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Oracle vs. AWS battle heats up around cloud costs, databases

After imposing a price hike for its customers that use AWS, Oracle now needs to contend with new AWS services that compete with its databases, as some users mull a migration.

As AWS finds new ways to entice Oracle customers, the latter has made its customers' transitions to the AWS public...

cloud more difficult. And in the ongoing Oracle vs. AWS feud, there doesn't appear to be a cease-fire coming anytime soon.

In January 2017, Oracle raised prices for customers that run their software on AWS. Oracle changed its cloud licensing policy to consider each virtual CPU as a full core -- instead of only a half-core -- effectively doubling the cost. The change suggested that Oracle hopes to slow migration to AWS and instead push customers to use Oracle Cloud.

But was this a smart move? While Oracle might lock in some customers who have no alternative to Oracle Cloud, that licensing change might have been the last straw for clients who desire more flexibility. And AWS is poised to capitalize on that frustration.

The Oracle vs. AWS dynamic resurfaced at re:Invent 2017, where Amazon introduced Amazon Aurora Serverless, an on-demand configuration for Aurora databases that allows customers to automatically start, stop and scale when necessary. With Aurora Serverless, system operators won't need to provision or manage capacity; the service uses a pool of warm instances to scale within seconds and allows existing connections to remain intact. It also offers potential cost reductions for intermittent database workloads.

Aurora Serverless marks an opportunity for AWS to dive deeper into Oracle's customer pool, especially with any legacy users that seek a change. AWS also offers its Database Migration Service, which enables existing Oracle users to easily migrate to Amazon Aurora. In addition, there's Amazon Aurora Multi-Master, which introduces the ability to create multiple masters in a cluster and improve availability by allowing an application to both read and write to multiple instances. AWS also recently unveiled Bare Metal Instances -- another service that directly competes with Oracle.

With these new AWS features and services, Oracle could be at a disadvantage. But is it enough for Amazon to win its customer battle with Oracle? And what else can AWS do to convince more Oracle users to make the switch?

For now, the Oracle vs. AWS battle looks a bit one-sided, given Oracle's decision to increase costs for its customers, while Amazon pushes more competitive services. Maybe the better question is: What will Oracle do next?

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Which services give Oracle a competitive advantage over AWS?
Great insights! I have been implemented ERP Cloud (SaaS, something Amazon doesn't have and I think with new technology AI, RPA, Blockchain...)

Happy New Year, 2018!
Which services give Oracle a competitive advantage over AWS? 

Oracle is 2+ years ahead of AWS in offering bare metal services which allows customers to move entire workloads from on-premises to the Cloud without being required to run in virtualized environments by AWS. Yes, AWS announced Bare Metal last year, but 6 months later, its still not available.  Not as easy to deliver as you'd expect!
And FYI, regarding Oracle's licensing policy update on AWS (and Azure), Oracle did not increase licensing costs, but adjusted the way licenses are counted for to equalize between Cloud vendors supporting Oracle sw.

The problem for Oracle is that its licensing is per core based and for x86 processors, normally, its 1 x license for every two cores as there is a .5x multiplier for x86. This applies to on-premises servers as well as Cloud services that are core based like OracleCloud, which Oracle calls OCPU. So therefore on OracleCloud, 1 x license runs on 2 x OCPUs ( 2 x cores). Oracle prices IaaS on a per core basis too.

The problem with AWS or Azure is that they don't offer services on a per core basis. They offer vCPUs which are per thread based. AWS & Azure vCPUs are seen as part of the symmetric multi-processing (SMP) multi-threaded compute model like VMWare as their environments are fully virtualized. SMP allows threads to be split across multiple physical or logical cores to improve performance of more parallel virtualized tasks. So one vCPU can be running on more than one core and therefore determining how many licenses required becomes challenging.

So in the end, Oracle has decided that a single license is required per vCPU, which could be running across 2 (or more) cores, and therefore has the same licensing requirements as with OracleCloud.