back to article Our brave El Reg vulture sat through four days of Oracle OpenWorld to write this cracking summary just for you

Cloud, cloud, cloud, cloud. Oracle – the IT giant once known for its derision of the off-premises tech – spent its four-day annual conference waxing lyrical about how it is now great at the fluffy stuff. Having been caught on the back foot, and having watched Amazon, Google, and Microsoft zoom past it, Oracle has been forced …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oracle will lose

    regardless of whether their new shiny stuff is better than the other vendors’ new shiny stuff.

    Their aggressive lock-in tactics helped them milk billions out of unwitting clients, but they won’t be able to fool enough people a second time to build a hyper scale cloud business.

    That’s not to say clients should trust AWS, Microsoft, Google etc, but this is one instance where the devil they know has screwed them too many times.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Oracle will lose

      Their aggressive lock-in tactics helped them milk billions out of unwitting clients, but they won’t be able to fool enough people a second time

      *cough* Microsoft *cough*

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oracle will lose

        "...*cough* Microsoft *cough*..."

        Yep, and *cough* IBM Mainframe *cough*

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oracle will lose

        "*cough* Microsoft *cough*"

        At least MS provide reasonable access to their software to devs who are working on their platforms.

        Try being a dev in an Oracle shop that happens to also use an Oracle backend for a commercial system - if they ever do a licensing audit Oracle will completely ignore their "OTN" license for developers and turn the thumbscrews to ensure any dev and test instance will cost one arm + one leg.

        Oracle are downright unethical.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Oracle will lose

      Not sure if they will lose, they'll just do what Adobe and Microsoft have already done successfully - raise costs for on-premises software which you purchase outright, make cloud and rented software cheaper, stop developing the on-premises software, and then start boiling the flog.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Try as they might, they are not a systems company and most definitely not a cloud company..

    As a looong time Unix user, late 70s onwards, oracle's cloud offering is amateurish compared to Azure or AWS.

    The only good thing about oracle was marvelling at an oracle employee managing to smile her way through some aggressive questioning at a bash in Davis Drive in '88; she obviously impressed her boss who was watching...L.E.

    1. el_oscuro

      Re: O.r.a.c.l.e

      We once had an Oracle sales droid trying to get us to buy some "security" product. Something like Oracle Identity Manager but 20 years ago. He was saying: "It is so easy to set up, you just put the CD in and click next a few times and you can literally have it set up in 5 minutes". So my project manager said: "Good. We have a server upstairs. Let's set it up now." I swear, the result was this:

      And many years later, I had a golden opportunity to do the same thing with a sales droid for an Oracle Database Appliance and I completely blew it. Using a phone to capture the moment is too awkward. I need some sort of stealth camera.

  3. -tim

    Trusted extensions in the cloud?

    Can you even run their labeled system stuff properly in the cloud? They say their cloud stuff is a fortress but if it has a screen door, a bunker with a real door would be better.

    Who am I kidding... people don't use the trusted extensions since they were just too hard.

  4. Giovani Tapini

    Oracle has no future

    they only continue to make money while the companies that still need Oracle are forced to pay for it. Very few shops will standardise on their services.

    Most shops run Oracle services because they have to. Over time if their customers don't die from being bled white in licencing they'll replace the technology with cheaper and more manageable alternatives. It's only a matter of time.

    They have relied on their past for too long when they actually invested in improving the database technology itself and led the pack, now they are just an expensive backmarker.

    Oracle appear to have noticed this a bit and started branching out, but as people know how they operate it may not be as straightforward as they think.

    I've already opened my popcorn and my Friday beer is chilling...

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Oracle has no future

      by automating the DBA side of things, I wonder if they're quite literally undermining their potential "unofficial" sales staff, who would be willing to advocate "more Oracle solutions" to solve problems that can't be solved by a few minutes/hours/days of actual effort...

      Oracle aims pistol at foot, claims it will reduce the "cost footprint" of ownership...

      I'm a fan of PostgreSQL anyway. I've DL'd older versions of Oracle (9i I think was the last one I DL'd) in the past, thinking that learning their system would somehow benefit me. I still prefer PG, although the Java-based admin tools WERE convenient.

      'mainframe' thinking like "cloud-based" just doesn't fit with a distributed mindset anyway. It's *STILL* a single basket, in which all eggs are placed. Right, google? Right, github? Yeah, we *NEVER* have "outages" now do we???

      This ALSO reminds me of Micro-shaft jumping on the "fondle-slab and phone" bandwagon way too late. By then the wagon was nearly out of gas, but we ended up with "The Metro" Windows 'Ape' and Win-10-nic anyway... because "all computers" were PHONES, now, according to THAT kind of thinking!

      "All databases" are *NOT* cloud infrastructures. Oracle needs to remember that.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Trash talking

    As soon as hear a company doing that, I walk away. It is a clear mark of desperation.

  6. IHateWearingATie

    Given their worse-than-usual licencing antics at a previous client, they'd have to work pretty hard to make it to even the long list of providers for any projects I work on.

    I'm used to companies taking the biscuit, but Oracle took the biscuit tin, the kitchen table and the car outside as well.

  7. frank ly

    Just wondering

    "...any malicious attacker (even if they get access to a customer's data) cannot also reach other customers or the provider's control plane,”..."

    Is there any possibility that Oracle will use the internet to access their control plane for monitoring/controlling their remote cloud corrals?

    1. DCFusor Silver badge

      Re: Just wondering

      Seems to me that if the control plane has any connection at all to the customer stuff - as it must to be of any use at all....

      It's gonna be "challenge accepted" by hackers, and they're gonna win. In any asymmetric warfare situation the defender is at a huge disadvantage. They have to sit there and defend...they have to have a fairly uniform interface for their customers...they can't just change up overnight (or over-nanosecond). Attackers have all the time in the world, can come from any direction (or IP range used by customers)..and so far, nothing has been immune to that - zero.

      All it's going to take is for an attacker to find a way to poison the data the control plane requires from the stuff it's controlling, and bingo, there will be a hole somewhere - there haven't exactly been a lot of exceptions to that even if you leave Adobe out of it.

      And yeah, I know a few people who work with Oracle stuff - zero of them like it, their licensing, or their support, along with their practice of forcing them to buy cloud licenses under threat of an audit of their on-prem stuff. The ones who can are porting to, well, anything else. The ones stuck supporting some government shop are stuck, so far.

      1. Giovani Tapini

        Re: Just wondering

        If you think of hacking as licence avoidance the whole company will be defending...

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Just wondering

        And yeah, I know a few people who work with Oracle stuff - zero of them like it, their licensing, or their support...

        They have support?

        Oh. You mean where you pay them lot of money, submit SRs, know more than the drones, and find out the solution before "support" comes back with any answers. Some suggestions from their "support" would have wiped out production databases.

        Most useful part of the support is the MOS archive. Also, they do have some people with a clue, but getting to them can be a challenge.

  8. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    "Impenetrable barrier?"

    Let's see...

    Highly complex software systems? Check

    In same network? Check

    Can't wait to see what the next Def Con will present about that one!

    I used to think barriers are impenetrable, but then I've got to explain why I have these kids running around...

  9. Korev Silver badge

    Our brave El Reg vulture sat through four days of Oracle OpenWorld to write this cracking summary just for you

    I don't know how much they pay Rebecca, but however much it isn't enough!

    Have one to help you get over the trauma -->

  10. Jay Lenovo

    Proof of Pudding

    When I start hearing my existing Oracle customer colleagues happy about being Oracle customers, I will buy into the Kool-aid.

  11. Lorribot Bronze badge

    Oracle is doing everything it can to wring as much money out of companies as it can. The latest is Java.

    As a business you will need to start licencing Java. Yest that freebie security black hole is chargeable if you want updates. If you ran an app like SAP you will not have any choice. If you run it on VMware or Hyper=v you will have to licence it for every core in your estate that runs a hypervisor, because you could run it on anyone of them. Now if you just migrated to Oracle VM there is a way round it, but then thts more Oracle licencing.

    How much? Around $22 per 2 cores per month.

    10 hosts, with 2 sockets and 16 cores is $3250 per month or £42K for something that was free.

    1. Morten Bjoernsvik

      More competition please

      We're using Azure standard and basic tiers, and their CPU/Disk/IO/Mem allocations seem to 'optimize' with each new version. Resulting in apps taking longer and longer to start. On my laptop logstash takes 35sec to start (I7 4600), in azure on standard tiers it takes 5minutes.

      Probably wants us to pay more for better tiers. Some wants to take it back inhouse. So I hope for Oracle/Dell/HP to get their clouds into shape. We need more competition. If you buy an Oracle license you get free servers in their cloud. They cant sell it, they can only give it away.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm told the next version of Oracle's venerable old money spinner will add a second row to sys.dual to finally bring the content in line with the name.

  13. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Spelling error?

    “Hurd issues bullish predictions”

    You mispleleled “Bullshit”

  14. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I give them credit for trying to differentiate on security.

    But I am not sure I see a real strategic vision here. It sounds to me like they are basing their strategy on what they have (applications, legacy on-prem customers, systems) rather than developing a strategy and then creating/buying the stuff they need to execute it.

    And Oracle burned a number of bridges from back in the days when they were basically it for 80% of database applications and one of two choices for ERP/backoffice (Oracle or SAP--talk about "damned if you do, damned if you don't"), and put the screws to customers with their expensive and rather domineering license business.

  15. chris 251

    lipstick on a pig

    Tragically I've been unfortunate enough to actually use Oracle Cloud....what a pig.

    To say they are a couple of years behind the likes of Azure and AWS isnt really fair.....on Azure or AWS, they were never this bad.

  16. Jonathanvincenzo

    Oracle is still the best but....

    Oracle won’t lose this game. They have the best db technology stack in the world, bar non in the rdbma space, Yes, the software is stupidly expensive to own and run. But the are the best. Most people I run into don’t dislike the actual product. They hate them company and the way it runs. If oracle could get out of its win at all costs mentality, the hate level would likely drop quite a bit. We all know a couple of shady(or downright nasty) reps and have had to tangle with them. If oracle treated us like partners(or even clients) and not “the enemy”, this wouldn’t be an issue.

    Step one:remove those draconian licesne restrictition on VMware clusters! Oracles cloud on prem is niot in the same ballpark as VMware. Deal with it. That game is pretty much over and VMware won the datacenter virtualization race. The smart people take another persons great ideas and make them better. Or the leverage the best work to make their offering “better with”.

    License models are nightmarishly expensive. And they should be,..we are not looking to by a yugo. We want a Maserati. The cost more because they are objectively a better car to go fast in. What irks people is simply that oracle has restricted our choice of deployments to on prem and their cloud. On prem, where we mostly virtualize these day gets prohibitively expensive because I cannot partition my workload. I have to license every cpu and core running in a VMware cluster, even if I’m not using it. Loosen that up, and you’d see on prem sales go up. It’s just a policy after all, not a change of code!

    In summary:oracle sales needs to ease off on hiring the typeA people who push and push and threaten to get the win. Second, ease of on you vendetta against VMware. Let us leverage sub capacity license model on VMware. Finally, know that most of us love the product, we just feel like you have tied our hands with the attitude of not working well with others. These days, a single stack solution is always a compromise. As architects and developers we want to use the best too for the job. Acknowledge that it might not ALWAYS be your tools. You are in there, but as a piece of a larger whole

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