“Amazon’s lead is over”: Oracle launches next generation IaaS data centres

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Larry Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder and chief technology officer, has claimed that “Amazon’s lead is over” in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) space after Oracle announced the launch of next generation data centres at its OpenWorld event in San Francisco.

The event came days after the software giant released its first quarter 2017 financial results, in which Oracle announced that its cloud sales were nudging $1 billion. Of that number, more than 80% was in the platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) bucket.

Consequently, the key theme of Ellison’s keynote was around Oracle’s push in IaaS. “I’ve got a lot of respect for what Amazon’s accomplished, especially in the area of infrastructure,” Ellison told delegates. “They were the innovator in this space, and I have a lot of respect for them. But now, we’re aggressively moving into infrastructure, and we have a new generation of data centres that we’re building around the world.”

The next-gen data centres were referenced by Ellison when speaking to analysts last week – as well as the requisite pops at Amazon and Workday, which Oracle sees as the main rivals in infrastructure and applications respectively – and the Redwood firm promises its latest offering has twice as many cores, twice as much memory, four times as much storage, and 10 times the IO capacity of AWS’ offerings.

Picture credit: Oracle

“We have a modern architecture for infrastructure where there’s no single point of failure,” Ellison explained. “Faults are isolated, therefore faults are tolerated. If we lose the data centre, then you won’t even know about it.”

Among the other statistics which Oracle tossed out to the audience included bare metal cloud servers claimed to be more than 11 times faster and 20% cheaper than competitors’ efforts. Ellison pointed to the firm’s six key design tenets of cost, reliability, performance, standards, compatibility and security – “some things never change” – and added that the company was “very proud” of its second generation IaaS and intended to aggressively feature it over the next couple of fiscal years.

While such bullish statements are not atypical, eyebrows are more than likely going to be raised, particularly given current market research on the cloud infrastructure market. Synergy Research’s analysis, from as recently as August, argued that between them, AWS, Microsoft, IBM and Google owned more than half of the global market.

Amazon on its own holds more than 30%, compared to nearest competitor Microsoft with just over 10%, with the four companies continuing to grow faster than the overall market. Oracle, according to Synergy, sits in the next 20 vendors – including HPE, Rackspace, and Salesforce – whose combined market share is smaller than Amazon’s.

Elsewhere, among the many products launched by the Redwood firm include Oracle FastConnect, which aims to help customers connect their data centre to the cloud more easily, Oracle Ravello Cloud, which is claimed to be the first cloud service which can run VMware and Kernel-based virtual machine workloads in the public cloud without any changes, and the general availability of Docker-friendly Oracle Container Cloud Service.

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