According to Amazon, Larry Ellison, the Chairman of Oracle, is all about “No facts, wild claims, and lots of bluster." And it seems like they’ve decided to do something about it. Amazon and Salesforce are both making plans to move away from Oracle database systems in the next few years, according to an anonymous source through The Information.
Looks like Oracle might not only be losing two of its biggest customers in the next few years, but getting some new competitors!
Salesforce, which has also had a tense relationship with Oracle and Ellison, is developing their own alternative database called Sayonara. The company expects to be completely off of Oracle software by 2023, said an anonymous insider. If Sayonara is successful, it could be a major competitor for Oracle, too.
As for Amazon, it has “already switched over two internal databased that underpin its massive e-commerce operation to open-source NoSQL from Oracle.” It’s reportedly going for a cloud platform to be alternative to Oracle infrastructure.
Pros of Going NoSQL
The new system Amazon is trying to switch to is NoSQL. According to Amazon's user guide, NoSQL is a high-performance, non-relational database, housed on open-source technology. But why is it a better system than Oracle?
- NoSQL databases are known for ease of development, scalability, high availability, and resilience
- NoSQL databases trade ACID properties for management systems that allow for a more flexible data model that scales horizontally. They are perfect for situations where traditional management systems (RDBMS) have architectural difficulties. Also unlike traditional SQL databases, the performance of NoSQL is a function of the underlying hardware cluster size, network latency, and the calling application, rather than being dependent on the disk subsystem
- NoSQL databases are more scalable, and their data model addresses issues that relational models don’t, like large volumes of rapidly changing data, and object-oriented programming, like the software Dropbox runs on.
Cons of NoSQL
But Amazon has been using Oracle’s relational databases forever, so they must have some upsides, too.
- NoSQL isn’t designed to replace a relational system completely, so Amazon will have to stay partly on Oracle, or find a second alternative to pick up the slack
- It’s hard to move information from relational databases to a cloud, especially if, like the Oracle software, the database has been around for a long time
Despite the negatives, it seems like Amazon and Salesforce are pretty set on at least partially abandoning Oracle. If they do, it might spell catastrophe for Oracle earnings: Amazon and Salesforce are some of its biggest customers, and even if neither company comes up with a competing system, cloud service or not, their dissent might inspire other big business corporations to move away from relational databases, too.