How quickly we forget. Despite the drama at Amazon Web Services that took down many popular web sites just weeks ago, Oracle is giving a vote of confidence to the platform by taking its database business to Amazon's cloud.
Amazon's Relational Database Service (RDS) will host an Oracle database. Amazon will manage common database administration tasks, including provisioning, backups, software patching, monitoring and hardware scaling. Customers can purchase a license or pay by the hour to tap into the cloud services.
Amazon is offering hourly pricing without any up-front fees or long-term commitments, as well as the option to buy Reserved Database Instances under one- or three-year terms. With the Reserved option, customers can make a one-time payment for each database instance and then pay a discounted hourly usage rate with up to 48 percent savings.
Why Not Build?
Zeus Kerravala, a vice president at Yankee Group, said he was somewhat surprised that Oracle went with Amazon instead of building its own cloud database services. As he sees it, Oracle's decision demonstrates that Amazon has in many ways become the de facto standard for cloud services.
Amazon Web Services suffered a high-profile cloud outage in late April that reportedly affected popular web sites like foursquare, Twitter and Netflix. Amazon later apologized and has put precautions in place to avoid a repeat. Kerravala said Oracle was probably assured that Amazon has taken strong steps to make sure another outage doesn't take down services.
"Who else is Oracle going to use? As far as mainstream cloud providers go, Amazon definitely has become the poster child for the cloud," Kerravala said. "So anything negative gets overly magnified, and so does anything positive. From a scalability and reach perspective, it makes sense for Oracle to go with Amazon."
Set of Services
So far, Oracle is getting plenty of support for its move into Amazon Web Services. CA Technologies, Razorfish and Capgemini are all customers.
While Brian Poissant, vice president of engineering services at CA, said the ability to leverage Amazon's Oracle Relational Database Service license is a "convenient and economical way to move database workloads" to the cloud. Customers can also work with a broad set of Amazon Web Services solution providers and system integrators to deploy Oracle databases on RDS.
In fact, Mandhir Gidda, U.K. technical director at Razorfish, said many of his clients rely on Oracle databases to power their applications. With Amazon RDS, he noted, they'll be able to off-load time-consuming database administration tasks while benefiting from the elastic scalability and fast database provisioning of Amazon Web Services.
"The ability to leverage an existing investment in Oracle licenses when running on Amazon RDS makes transitioning workloads to the cloud convenient and economical," Gidda said. "This is a game-changer for our business and gives us the latitude for conversations with new and existing customers that could not have taken place previously."