Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison Takes Aim at Amazon
By Jay Greene
SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle Corp. often frames its product strategy around the biggest competitive threat it faces, and currently that rival is Amazon.com Inc.
On Sunday night, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison once again took aim at Amazon, touting his company's newest database technology that he claimed his rival can't match. At Oracle OpenWorld -- the company's annual conference for developers, partners and customers in San Francisco -- Mr. Ellison ran through several demonstrations of Oracle Database 18c, saying customers would pay several times more using Amazon's technology.
"Why would anyone do that?" said Mr. Ellison, the executive chairman and chief technology officer of the Redwood City, Calif., company.
The reason Oracle's database costs less, Mr. Ellison said, is that 18c autonomously provisions only the computing resources as customers need them. When the new database technology is rolled out in December, Oracle will guarantee its bill will be less than half what Amazon would charge customers for a similar service.
Amazon disputed Mr. Ellison's claims, saying its customers can scale its database offerings to their specific needs. "This sounds like Larry being Larry. No facts, wild claims, and lots of bluster," an Amazon Web Services spokeswoman said.
The online retailer has upended the business software industry over the past decade with its pioneering cloud-computing offering, Amazon Web Services. The technology challenges legacy software vendors such as Oracle by offering customers the ability to run their computing operations in Amazon's data centers instead of spending money on servers and software.
With 18c, Oracle said it would guarantee nearly 100% reliability and availability, or less than 30 minutes a year of downtime.
"This is the most important thing we have done in a long, long time," Mr. Ellison said.