What is an Oracle Instance?
The Oracle system processes, also known as Oracle background processes, provide functions for the user processes—functions that would otherwise be done by the user processes themselves
Oracle database-wide system memory is known as the SGA, the system global area or shared global area. The data and control structures in the SGA are shareable, and all the Oracle background processes and user processes can use them.
The combination of the SGA and the Oracle background processes is known as an Oracle instance