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October 28, 2015

Oracle nine years late to cloud, so can it catch up to AWS?

Analysis: Is competing on price and products enough to overturn the advantage AWS has in cloud?

By James Nunns

Shortly after Oracle’s CTO and chairman Larry Ellison declared IBM and SAP as being ‘nowhere in cloud’, the company focused solely on AWS.

On Tuesday Big Red rolled out cloud features that advance its infrastructure services, matching it to AWS with Infrastructure as a Service offerings.

Elastic Compute Cloud is aimed at allowing customers to run workloads in a shared compute zone, with capabilities such as CPU pinning and network isolation.

Renting raw computational power per hour is very similar to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2, meaning that the two will be in direct competition.

Although Oracle may be targeting AWS, it has a long way to go. Gartner places AWS firmly as the leader in the public cloud quadrant, with Microsoft Azure following, Oracle doesn’t appear at all.

AWS has the advantage in that it has been doing what it’s been doing for the past nine years, but Oracle would say that it could offer a service as cheaply, if not cheaper than its target.

Neil Sholay, head of digital, EMEA, Oracle, told CBR last month: "When you own a hardware company, which Amazon doesn’t, that puts you in a very advantageous position, clearly you don’t abuse that position but we can control margins as tightly as Amazon."

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Big Red may be hoping to take customers from AWS, but AWS is also aiming to take customers from Oracle.

At AWS re:Invent the company rolled out a number of features that included a Database migration service. The company poked at Oracle with comments around unhappy customers.

Stephen Orban, head of enterprise strategy, AWS, told CBR: "It’s either that they are unhappy, or there are possibilities that they feel they are yet to unlock and they just don’t have the solution for it today."

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