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Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS), on Wednesday told CNBC that AWS customers would be off all Oracle databases by the end of 2019 and running on one of Amazon’s database products.
This is not the first time the market has heard something like this, but this time could be different. The statement comes on the heels of Amazon spending significant coin on Oracle licenses a few months ago. It also comes in the wake of Oracle’s introduction, more than a year ago, of its autonomous database with multiple security features and performance advances.
Jassy did not indicate how many Oracle customers would be affected, but an announcement earlier in the day suggested that AWS would be a US$70 billion business early in the next decade, which would eclipse Oracle’s revenues.
While customer names are useful indicators of adoption, a better measure would be the number of database licenses involved. A single major customer, for instance, could have hundreds or even thousands of databases.
Competing on Price
The announcement raises many questions. Oracle has boasted significant performance advantages, as well as security features that prevent unauthorized access.
However, Amazon has been a relentless competitor on price, even in the face of Oracle’s claims to be the low-cost producer in the market, because when teamed with its high-performance database hardware it handles workloads faster and doesn’t charge for use during downtime.
At the same time, Oracle has made significant advances that lower the cost of operating its database, and it has deployed significant security capabilities — like self-patching, or the ability to insert new code to plug a vulnerability while the database is running.
Self-patching significantly reduces delay in maintaining products that drive a business, and it improves security. On other levels, Oracle’s products can help detect intrusions and wall off unauthorized…