Oracle introduces new cloud pricing models with further glance at beating AWS

Oracle OpenWorld may still be a couple of weeks away, but Larry Ellison gave a glimpse of what to expect in San Francisco with the announcement of new licensing and pricing structures – promising to beat Amazon by at least 50% on cost.

Ellison, Oracle’s CTO, took to the stage to not only discuss the new structures, but reaffirm the company’s strategy, as well as its next generation, fully autonomous database, to be fully unveiled at OpenWorld.

One of the new models is ‘universal credits’ (below), which provides Oracle customers “the industry’s most flexible buying and consumption model for cloud services”, as the company itself puts it. In other words, you give Oracle what you want to spend without having to explicitly say where it’s going, whether it’s the infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or which data centre you will be using. “You don’t have to in advance figure out what you’re going to buy,” Ellison told attendees. “The contract is incredibly simple.”

Also announced was a ‘bring your own license’ (BYOL) model which enables Oracle customers to reuse their existing software licenses for Oracle’s PaaS. Customers who have existing on-premises licenses can leverage their investment to move to Oracle’s cloud options at ‘a fraction of the old PaaS price’, the company added.

All this is put alongside the much-vaunted database to shape Oracle’s cloud strategy. The database was previously referenced during the company’s most recent financial results last week, whereby Ellison told analysts the new Oracle will be a “totally automated self-driving system that does not require a human being either to manage the database or tune the database.”

The elimination of human labour – and the mistakes human make – was a theme the Oracle CTO kept returning to. “Human error can have devastating consequences,” he explained, referencing the Equifax data breach as a recent example. Another theme was around explaining what Amazon Web Services (AWS) couldn’t do; whence during the financial results announcement only occasional sideswipes were made at AWS, this time around pretty much the entire half hour presentation was built upon it.

Ellison said it will be ‘guaranteed’ in Oracle’s SLAs going forward that, firstly, the price will be half that of Amazon’s, and, secondly, the uptime on the new autonomous database will be 99.995%, or only 30 minutes of – planned – downtime.

“There’s nothing close in the cloud industry,” said Ellison. “There’s nothing remotely close. Our approach to the cloud business is to lower your costs and lower your risks by fully automating all sorts of platform services completely, with completely autonomous software that runs itself, eliminates the cost of human error, and eliminates the opportunity for human error.

“This is very different to what Amazon is trying to do,” he added. “They’re not even working on this.”

You can view the full presentation here.

Picture credits: Oracle

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