Oracle 11gR2 ASM and ACFS – Cloud File System License

February 10, 2012 by 5 Comments 

I sense the confusion between Oracle users running Oracle Grid Infrastructure 11gR2 with Automatic Storage Management (ASM) and Automatic Storage Management Cluster File System (ACFS) about the new license policy from Oracle. Oracle introduced a new all in one license called Cloud File System. Since this new Oracle licensing policy is not so straight forward, I’ll try to put some light on the topic. But first let’s see what Oracle Cloud File System itself is.

Oracle Cloud File System is a new branding that bundles already existing Oracle 11gR2 software products like Oracle Clusterware, ASM and ACFS with some extras. Oracle Cloud File System allows managing general purpose files stored outside an Oracle Database across multiple operating system platforms with one management interface, one set of installation and configuration tools, one Clusterware framework and a single vendor for support and troubleshooting. Oracle Cloud File System is currently supported on Linux, Windows, Solaris and AIX.

Oracle Cloud File System includes

– Automatic Storage Management (ASM)
– ASM Dynamic Volume Manager (ADVM)
– ASM Cluster File System (ACFS)
– ACFS File tagging for aggregate operations
– ACFS Read-only snapshots
– ACFS Continuous replication
– ACFS Encryption
– ACFS Role-based security
– Oracle Clusterware (in support of ASM and ACFS)

and is a standalone product (since
So while it is mainly based on ACFS it does not mean ACFS is totally renamed.

Do I need an Oracle Cloud File System license when using ACFS?

A restricted user license for the Oracle Cloud File System (pure ACFS) is included with all Oracle database editions when storing database-related configuration files. These include Oracle database software binaries and home directories, Oracle database software administrative files, and diagnostic files. You must license Oracle Cloud File System to manage non-Oracle database files which includes data files, binaries, administrative files and diagnostic files. So saving files related to the database (like Oracle Home) on it is included, and does not require licensing of Oracle Cloud File System.

Also since Oracle does not charge customers for products they already used, if you are for example on Linux and used ACFS from Oracle 11gR2 (, then you may still use ACFS as you used it before (but without Tagging, Replication, Snapshot, and Encryption).

Where can I find Oracle Cloud File System?

Oracle Cloud File System is included in Oracle Grid Infrastructure 11g Release 2 patch set
You can download it from

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5 Responses to “Oracle 11gR2 ASM and ACFS – Cloud File System License”
  1. William Muñoz says:

    Hi, can you advise me if I can use ACFS with Oracle 11gR2 Standard Edition ( for the archive logs for a RAC?

  2. Kirill Loifman says:

    ACFS cannot be used for a root file system, boot file system, or a file system containing the executables for Grid Infrastructure.
    It is also not supported to store in ACFS any files that can be natively stored in ASM; i.e., it is not supported to store Oracle Database files (controlfiles, datafiles, archived logs, online redo logs, etc) . Also, the Grid Infrastructure Home cannot be installed in ACFS, it must be installed in a separate filesystem; e.g.; ext3.
    You can use ACFS though for Oracle binaries (ORACLE_HOME), but I would not recommend this.
    — Kirill

  3. Kirill Loifman says:

    My previous comment is partly outdated now.
    Since Oracle database archive logs, RMAN backups and Data Pump dumpsets are supported in ACFS. See details:

  4. PC says:

    We are on Solaris and I was trying to understand if we will need a CFS (Cloud FileSystem) license for writing and storing files generated by our Application, which categorizes as “General Purpose Files”. And this is what I found:
    – Section B) in MOS Doc ID 1369107.1 states that a license in NOT required
    – The manual at also suggests that Cloud FS license is required only if using Oracle ACFS’s advanced functionality (which consists of snapshots, replication, tagging, realm-based security, encryption, and auditing.). So no license required for storing General Purpose Files.
    – But the doc at this link: states that a license would be required.

    So its still not very clear if a license is required or no.

    Would you be able to give some advice?


  5. Kirill Loifman says:

    The license Guide is correct, ACFS or Oracle Cloud File system can be used freely, only the advanced functionality is priced. However that changed only recently (last year). And when the whitepaper was written the licensing was different (and was not updated – look at the date).
    But thanks for the information; I’ll try to forward this to the whitepaper writer.


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