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Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

Haha, of course he didn't – he trash-talked AWS databases for an hour

OpenWorld Oracle’s founder and CTO Larry Ellison took to the stage for his second OpenWorld keynote today, and spent the bulk of his presentation pointing out flaws in his chief cloud rival Amazon.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has three database products running on its cloud (Redshift, Aurora and DynamoDB), and in terms of features they are all at least 20 years out of date, Ellison claimed. They are only able to run on AWS, are all proprietary, and they can’t be ported to other clouds, he complained.

“Build an app on Redshift and you will be running it forever on Amazon – you are locked in, baby,” he said. “So if Amazon raises its prices you better get out your checkbook.”

To demonstrate AWS’s failings on performance, Ellison and his team ran a speed test on an Oracle database hosted within the company’s own cloud compared to the same software running on an AWS X1 server. They found, surprise, surprise, that Amazon’s performance was 24 times slower for analytic queries and eight times slower for online transaction processing.

He then showed the results of pitting Redshift and Aurora against Oracle and the results weren’t good, apparently – Redshift conveniently ran 105 times slower than Oracle and Aurora was 35 times more sluggish. Oracle will put the benchmarks on its website [PDF] and Ellison challenged Amazon to try them itself and see if they can get any more speed out of their systems.

The problem with AWS, Ellison opined, was that it was running old first-generation infrastructure and its software is outdated. Amazon’s elastic block storage is limited to 48,000 IOPS per server and 800MB per second per server, making it an order of magnitude slower than Oracle’s cloud, he said.

As for the software, Ellison remarked that Redshift was still using table locking, something Oracle abandoned 30 years ago, and had no query optimization or table indexing – features that are 20 years old on his product. Aurora too was handicapped by its inability to scale to large sizes and its limited support for multithreaded remote replication.

Ellison did acknowledge Amazon used to have the edge on price, but now Oracle is hoping to take that away from them with the launch of its Exadata Express Cloud service. Prices start at $175 a month for a simplified version of the service, which has all the features of its more expensive counterpart but is designed for smaller databases. For a 20GB managed database, the new service would cost $175, compared to $245 for Aurora and $327 to run Oracle SE on Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service).

“We leapfrog Amazon with lower costs and higher performance, also in reliability and security,” he claimed. “We have more than ten times the IOPS capacity, but you have to pay less.”

Funny how things change. Six years ago, his company was practically falling over itself to run its software on AWS. Let us know, in the comments below, what you think of Larry's trash talk. ®

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