Free Tier and Always Free FAQs
What exactly is included? What are the specs?
In terms of databases, you have your choice of Autonomous Transaction Processing or Autonomous Data Warehouse, each with 1 OCPU and 10GB Object and 10GB Archive Storage prepackaged with APEX. For computing, the new free tier includes two virtual machines with 1/8 OCPU and 1GB memory each. For storage, the free tier includes two oVolumes (100GB total), 10GB Object Storage, 10GB Archive Storage. For load balancing, there is one instance, 10 Mbps bandwidth. For monitoring, 500 million ingestion datapoints, and 1 billion retrieval datapoints are included. For notifications, the free tier allows 1 million notifications to be sent through HTTPS per month, and 1,000 sent through email per month.
What can I do with this?
When you log into your Oracle Cloud Counsel, you will see quick actions and solutions. Both provide a good overview of what’s available. The homepage links to a live application running multiple Always Free services.
Where is it available?
Availability across the globe is quite good for the Always Free services, according to Bottger. He recommends surveying the current Data Regions list at www.oracle.com/cloud/data/regions.html.
How do I get it?
It’s easy. Start at www.oracle.com/cloud/free.
Is a credit card always required to sign up?
Many email addresses are already recognized by Oracle and won’t require credit card entry. Recognized addresses include those from event attendees at OpenWorld and Code One, from students and educators participating in Oracle Academy, and from customers engaged through Oracle sales. In general, though, credit card entry is required by default for identification purposes.
What happens at the end of the trial period?
If an account is upgraded to paid services, the remaining free trial credits are carried forward. Oracle will bill your credit card if you opt for paid-level services, but you will not be billed for the Always Free resources. If an account is not upgraded to pay level, the core class account will remain stable and usable indefinitely. Existing paid resources though are soon reclaimed and terminated. The existing Always Free resources continue running and can be provisioned up to the allowed maximums at no cost.
How do I get Oracle support?
During the trial period, you can access My Oracle Support for free to create service requests. If you remain on Always Free beyond the trial period, you can use Live Chat via the Cloud Counsel on the user interface or you can use free public forums on Oracle Cloud Customer Connect.
What database workload types are supported?
You can have one of each of the following:
• A free Autonomous Database for autonomous transaction processing for transactional and mixed workloads
• An autonomous data warehouse for data warehousing
What can I do with it?
You can use the free Autonomous Database to store and manage diverse data in one place. Data scientists can use the built-in machine learning notebook to connect from third-party BI tools. Developers have access to preconfigured, fully prepackaged functionality, including APEX, REST data access endpoints, language drivers, power utilities, IDEs, and plugins.
How do I get started with free Autonomous Databases?
Create an Always Free Oracle Autonomous Database—either transaction processing or data warehouse—to see the possibilities. Simply go to the menu and jump in. From there, use SQL Developer Web to interact with the database via SQL, to learn APEX, to experiment and create an APEX app on the database, or to download a client wallet to connect to the database form power utilities such as SQL and SQL*Plus.
How do I upgrade to a paid database?
You can upgrade during the trial period. Go to the Actions Menu for free and see the option for “Upgrade Instance to Paid.” Upon upgrading, the Always Free database is cloned into a new paid database with a different SKU but with stored data preserved.
Are there differences between free and paid databases?
Yes, Always Free databases do not accommodate scale beyond the fixed resource limits. There is no built-in full database backup or restoring. There is no preview mode to experiment with future database releases. Also, databases may be paused at 7 days of non-use.