AWS to Oracle: Now it's our turn and we got next

At re:Invent, CEO Andy Jassy characterized his company's services as 'super powers' that free customers from the shackles of 'old guard' companies like Oracle.

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AWS CEO Andy Jassy took a few jabs at Oracle CTO Larry Ellison during his AWS re:Invent keynote address on Nov. 30, 2016. Ellison's face briefly appeared on screen next to this slide.

Earlier this year, Oracle CTO Larry Ellison aggressively went after Amazon Web Services, suggesting the database giant could overtake the dominant cloud leader. On Wednesday, at the AWS re:Invent conference, it was AWS CEO Andy Jassy's turn to hit back.

Characterizing AWS' capabilities as "super powers," Jassy's keynote address repeatedly took jabs at Ellison. AWS' first "super power," he said, is X-ray vision -- in other words, "the ability to see through handwaving and bombast." Jassy stood in front of a slide with that same message, and an image of Ellison's head briefly appeared on screen.

Jassy's point was that AWS offers benchmarking and ways to make an "educated decision" about services.

AWS highlighted multiple deals with major customers, underscoring Amazon's dominance in the marketplace. Workday announced it's chosen AWS as its preferred provider for public cloud customer workloads. McDonald's laid out its positive results from using AWS, as well as its future plans on the AWS cloud. Meanwhile, Steve Randich, the CIO of the independent securities regulator Finra, came on stage to discuss its "true database freedom from Oracle with AWS Aurora."

Jassy called this the "super power" of flight -- "the freedom to unshackle from hostile database vendors."

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And to highlight that AWS is really planning to duel with Oracle, Jassy noted that Aurora will be available with PostgreSQL. Why? PostgreSQL code rhymes more with Oracle. In other words, Aurora with PostgreSQL will make it easier for developers to move workloads.

"Fourteen thousand databases have migrated to AWS. There's a lot of pent-up demand trying to get away from the old world of databases," said Jassy.

The CEO unveiled several new products and services in his keynote, such as AI services, aiming to keep up AWS' rapid growth rate. In the third quarter, AWS brought in more than $3.2 billion in revenue, keeping it on track to easily surpass $10 billion in business for the year.

"There's a real changing of the guard right now," Jassy said, with companies like AWS "rising to become the technology partners of the next couple of decades."

The real battle will be in databases. It's clear that AWS and Oracle are gunning for each other.

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