Amazon to offer Oracle's database in the cloud

Adding Oracle's database to Amazon Web Services is a clear response to Salesforce.com's Database.com service, which is also Oracle-powered

Oracle's database will be available in the second quarter as part of Amazon Web Services' Relational Database Service, the companies announced Tuesday.

The move comes shortly after Salesforce.com announced Database.com, a pay-as-you-go product that is also powered in part by Oracle's database. Like Amazon's other cloud infrastructure offerings, the upcoming Oracle database service will feature hourly fees, with no long-term contract required.

[ Check out Eric Knorr's analysis of cloud computing: IT as commodity and his explanation of what Salesforce's Database.com really means. | For more on the latest cloud computing developments, read David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog. | Learn what the private cloud really means. ]

Amazon already offered support for MySQL on the Relational Database Service. The addition of Oracle will give those users the same benefits of reduced database administration efforts and elastic scalability of the underlying storage and computing resources, Amazon said.

Hourly pricing, which wasn't disclosed Tuesday, will depend on the Oracle database edition and instance size, Amazon said.

Amazon will also be offering reserved database instances, in which customers pay a one-time fee "and in turn receive the option to run that DB Instance at a significant discount on the ongoing hourly usage charge."

The cost of the service will no doubt be closely watched. Salesforce.com is offering a basic version of Database.com at no charge, with costs added based on the number of records, transactions and users, as well as optional enterprise services for identity management, authentication and security.

The announcement builds on Oracle and Amazon's existing relationship, which has already enabled users to run Oracle middleware, database software and applications on the AWS cloud.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.

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