Ellison Again Slams AWS In Making The Case For Oracle IaaS

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison kept his sights squarely leveled on Amazon Web Services in the keynote he delivered to an OpenWorld audience Tuesday afternoon, making the case for Oracle's budding public cloud taking on the industry kingpin.

In a renewed line of attack against the world's dominant public cloud provider, Ellison cited Oracle's prowess in the database market, and the benefits of being a late starter, as advantages for the software giant, which has yet to establish an Infrastructure-as-a-Service presence rivaling any of the industry leaders.

While there's a perception of Amazon as offering a cloud friendly to open-source technologies, Oracle's founder said AWS, in actuality, locks users in with proprietary databases that can't come close to Oracle's performance across several benchmarks.

Oracle's latest 12c Release 2 database is optimized for cloud computing. The hosted version of that product, the Oracle Exadata Cloud Service, delivers a cloud-based database that's entirely compatible with those running on-premises, Ellison said.

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The 12c database offers cloud-focused features such as multitenancy, allowing users to scale thousands of pluggable databases that can be managed and backed up as a single database container.

Oracle also added to its latest offering SaaS application containers and sharding capabilities that allow fragments of the database to be distributed across a large number of nodes, enabling global scale, he said.

Users get all the benefits of the public cloud without having to abandon investments they've made over the past two decades in data and applications, he told attendees.

Earlier in the week, Ellison told OpenWorld attendees that Oracle's database is now available in a third product form -- Cloud at Customer.

With that new subscription service, Oracle will set up one of its big data or Exadata engineered systems in the corporate data center -- behind the customer firewall and connected to a high-speed local network.

"It's more than compatible. It's identical" to what Oracle runs in its public cloud, Ellison said. The option comes at the same monthly price as the corresponding cloud service.

Ellison also unveiled Tuesday a new entry-level database -- Exadata Express Cloud Service -- priced at $175 a month.

While many enterprises choose to run Oracle software on AWS, Ellison said Amazon's cloud is not optimized for running Oracle's database -- or even its own.

He displayed results of a benchmark comparing Oracle's database hosted on the Oracle public cloud to the product on an AWS virtual machine -- Oracle's database was 24 times faster on its own cloud.

Amazon fared even worse, Ellison said, when comparing its own Redshift and Aurora databases to the Oracle hosted service.

And Redshift and Aurora, while forks from open-source technologies, are not open-source by any stretch, Ellison told attendees.

"If you build an application on Redshift, you're going to run it forever on Amazon. You are locked in, baby," Ellison said. "If they raise prices, get out your checkbook."

Another key differentiator in taking on the cloud leader will be Oracle's "second-generation" data centers, Ellison said.

While Amazon and its traditional rivals still operate facilities engineered in the early days of the cloud, Oracle, late to the game, has leapfrogged that technology in the 19 facilities it operates around the globe.

"Amazon, who pioneered Infrastructure-as-a-Service, is still delivering first-generation Infrastructure-as-a Service," Ellison said.

Oracle Cloud offers twice the number of computing cores, twice the memory, four times the storage and a 10X improvement in IOPS. The control plane is not accessible from the internet, hardening the system, and the network offers a "flat" topology that reduces latency, he said.

Oracle's data centers are also clustered by fabric rings in groups of three, offering unusually high redundancy, according to Ellison.

Those superior services cost 20 percent less than comparable AWS instances, Ellison said. People think Amazon's "got to be lower cost," he said. "Used to be, not anymore."

Ronald Zapar, president and CEO of Re-Quest, an Oracle partner based in Naperville, Ill., told CRN that IaaS was the piece that was missing from Oracle's cloud, and that nascent service will mainstream Oracle's entire cloud portfolio.

"It"s not some kind of epiphany that they were late to the game," Zapar said of Oracle's IaaS capabilities. "However, the idea of a transitional type architecture is really going to be interesting to a lot of customers, specifically Oracle customers, because of the platform."

Customers are all trying to figure out some cloud strategy, Zapar said, but they can't just forklift all their existing workloads at once.

Oracle's ability to offer the same technology as on-premise software, on-premise engineered systems, or as cloud services, is something no other vendor can reproduce.

"The messaging and vision and plan is great because nobody else will be able to do it," he said. "From a partner perspective, we've always made seismic jumps in revenue when it's disruptive like this."

The greatest challenge for most customers is finding the resources they need to get to cloud. With a capable infrastructure component, partners can bring many more of them to the table, he said.

"If you think about a solution architecture, there have to be pieces that are not Oracle with all the development platforms out there, middleware solutions, application architectures," Zapar said. For that reason, IaaS "was the piece that was the barrier for making the leap in the past, and now it covers that."