At Oracle’s annual OpenWorld 2016 conference yesterday, founder and CTO Larry Ellison finally unveiled the plan he’s been talking about to topple Amazon’s AWS (Amazon Web Services) from the top of the cloud infrastructure industry.
Yesterday we covered what he had said prior to the event:
At the start of OpenWorld 2016 yesterday, Ellison revealed a lot more about his plans to challenge Amazon’s No. 1 position in cloud computing infrastructure. With the launch of Oracle’s second-generation cloud data centers, Ellison says that “Amazon’s lead is over”, referring once again to the bare metal servers that Oracle intends to deploy, which have double the number of cores as AWS Public Cloud, double the memory, four times the storage and ten times the I/O capacity, according to ZDNet.
And then he dropped the punch line: “But you have to be willing to pay less.”
Ellison further elaborated on these second-gen IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) data centers, explaining that the architecture involved interconnecting these “availability domains” using a fiber optic ring where data would be duplicated so there wouldn’t be any single point of failure.
“If we lose a data center, you won’t even know about it,” said Ellison.
And for Picky Enterprise Customers, Oracle Has This…
In his keynote speech at OpenWorld 2016 Ellison also announced a new product that Oracle called “Cloud@Customer”, an on-premise cloud solution that requires no hardware or software investment. Oracle’s own cloud environment is basically duplicated at the customer’s data centers.
“We have come out with a new set of machines that are identical to what we use in our cloud. We can install the identical software and hardware… into your data center, behind your firewall attached to your high-speed area network. This is very different than what, say, Amazon offers, which is just public cloud.”
The product is very significant in that the majority of Oracle’s customers are large Fortune 500 companies that worry about having their data being moved off-site. This solution enables them to leverage Oracle’s cloud services while maintaining their investments in data center hardware and software. The only difference is that their systems will be running on Oracle’s bare metal machines that are installed directly on to hard disks rather than having to run on an operating system, as is the case with Virtual Machines in a typical Public Cloud.
But the seemingly insurmountable challenge still remains for Oracle to grow its $171 million in quarterly cloud infrastructure revenues to the $2.886 billion level that AWS made in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. A quick look at their respective market shares in IaaS as of last year will give you a better picture of what Oracle is up against.
Can Oracle leverage these new offerings to create a revenue stream greater than the $10 billion a year or so that Amazon will make this year from its cloud services? AWS offers rock-bottom pricing on most of its cloud services, and even if Oracle can cut that in half – as Ellison claimed at OpenWorld 2016 – it will still be several years before the company can convince a significant portion of its clients to opt for Cloud@Customer.
This is not a fight that we’ll see the end of this year or the next…or possibly even the next five years. Amazon took nearly 10 years to get where they are. Of course, Oracle has the advantage of cloud infrastructure being a well-known service by now, and one that a lot of large companies are exploring as viable, cost-effective and secure alternatives to their own expensive data centers.
This is going to be a decade long battle between the Goliath that is Amazon Web Services and the David that Oracle currently represents, and you can bet your last GB of virtual storage space that we will be on it like a hawk on a rabbit.
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