Oracle Had a Killer Quarter – What Does That Mean for Open Source in the Cloud?
Oracle’s sales increased 37% to $8.76 billion last quarter, according to Bloomberg. Cloud computing gets some of the credit for the revenue jump, causing a surge of interest in Oracle’s databases and a 29% gain in new license sales.
Earlier this year David Linthicum wrote a post titled “Amazon’s Oracle move shows open source won’t gain in the cloud” in response to Amazon Web Services offering Oracle Databases on RDS.
EnterpriseDB CEO Ed Boyajian disagrees. EnterpriseDB provides commercial support and management tools for PostGRES databases. “We’re engaged with every major cloud provider today on how they can have an open source database alternative,” he says. Boyajian says a lot of customers are tired of being locked into Oracle’s databases and are looking for an alternative.
And that’s not even mentioning the use of NoSQL databases like Apache Cassandra and Hbase in cloud environments. But most of that on the server side. As former Canonical COO Matt Asay says, it’s invisible.
And as Linthicum writes:
Migrating from Oracle is a pretty risky proposition, considering how dependent many applications are on Oracle’s features and functions. Indeed, as I work the cloud-migration project circuits, I find that those companies on Oracle stay on Oracle. Although they will consider open source alternatives for some projects, most enterprises and government agencies cite the existing skill sets within the organizations and a successful track record as the reasons they are remaining with Larry.
Even in cases where NoSQL tools are adopted, traditional databases tend to remain. For example, CERN and CMS adopted Apache CouchDB and MongoDB for certain uses, but kept Oracle for others.
And the numbers out from Oracle today suggest that the company’s databases are not just being used by cloud customers, but behind the scenes as well.
Oracle seems like an unstoppable juggernaut at the moment, and it’s making some bold moves. Earlier this week it announced that it would stop supporting Intel Itanium processors. Forrester analyst Richard Fichera describes this mostly as an attack on HP.
“Oracle was in a position where an arguably reasonable decision on long-term strategy also had a potentially negative tactical impact on a major competitor, and as such was probably much easier to make,” he writes. Fichera notes how expensive and difficult it is to move migrate from Oracle databases, but suggests that IBM and Microsoft might benefit from the uncertainty that Oracle is creating. Could open source alternatives benefit here as well?