Oracle Closing in on AWS, Microsoft With Public Cloud Infrastructure
The clean slate is just that—the provisioning of bare metal computing and raw computing power, really not unlike every other modern hyperscale data center including Google, Facebook and IBM SoftLayer, running standard Intel Xeon E5 v4 processors, Non-Volatile Member Express-attached flash storage and flat Clos networking architectures, Johnson said. “We are not significantly differentiated,” he said. “What we are doing is now the canonical best practice for very high-scale data centers. There are some shades of differences. But the notion of a big, flat, fast Clos network is the best practice right now.” Oracle is differentiating its cloud infrastructure through networking virtualization via a “bump in the wire” black box attached to the wires coming into the servers that contains software-defined networking logic. Also known as “off-box virtualization,” Johnson said the scheme enables better performance, improves security and frees the system from dependence on somebody else’s software. “We didn't want to make long-term bets for significant pieces of logic in any virtualization layer, in any hypervisor or software stack layer that would remove flexibility from our system,” Johnson said.AWS still has a large market share advantage over Oracle and is by all accounts about $6 billion ahead in annual cloud revenue run-rate. While Microsoft has caught up to AWS in revenue, the overall market is still very small. At the recent VMWorld conference and at this week’s Open World, vendors believe the vast majority of enterprise users are just beginning to look at the cloud, with a long journey ahead and with plenty of time for second- and even third-generation clouds to be built. So it’s not a sprint, then, but a marathon. Before too long AWS may be looking over its shoulder and seeing Oracle pull up alongside, but they both have to save something in reserve for the long race to come. Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.
This architecture makes it easier to provision data center compute for customers and accommodate customer demand, which helps Oracle play that game of catch-up with AWS. “We are applying lessons in just-in-time provisioning to ensure our ability to grow isn’t getting in the way of our customers’ ability to scale,” Patil said.