- Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy took shot at Oracle during his keynote for AWS big tech conference in AWS.
- He showed a cartoon on stage that was a dig at Oracle and its famous founder Larry Ellison that got a big laugh.
- There is a bigger message under the joke: AWS is serious about peeling customers away from Oracle and believes it has having some success.
Amazon Web Services kicked off its massive tech conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday and, as has become customary, AWS CEO Andy Jassy included a big dig at Oracle, specifically Oracle founder Larry Ellison.
The two companies have become fierce competitors as enterprises ditch their own data centres and move to cloud computing. AWS is by far the biggest cloud computing supplier and a couple of years ago, it opted to take Oracle head on by launching its own database.
Oracle’s database is where the company got its start and it is still its biggest and most important product. It’s a long-lasting and durable business for Oracle: customers use the databases to run critical parts of their operations and they don’t yank out a database or switch vendors easily.
But that’s exactly what AWS is trying to get companies to do. It launched its own direct competitor to Oracle’s SQL database, Aurora, and says it’s nabbing customers, often away from Oracle, at a fast rate.
Oracle has responded by building its own cloud, seeking to to compete directly with Amazon on that level. Oracle’s overall cloud business will do well, because it’s an easy option for customers who want to move to the cloud but do not want to ditch Oracle’s database or its other software.
Companies can also run Oracle database on AWS, but earlier this year, Oracle changed its licensing in such a way that it essentially doubled the cost of running and Oracle database on AWS cloud. The idea was clear: Oracle wants to make it cheaper for its customers to run its software on its own cloud. But, the strategy might backfire. As you might imagine, Oracle’s customers were not happy about the price increase. AWS already has an enormous number of enterprise customers and such tactics just might encourage them to try moving to AWS database instead.
On Wednesday, during his keynote talk, Jassy said, “Oracle overnight doubled price of its software on AWS. Who does that to their customers? Someone who doesn’t care about the customer but views them as a means to their financial ends.”
To be fair to Oracle, its database is the gold standard, just like AWS is the gold standard of the cloud.
But AWS isn’t resting on its laurels. It announced a whole bunch of new database services on Wednesday, including an upcoming “serverless” version of its competitor to Oracle, which allows companies to use a database without having to think about the underlying hardware.
But the laughs of the morning definitely came at Larry Ellison’s expense with a cartoon that showed a guy that looks like Ellison in a police line-up, based on that licence change.
An officer asks: “Do you recognise who scared you last night?” And an older lady answers, “The one with the Goatee.”
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