Larry Ellison says Amazon is '20 years behind' Oracle

Oracle CTO shows off benchmarks with his company's cloud database beating AWS

Larry Ellison says Amazon is '20 years behind' Oracle

Oracle co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison speaks at the company's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on September 20, 2016.

Credit: Blair Hanley Frank

Larry Ellison continued his assault on Amazon during his second keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld on Tuesday.

"Amazon Web Services are simply not optimized for the Oracle Database. I'll go further than that: Amazon Web Services aren't optimized for their own databases either, as you will see," he said, while showing off a set of benchmarks that showed Oracle Database performing several times faster on Oracle's cloud than it does on Amazon's cloud. "It doesn't get better, it gets worse."

Ellison ripped into AWS, accusing the cloud provider of being 20 years behind on releasing features for its Redshift and Aurora database services compared to Oracle Database. It was part of his pitch to customers to move their workloads into Oracle's public cloud offering, rather than go with Amazon for similar services.

Ellison's latest salvo is part of Oracle's continuing campaign to try and show the world that its cloud is faster than the market leader, at least when it comes to its own benchmarks.

According to Ellison, Oracle Database running on Oracle's cloud is 24 times faster for analytic workloads than the same software running on AWS, and 8 times faster for OLTP workloads. In a similar vein, he said that Oracle Database in the company's cloud was 105 times faster than Amazon Redshift for analytics workloads, and 35 times faster than Amazon Aurora for OLTP workloads.

It's not clear how these benchmarks were designed, how much the particular workloads are skewed to benefit the features Oracle has in its database, and whether or not Oracle was using equivalent hardware for the tests in its cloud and the tests in Amazon's cloud.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google published its own benchmarks a couple months ago claiming that the second version of its Cloud SQL database as a service product outperformed Aurora at lower thread counts. After that, Amazon partner 2nd Watch published a blog post showing that it re-ran Google's tests and got different results, showing improved performance for Aurora.

So there's clearly room for debate when it comes to how to interpret these benchmark numbers.

Exact details (and potentially accuracy) aside, these numbers may help sway companies -- especially Oracle customers -- as they consider moving their workloads to the cloud. The company has spent OpenWorld this year pushing its cloud platform. 

Amazon will have a chance to fire back later this year at its Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, which takes place at the end of November. That's usually when the company announces a salvo of new products, and was where it introduced its Aurora database two years ago. 

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