Looking at the outcome of Oracle Open World, it would seem AWS is public enemy number 1 for Oracle. And yes, I understand we all have to think big and my father, a long time merchant, has always told me “you can always lower [the price tag]”… but, sometimes, keeping your feet on the ground helps to face the situation more realistically.
Lack of innovation
The biggest difference between Oracle and AWS today is not about the cost of the single VM instance, or the features of the single DB. AWS has an entire ecosystem full of innovative services and features. Furthermore, it’s also clear that they won’t be slowing down on the innovations anytime soon.
The same could be said about Azure and GCP. All of them have re-interpreted enterprise IT and added tremendous value for enterprises that want to build next generation infrastructures and applications. Yes, Microsoft has maintained a sort of compatibility between some of its server products and cloud services… but in the vast majority of the cases they have implemented and reinvented on top of it.
I have to admit that I’ve never tried Oracle cloud and have never met anyone who is using it (ever!), but looking at the comments of the few lucky ones who have, innovation is not the strength of Oracle cloud… is it?
Multiple cloud strategy
The second point missed by Oracle is multiple cloud strategy. They bought up what was left of the Nebula team more than one year ago… but no one knows what’s happened to them…. where is your OpenStack play? And what about Ravello? Is it already dead?
Large organizations are adopting private as well as public clouds. Everyone is AWS compatible, Microsoft has a comprehensive strategy and ecosystem, while Google has acknowledged its limits in dealing with traditional enterprises and is now reacting. what about Oracle? I’d say they are years behind… Most of their core products are not suitable for building a private cloud infrastructure, while the others are too expensive or simply not designed to be highly distributed.
Microsoft has spent years building a complete set of tools which are now able to help the developer migrate their old applications to modern cloud environments. What is Oracle doing in this respect?
And what is Oracle doing regarding containers? Is it not the only name absent when discussing containers and microservices nowadays?
Cloud and open source
I even find it hard to put open source and Oracle in the same sentence. It’s incredible what Microsoft has been doing lately, just to become credible to cloud developers, being accepted and getting its ecosystem adopted. Sorry, but I see nothing of the sort coming from Oracle. Do you?
I know Oracle uses Linux and owns many other open source products, like MySQL for example, but no one trusts Oracle, and those who do end up fleeing sooner or later. How many MySQL forks do you know of? Would you choose Oracle Linux over Ubuntu for a cloud instance?
Especially now, if you want to write a new application and you decide to use modern technology, Oracle is not an option. Open source gives you a level of freedom that is not possible with closed source software.
Oracle RDBMS is a limit after all
Oracle’s jewel in the crown has also become its own limit now. Modern developers speak auto-scaling, scale-out, no-sql, and a multitude of other different database and analytic languages. They don’t actually care about the DB itself, its scalabilty or other details… it’s just a data service that you access through a query language. .
AWS has plenty of options and many of them are even better than what you could expect from Oracle; think about AuroraDB for example (a MySQL compatible DB with a scale-out back-end). And this is only an example, how many DB options can you find on AWS??! Even Microsoft SQL if you need it…….does Oracle support options like Microsoft SQL??? Does it have a scale-out MySQL option as cool as the one available from AWS? And where is NoSQL?
And I haven’t mentioned Spark and all the other tools available for big data analytics in other clouds. Also object storage, thanks to metadata search, is becoming an option for certain use cases. And object storage is also one of the best ways to store raw data for big data analytics. Does Oracle cloud have an object storage service?
Multiple attacks, from everywhere
The cloud, as mentioned up to now in this article, is only one of Oracle’s problems. The number of attacks coming from a multitude of startups in DB and Analytics are making life tougher for Oracle.
Yesterday for example, I had a conversation with Iguaz.io (in practice a storage with the capability to ingest any kind of data and make it accessible through several query languages without needing any additional hardware and at a screaming speed!!!). At a fraction of the cost, it is much more efficient than any Oracle-based infrastructure to do Big Data Analytics. And a similar story could be told for many next-gen DBs (NuoDB, VoltDB, etc.) which are much more lightweight and cloud friendly than Oracle RDBMS, as well as being less expensive.
At a lower level, another threat for Oracle comes form new developments in storage technology – for example in-memory storage. In fact, with multiple vendors working on this type of solution the number of, very costly, Oracle licenses needed to do the same job will be limited.
Closing the circle
Sorry to say Oracle, you are doomed. No, I’m kidding… of course. But life will get tougher in the future. You are missing all the important points and your technology is outdated and not efficient enough to run in public, private or hybrid clouds. The lack of options, especially in the open source space, will make it even harder for developers to chose your cloud… and you are missing what cloud developers really want from cloud infrastructures.
The cloud war hasn’t ended yet, but the first battle is over and Amazon has won hands down. Do you want to be price competitive? ok, please do so… but then your competitor is not Amazon… Digital Ocean is perhaps more suitable. Otherwise, please start building a credible cloud. Today, enterprises want multiple options (not only yours) and they want open source.
Last but not least, enterprises are trying to avoid any form of lock-in now… and they know how keen you are on lock-ins. We can argue that AWS could be even worse but, again, users are more clever than in the past now. Wouldn’t you agree?
Others have failed to build a public cloud – look at Vmware for example. If Oracle isn’t able to transform itself like Microsoft is doing, there is no chance of success. Yes, of course, coercion could work for a while and I’m also certain that someone will find Oracle cloud good enough for their needs… but can that be considered a success??!
If you are interested in these topics, I’ll be presenting at next TECHunplugged conference in Amsterdam on 6/10/16 and in Chicago on 27/10/16. A one day event focused on cloud computing and IT infrastructure with an innovative formula combines a group of independent, insightful and well-recognized bloggers with disruptive technology vendors and end users who manage rich technology environments. Join us!