Amazon Reports ‘Migration Complete’ In Oracle Database Purge

The e-commerce giant has shed the final remnants of its increasingly bitter rival's technology by moving 75 petabytes to native AWS database services.


Amazon reported Tuesday that every division within its sprawling business had achieved the company's ambitious goal of extricating itself from Oracle technology by migrating thousands of databases to Amazon Web Services.

After years of phased withdrawal spurred by an increasingly bitter feud stemming from Amazon's and Oracle's competitive cloud divisions, AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr blogged: "I am happy to report that this database migration effort is now complete."

The final Oracle database powering Amazon's consumer business "just turned off," Barr said, culminating the migration of 75 petabytes of internal Amazon data to multiple AWS database services.

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[Related: Oracle Reportedly Funding Secretive Anti-Amazon Lobbying Group]

Purging Oracle became a point of pride for the e-commerce giant as AWS, its industry leading cloud division, fell under relentless attack from Oracle, and especially its Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison.

Looking to advance into the top tier of the market after a late start, Ellison took repeated shots at the public cloud frontrunner that often focused on AWS' database prowess. At the same time, through aggressive legal and lobbying efforts, Oracle worked to undermine AWS' bid to win a looming, multi-billion-dollar military contract.

Oracle declined a request to comment on Amazon's migration off its technology.

Amazon's 75 petabytes of data previously stored across almost 7,500 Oracle databases were shifted to several AWS-native database services: DynamoDB, Aurora, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) and Redshift. The migration project pulled in more than 100 teams from across Amazon's diverse business divisions, from Alexa to Prime to Prime Video to Fresh to Zappos.

Amazon initially set a goal of shedding all remnants of Oracle technology by the first quarter of 2020. But the growing enmity between the companies might have accelerated that timeline.

Ellison once said there's "no way a normal person would move from an Oracle database to an Amazon database. It's just incredibly expensive and complicated."

AWS CEO Jeff Bezos "gave the command" to move off Oracle, but after a few years and despite its strong motivation, that work was incomplete, Ellison noted in an earnings call last December.

"Nobody else is going to go on that forced march onto the Amazon database if Amazon can't even get there," he added.

Ellison almost dared Amazon to not renew its Oracle licenses—he often boasted publicly that the company was still paying millions to use Oracle's technology.

In an earnings call in December of 2017, Ellison said the $50 million Amazon spent on Oracle technology in the previous quarter led him to conclude of Amazon's efforts to migrate off Oracle: "I don’t think they can do it."

In the AWS blog, Barr avoided mention of any bad blood. He characterized the migration as one driven by cost savings, performance improvements and reducing administrative overhead.

"Over the years we realized that we were spending too much time managing and scaling thousands of legacy Oracle databases," Barr said.

"This included time spent dealing with complex & inefficient hardware provisioning, license management, and many other issues that are now best handled by modern, managed database services," he went on.

Last November, Jassy revealed Amazon's consumer business "turned off" its Oracle data warehouse—a system for storing large amounts of data typically used for analytics and business intelligence.

Jassy celebrated that achievement with a tweet that started: "In latest episode of "uh huh, keep talkin' Larry."

The following April, Amazon employees celebrated another milestone when Amazon's Fulfillment Unit completed migrations from Oracle to native AWS services.

But the migration process didn't come without pain for the company that operates the world's largest e-commerce and public cloud businesses.

A 25-page Amazon "correction of error" report concluded that Amazon's move from Oracle's database software to Aurora PostgreSQL resulted in database degradation that caused "lags and complete outages" on last year's Amazon Prime Day.

Ellison mocked the failure that marred the fourth annual Amazon Prime Day, a promotion for premium members that drives more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with widespread outages that ultimately delayed deliveries for thousands of customers.

In October of 2018, two people familiar with the project told CNBC that Amazon was less than two years away from realizing its long-envisioned plan to cease doing business with its rival.

Grant Kirkwood, CTO and co-founder of Los Angeles-based AWS partner Unitas Global, told CRN the completion of Amazon's migration bodes well for channel partners bringing to market AWS database services.

RDS and Aurora, in particular, have reached a level of maturity where they can stand on their own and "displace the old guard stalwarts in the industry," Kirkwood said, with "Oracle being the biggest and baddest of them all."

"Adding Aurora's robust framework to AWS's existing wheelhouse will allow the cloud giant to solidify and amplify their existing lead in the cloud marketplace," Kirkwood told CRN.