Oracle puts its 11g database in Amazon's cloud

Company also announces software for backing up databases to Amazon storage service

SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle Corp. is offering its 11g database, Fusion Middleware and Enterprise Manager products through Web Services' Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), the vendor said today at the start of its OpenWorld conference.

Oracle will also let customers use existing software licenses on EC2 at no additional cost.

To help customers get up and running on EC2, Oracle developed a set of Amazon Machine Images. These allow users to spool up new virtual machines already provisioned with 11g, Fusion Middleware and Oracle Enterprise Linux within a few minutes, the company said.

Oracle also announced its Secure Backup Cloud Module, a software package based on Oracle Secure Backup that allows customers to back up databases to Amazon's Simple Storage Service, known as S3. Backups can be encrypted, and the module is integrated with Oracle Recovery Manager and Enterprise Manager.

The announcements are "an important, game-changing move for both Oracle and Amazon," Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus said in an e-mail today.

"By allowing database and middleware licenses -- and data -- to be moved to the Amazon cloud without incurring additional Oracle license fees, it makes cloud-based hosting an attractive alternative for Oracle's huge, global customer base," he added. "Of course, it remains to be seen how Amazon will charge to host Oracle applications and databases in EC2 or to back up large data sets to S3."

Security concerns as well as the declining costs of scalable, on-premises grid storage products may discourage some customers from tapping the Amazon services, Kobielus noted.

That said, Oracle's announcement should have a macro effect on the market, since it "sets the stage for further virtualization of all leading database, data warehousing and storage vendors' product stacks," Kobielus said. "So far, Oracle is the only one of the leading [database/data warehousing] vendors that has moved its relational database to Amazon, so it can be considered a first-mover in that regard."

It's likely that Oracle will look to support other cloud platforms besides Amazon in the future, Kobielus said.

But other vendors, such as IBM or Teradata, may not want to support their customers moving database installations to third-party services and may instead choose to offer their own hosted services, Kobielus said.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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