Oracle introduces free autonomous database and cloud services

The free tier, available to anyone for an unlimited amount of time, is aimed at the next generation of developers and enterprises that have yet to make the move to the cloud.

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Oracle on Monday introduced the Oracle Cloud Free Tier, which lets anyone use Oracle's Autonomous Database and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for free for an unlimited time. The free tier, announced during Oracle's OpenWorld conference, is aimed at developers, students or anyone else who wants to try out Oracle's cloud services. 

While Oracle's cloud infrastructure business significantly trails that of Amazon and Microsoft, Oracle is eyeing the large market of enterprises still using on-premise solutions and next-generation cloud businesses that have yet to come online. 

The free tier program has two components. In addition to the "always free" services, Oracle is introducing a free trial program that provides users with $300 in credits for 30 days to try additional services and larger shapes. 

The "always free" services include Oracle Autonomous Database, Compute VMs, Block Volumes, Object and Archive Storage and Load Balancer. More specifically, users get: 

  • 2 Autonomous Databases (Autonomous Data Warehouse or Autonomous Transaction Processing), each with 1 OCPU and 20 GB storage 
  • 2 Compute VMs, each with 1/8 OCPU and 1 GB memory 
  • 2 Block Volumes, 100 GB total, with up to 5 free backups 
  • 10 GB Object Storage, 10 GB Archive Storage, and 50,000/month API requests 
  • 1 Load Balancer, 10 Mbps bandwidth 
  • 10 TB/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

The Always Free services are available in all regions, to anyone -- including those with paid accounts using Universal Credit pricing and new Free Tier accounts. 

Oracle's cloud competitors also offer free trials of their services. However, Oracle noted, its program makes the Autonomous Database available for free indefinitely, while Oracle's competitors limit the free use of their relational databases. Oracle also says it offers more compute and storage as part of its Always Free services.

To encourage the next generation of developers to build on the Oracle cloud, the company is promoting its new free services via  Oracle Academy, its global, philanthropic educational program. Oracle also offers a set of free developer tools, including Oracle Application Express (APEX) for low-code web application development and SQL Developer Web for user interaction with the database. 

While students and developers can use the Free Tier, Oracle also expects enterprises to leverage it to prototype new technologies before moving production workloads to the cloud.