Oracle Planning to Charge $25/core/month for the only Java Version that Runs AEM

Oracle Planning to Charge $25/core/month for the only Java Version that Runs AEM

July 26, 2018 0 By Tad Reeves

Oracle have announced that, “after January 2019”, Java SE 8 public updates will not be available for “business, commercial or production use” without a commercial license.

This means that the only version of Java that presently runs Adobe Experience manager will soon be subject to exorbitant (and likely entirely un-budgeted) charges starting in January 2019.  As a note, this is indeed only for “updates”, but seeing as Java vulnerabilities have surfaced often, all of us running JDKs on servers have had to patch/update Java rather often to stay current.

Oracle Price List for Java 8

Update:  Although when this story was first brought to my attention, I found the extremely alarming figure of “$5000/core”, I have not been able to find any official Oracle price list to back that up.  So, it would appear that’s (HOPEFULLY) never going to come to pass.

It looks like the more-current pricing for Java SE is on this page on Oracle’s site.

The non-negotiated list price looks like it will be $12.50-25/core/month, on a sliding scale getting cheaper as you license more of them.   So, not quite $5000/core, but still heaps more than anyone has budgeted (i.e. $0).

Java SE Subscription Pricing

Volume Subscription Metric Monthly Subscription Price
1-99 Processor $25.00
100-249 Processor $23.75
250-499 Processor $22.50
500-999 Processor $20.00
1,000-2,999 Processor $17.50
3,000-9,999 Processor $15.00
10,000-19,999 Processor $12.50
20,000+ Contact for details


The AEM environments for customers I’ve been supporting run from about 140 cores on the low end (i.e. tallying up DEV, QA, STG, PRD environments, etc) to about 500 cores on the high end.  So, assuming a non-negotiated list price as above of $22.50/core/month, this would be a minimum of about $37,800/year to be spent at Oracle for JVM licensing for a 140-core environment, and $135,000/year for a 500-core environment.

I don’t know anyone who would actually pay this, but there aren’t too many alternatives seeing as these are the only current supported JVMs for AEM 6.4:

Platform Support Level
Oracle Java SE 10 JDK [1] Z: Not supported
Oracle Java SE 9 JDK [1] Z: Not supported
Oracle Java SE 8 JDK – 64bit A: Supported
IBM J9 VM – build 2.9, JRE 1.8.0 [2] A: Supported
IBM J9 VM – build 2.8, JRE 1.8.0 [2] A: Supported


So – do we all move our AEM workloads to IBM J9?  Or will Adobe move to support Java 10 or OpenJDK?


The original article I’d found that inspired writing this & reaching out contained this table of JDK pricing:


  Per NUP* Support Per CPU Support
Java SE Advanced Desktop $40 $8.80 N/A N/A
Java SE Advanced £100 $22 $5,000 $1,100
Java SE Suite $300 $66 $15,000 $3,300

*Named User Plus


If this pricing were to hold true, this would mean that your 16-core AEM Author would be incurring an $80,000 bill just for the JVM.

Hopefully this pricing above is as erroneous as it looks, as I’m not aware of anyone who would pay such a bill.