According to Larry Ellison, speaking at OpenWorld this year, Oracle decided to take all of their applications to the cloud a decade ago, and now they say they’re almost there. They say every line of code is being written on Fusion middleware. In addition, Oracle announced that it will be entering the compute cloud space with a service that competes with Amazon EC2.
You won’t see the IaaS offerings on comparison sites like CloudHarmony because it's not generally available yet. The information about services and pricing are currently listed on cloud.oracle.com/compute. And their storage and network services are described here. We don’t know exactly when it will be available. All we have to go on is an anonymous source saying that it will be around six months. So how relevant is Oracle Cloud going to be?
That really depends on the sentiments of enterprise developers like those in the DZone community. We know that Oracle DB is the second most common database in use among our community (with 55% of respondents’ organizations using it. MySQL had 57%). So most analysts suspect that Oracle will have success selling cloud services to current customers, especially if they’re already standardized on Fusion middleware. But no one’s really sure about Oracle Cloud attracting new customers that aren’t using Oracle DB or Fusion middleware. Many of Oracle's customers would find it very difficult to migrate on-premise data to the cloud, and some will never be able to go to the cloud.
I received some interesting opinions when I asked Maarten Ectors, VP of IoT at Canonical. Full disclosure, Maarten has had a critical opinion of Oracle for a while, but I still wanted to share his interesting observations of the industry as a whole, and how he sees things shaking out.
Maarten agrees that Oracle will make good money selling to and giving support to customers with large Oracle infrastructures—legacy infrastructure in a number of cases. But he predicts that those big Oracle customers will soon come under attack by companies using a more agile cloud infrastructure like AWS (fun fact: Before the industry coined the term “Cloud” we called it “Agile Infrastructure”). Some have probably come under attack already.
Oracle RAC and other solutions are written for a limited set of powerful servers, not for large sets of virtual servers. Also from a SaaS perspective Oracle has an uphill battle because their software is not multi-tenant by default so it will need substantial rewrites. From a license perspective the new way of selling software is via per hour prices and not upfront CAPEX, which also does not play well with Oracle's existing sales force compensation.
— Maarten Ectors
Maarten praised Microsoft for bringing in a new CEO that is opening up the way their developers interact with the world, and says without a similar transformation, Oracle could lose its technical experts to other companies. However, he is pretty sure that Amazon Web Services is going to outpace everyone when it comes to cloud services.
He sees Oracle’s big bank customers coming under attack by more nimble, scalable financial exchanges that use blockchain. He also thinks healthcare could be disrupted via home health. When some of these longstanding, large companies need to lower costs and become a lot more agile, Maarten expects that the easy solution will be to migrate to AWS. He expects Amazon to launch a financial services cloud, health cloud, energy cloud, and so on, just as they released the GovCloud in 2011. This kind of offering, he believes, puts not only Oracle’s infrastructure business in jeopardy, but also HP, Dell/EMC, and Cisco’s as well. Maarten expects Amazon to start releasing more of these industry sector cloud services in 2016.
What are your expectations for Oracle Cloud vs Amazon, Azure, Google, Digital Ocean, etc. in the coming year?