Why business can never get rid of Oracle
Over the last few years Amazon have made a number of public statements on how it no longer uses Oracle Database (whether you believe this is another story) and has made significant effort on the PR front into pulling customers away from using Oracle Database products.
Oracles sales people have a concrete pitch where the offer all Oracle products for free(great)! as a business this sounds amazing when delivered during a glossed up sales presentation the catch is, Oracle auditors will come along and audit your Oracle product usage after 4 years and hit you with a bill to keep using these products and receiving associated support. This is where Amazon feels it has a way in to grabbing some of Oracle’s market share. AWS policy of pay for what you use and a completely transparent usage and pricing model it hopes to pull business away from Oracle’s questionable and a little dated sales tactic to something more modern and transparent, but I don’t believe this will ever happen on any sort of level to really concern Oracle.
Reason 1: Part of the furniture
After 4 years of Oracle Database usage the product becomes part of your business deeply ingrained in how your business operates. Developers are used to working with the Oracle database, you employ Oracle DBA’s to help manage/maintain the Oracle databases and likely the applications that are utilised by your Oracle DB are used by your business customers. The Oracle Database becomes a key part of your IT architecture serving and storing your data, the cost and risk associated with re-writing application code to work with another database, possibly up skilling or getting rid of Oracle DBA employees since the product is no longer part of the business is all tremendous hassle and fits well into the term “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Reason 2: Small Fish
I feel many of the businesses that migrate from Oracle to AWS are somewhat small fish to Oracle. The real players in the Oracle pond are those with ULA (User Licence Agreement) these corporations have hundreds of Oracle databases if not thousands spanning test, dev & prod. So many databases exist that its impossible to licence them one by one therefore a blanket catch all ULA is agreed between the corporation and Oracle often costing double or triple digit millions of pounds/dollars these are the customers that AWS can’t touch, Oracle essentially has them by the balls with so many databases it it literally an impossible task to migrate and those that do I cannot see being on the same level of Oracle product usage as the large corporations.
Reason 3: Maturity
Amazon launched Amazon RDS in 2009 nearly 11 years ago. While I am in no doubt that the product is good these time lines a miniscule when you compare to Oracle’s database’s 41 year product life cycle. Businesses like this maturity of the product regardless if the product works for them or not. Relationships formed over decades between businesses and Oracle are a difficult nut to crack for a somewhat new kid on the block.
If you are a business or technical architect comparing or trying to decide if an Oracle database is the right product for you then it is likely not. Oracle Database should be considered an Enterprise product if you application isn’t huge or the database usage requirement isn’t particularly large I would say you are likely to be much happier and better suited to another database offering such as AWS RDS or PostgreSQL rather than selling your soul to the corporate tech giant that is Oracle.