Oracle’s Larry Ellison has Amazon in his sights with new cloud database

If you went back to the year 2000 and asked Oracle’s Larry Ellison, “who is your biggest rival that you would like to choke with your bare hands?” chances are he would have said “Microsoft.”

At one point, Oracle hired private investigators to dig up dirt on Microsoft, which it hoped would help the federal government’s antitrust case against the Redmond, Washington-based software giant.

Well, times have changed.

Now Ellison has his sights set on a company that, in 2000, would have been as far removed from the “Oracle vs. Whomever” battle as the San Francisco 49ers are from being a Super Bowl contender: Amazon.

Keep in mind that in 2000, Amazon was still making most of its bones by selling books online. There was no Amazon Prime, and there certainly was no Amazon Prime Video. The Amazon Echo? Please. Amazon owning Whole Foods? The thought of that would have probably left you rolling on the floor in laughter.

And there was nothing like Amazon’s cloud-computing business, also known as Amazon Web Services, or AWS, for short. But there is now. And late Sunday, at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, Ellison left the gathering’s attendees with little doubt regarding Oracle’s efforts to take aim at Amazon in the cloud-computing market.

The highlight of Ellison’s presentation was showing off Oracle Database 18c, the company’s new database product. Ellison promised that when Database 18c becomes available in December, its users will pay less than half what they pay now for similar services offered by Amazon. Ellison also said that the new Oracle database would employ autonomous technologies that allow it to update on its own, and “we can guarantee availability of 99.995 percent, less than 30 minutes of planned or unplanned downtime (annually).”

In other words, Ellison is saying that Oracle’s stuff is going to do more, and better things than Amazon’s, and at a lower price than what Jeff Bezos & Co. can offer.

And, if anyone thinks the 73-year-old Ellison is slowing down as gets older, the Wall Street journal reported that even at his age, Ellison is ready for battle with Amazon.

“It’s our computers versus their computers in cyberwarfare,” Ellison said.

Photo: Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison on stage at Oracle OpenWorld on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. (Courtesy Oracle)


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