies to:

  • Gen 1 ExaC@C
  • Gen 2 ExaC@C
  • ExaCS OCI

It does NOT apply to:

  • ExaCS on OCI-C
  • DBCS on OCI-C

OCI-C is “OCI Classic”. And this distinction makes sense to me.

But what happens afterwards?

What happens after March 2021 to 11.2 databases in the cloud?

Correction Dec 18, 2020:
As one of my colleagues from Oracle Japan (thank you!) pointed out last night, the dates have changed. I was using the communication shared before Dec 17 as baseline. But actually MDS in the Cloud is also available until end of Dec 2022, and not – as written before – until end of Dec 2021.

This is the important fact you need to be aware of. You will have to either decommission your databases or upgrade them to Oracle Database 19c. I guess, we won’t allow to operate unpatched Oracle databases in the cloud. So you should take action the earlier the better.

But there is an exception to this: Market Driven Support.

You can choose to pay for Market Driven Support from April 1, 2021 on until end of December 2022. Then you will have a TAM assigned to you, and you will get an Upgrade Planning workshop delivered by Oracle ACS.

Still, there is more to mention and to understand.

FAQ for in the Cloud

  • What is Market Driven Support (MDS)?:
    This is a specialized support contract that provides severity 1 and security fixes for database after the end of extended support.  More details here:
  • What happens to my database in the cloud after Mar-31, 2021 if I don’t have MDS?
    You must upgrade or remove their database from the system. Customers will not be allowed to continue running unpatched databases.
  • If I subscribed to a paid MDS contract, will I be able to continue to run after 31-Dec 2022?
    No, customers must upgrade or remove their database from the system in the cloud by 31-Dec 2022.  Customers will not be allowed to continue running unpatched databases. databases may fail to run after this date.
  • Will I be able to provision new databases in the cloud during the extended support windows?
    Yes, you will be able to provision new databases until the end of the support life for  With free Sev 1/security fixes, that will be 30-June 2021, and with paid MDS, that will be 31-Dec 2022.
  • How much does an ACS MDS support contract cost?
    Contact ACS for pricing..

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