Database Wars: Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison Challenges Amazon AWS
by Jim Lundy
It started out last year at AWS reinvent: Amazon stated that enterprises could not wait to leave Oracle. Yesterday, Amazon got its response and it was right from the mouth of Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison during Oracle OpenWorld 2019.
Autonomous One Stack Database vs. Amazon Best of Breed Database
Oracle is pushing the idea of a one size fits all database and one that is lower cost to run and maintain. Here is a tweet below with Larry discussing some of the Autonomous characteristics.
— Jim Lundy (@JimLundy) September 16, 2019
Oracle Autonomous Database is Elastic; Only Amazon Dynamo Database is Elastic
Per above, Larry is making the claim that modern databases need to be elastic: Oracle Database is and so is AWS Dynamo. Most of the other Amazon Databases are not elastic—you have to shut down to change configurations (see Table 1).
|Vendor||Elastic Database||Non-Elastic Database|
|Amazon||Amazon Dynamo||Amazon Aurora
|Oracle||Oracle Autonomous Database|
Amazon Claims 50% Lower Bill Than Amazon
It’s always to make a challenge of lower costs vs another vendor. Larry stated in his Monday keynote that the Oracle Bill for Database will be 50% lower. Now Oracle even has a website landing page that states the same thing.
Charging for Input and Output (I/O) on Cloud Platforms
The biggest shock that IT professionals have when they move workloads to the cloud is the bill they get. This is particularly true with Amazon, which now claims that it has tools to assist with that. It has also become a big consulting practice. The challenge is that the charges are not intuitively obvious and as Larry said, nonelastic databases that have high capacities means much higher bills. I know—this happened to me when I was a General Manager at Saba—we moved some applications to AWS, received a huge bill, and immediately turned those services off.
The War of Words Between Larry Ellison and Amazon’s Andy Jassy
It has come down to a war of words between Oracle and Amazon. Customers can tire of one vendor and shift to another and that is the way the business world works. However, while things may look greener at the other provider, it is important to really understand what both providers offer before making a switch. Larry is making a compelling claim about cost vs. Amazon and Andy Jassy is outright saying that many customers can’t wait to get off of Oracle.
Plan Before Switching
The challenge is if they switch—how long do they stay before they move back? One could argue today that databases are commodity, but they are strategic. If your basic bill to run a database in the cloud goes up significantly, that can impact your firm’s profitability. There is more to consider about cloud costs that make it important to do a true business case before migrating. Oracle is now fully cloud-ready and it has a compelling argument when it comes to cost. Developing.