In cloud vendor rankings, Oracle is often found somewhere in the pack of “other cloud providers,” way behind Amazon, Microsoft and Google. But on their home turf, the database, Oracle is moving towards its natural leadership position. In the latest Forrester Wave™ for Database-As-A-Service, Oracle is right behind AWS and Microsoft in the Leaders section.
Source: The Forrester Wave™Database-As-A-Service Q2 ’17
Looking at Forrester’s evaluation criteria, it is possible to argue that the position should have been even higher. It is not obvious why Oracle should get a lowly 1.6 score for Architecture, nor why they should only be rated 4.2 again AWS’ perfect 5.0 for security.
Licensing is always part of the decision when discussing Oracle software, and there is a big difference between running Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
With PaaS, the database license is included. This means you don’t buy an expensive database license up front, and can simply terminate your PaaS contract if you don’t need the database anymore.
With IaaS, whether from Oracle or one of the other two approved vendors (Amazon and Microsoft), you will have to bring your own Oracle license.
For new development using an Oracle database, the flexible licensing means you should use Oracle PaaS if at all possible.
For existing Oracle installations, it might make sense to move from your existing on-premise hardware into the cloud if you are faced with buying new hardware. Note that some features are only available on Oracle’s IaaS cloud – for example, you can’t run Oracle RAC on Amazon or Microsoft.
Oracle rose to database dominance by making their software freely available. Anybody can download a $100K+ enterprise edition database and use it for personal learning as long as he likes.
The Oracle Cloud offerings, on the other hand, are strictly limited. You need to provide both a mobile phone number and a credit card number in order to get a miserly 30-day trial. Once you’ve spent your 30 days, you’ve used the one chance you get in this lifetime to learn Oracle’s 50+ cloud offerings.
Contrast this with the approach taken by Amazon: A free tier without time limitation, and a generous 12-month trial for many of the other services. They took a page from Oracle’s playbook, offered free access and became dominant in the cloud space.
Oracle defends their stinginess by saying that it’s too expensive for them to offer free trials. And apparently, they believe they don’t need to offer good trials because their cloud is faster and cheaper.
Unfortunately, the ability of Larry Ellison to distort reality is limited. Oracle has a negligible market share in IaaS and PaaS and since they won’t invest a smidgen of their $60 billion cash hoard in better trials, they are likely to remain a bit player in this space.
I’ve used my own phone number and credit card, and my wife’s phone number and credit card, so I’m now out of options for learning more about the Oracle cloud. But I’m learning AWS.
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Oracle has released the latest quarterly critical patch update (CPU). The database gets off lightly this time with two moderate severity vulnerabilities in SQL*Plus and the Oracle JVM. On the other hand, Oracle Secure Backup is not very secure with a bug that can be remotely exploited without authentication. Bad.
The Fusion Middleware stack gets 31 fixes, of which 20 are in the bad group of remotely exploitable without authentication. There is a lot of WebCenter stuff as well as some WebLogic and little Oracle Service Bus. Read the notes and update your environments.
Almost all of the Oracle applications (E-Business Suite, Siebel, J.D. Edwards) are also vulnerable, many through the critical Apache Struts 2 vulnerability (CVE-2017-5638). Oracle has fixed everything related to this Struts 2 bug in this CPU, but if you are running anything else based on Struts 2, make sure you update to a non-vulnerable version.
Moving your software to a cloud vendor has always been an act of faith. You believe the vendor will honor their promises, fulfil the SLA and stay in business.
That’s why many are choosing the big names like Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
Gartner MQ IaaS Aug 2016
Oracle wants to extend its brand into Cloud computing as well, but they are not even on Gartner’s radar, and with their recent decision to double the cost of running Oracle on Amazon, they are not endearing themselves to customers.
No matter which cloud vendor you choose, make sure that you establish an exit strategy in advance. You need to be able to keep your systems running even if your cloud vendor suddenly folds. That means that you need to establish a procedure to continually transfer data from your cloud to a third part (or back to yourself). Don’t get stuck in the cloud.
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