Oracle Lifetime Support – What It Is and What It Isn’t

So, you’re considering an Oracle product and you’d like to know more about support options. That’s smart thinking since you’ll be running your Oracle system for a long time.

I know that a lot of the resources you run across online can be confusing, so my goal with this article is to make my Oracle lifetime support explanation as crystal clear as possible. Let’s dive in.

What Is Oracle Lifetime Support?

When you’re considering various support options for your Oracle system, you want support that lasts. Oracle lifetime support lasts as long as your Oracle solution lasts, but it may not be exactly the support solution you’re looking for.


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The truth is, Oracle lifetime support comes in three tiers: Premium, Extended, and Sustaining. Each tier lasts a number of years and offers different levels of support.

  • Premier Support – this option is comprehensive

For your Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle applications, Premium Support offers maintenance and software upgrade availability, security alerts, critical patches, tax and regulatory updates and more, for five years from the general availability date.

For your Oracle Sun hardware and integrated software, as well as Oracle operating systems and Oracle VM, Premium Support covers you for 10 years from the general availability date. Premium Support coverage includes maintenance and software upgrade availability, security alerts, critical patches, rights to use various Oracle services, and even onsite hardware support.

Note that after those five or ten years are up, your Oracle solution will switch to Extended Support, no matter how long you’ve been using the solution (or Sustaining Support if you don’t purchase Extended Support).

  • Extended Support – this option is great but takes an additional fee

For your Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle applications, Extended Support still provides upgrade availabilities, but you have to handle your own maintenance. Also, note that access to Extended Support comes at an additional fee. This isn’t a bad option for companies that have their own in-house IT department or an outsourced Managed Services Provider (MSP), but it can be a surprise for companies expecting free comprehensive support over the long term. With Extended Support, you still get over 90% of the coverage that Premium Support provides.

For your Oracle Sun hardware, Oracle operating systems, and Oracle VM, Extended Support will get you about 72% of the coverage you’re used to. Notable support exceptions include the onsite hardware support, certifications, and access to some Oracle services. Again, however, this is still a great support option for companies that have their own in-house IT team or an MSP.

After three years of Extended Support (or 8 -13 years after the general availability date), all support will switch to Sustaining Support. If your company did not purchase Extended Support, Sustaining Support will begin as soon as Premium Support ends.

  • Sustaining Support – this option lasts forever

Sustaining support is available for as long as you license your Oracle solutions and offers upgrade availability and Knowledgebase access… but not much else. Since Sustaining Support doesn’t offer updates, security alerts, critical patches, or tax and regulatory updates, it’s not a great option for most modern companies.

Companies that are still using their Oracle solutions but are on Sustaining Support often choose to work with an Oracle consultant or MSP, so they can get the long-term, comprehensive support they need.

What Oracle Lifetime Support Isn’t

Just to clarify, Oracle’s Lifetime Support is definitely the industry’s most comprehensive support coverage. It truly is an incredible option. However, if you’re looking for long-term managed support or cloud security, the Oracle Lifetime Support program won’t work for you.

That’s because the coverage really only offers full-service support for less than five or ten years from when you implemented your solution – and no Oracle-provided option offers cloud security monitoring.

In short: If you want long-term, 100% comprehensive support for a nearly unlimited timespan, your best bet is to turn to an Oracle Managed Services Provider or an Oracle consultant.


Learn more about your third-party support options when you contact Centroid, one of the nation’s only Oracle MSP providers and a recognized leader in Oracle Cloud security.