Oracle unveils "universal credits," license mobility for easy cloud consumption

On the heels of announcing its fully autonomous databases, Oracle rolls out more ways it's trying to cut into with Amazon's cloud dominance.

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison on Tuesday unveiled a set of programs designed to make it easier for customers to move to the cloud and consume cloud services.

With the new "Bring Your Own License" program, customers can use their existing software licenses for Oracle platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings, including Oracle Database, Middleware and Analytics. The new program is similar to Oracle's offering that lets customers bring on-premise licenses to its infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

Next, Oracle is introducing the concept of "universal credits" for cloud consumption. With one contract, customers can tell Oracle how much they expect to spend (on a pay-as-you-go basis, or on a monthly or yearly basis). The customer is then entitled to use that money on any cloud service, including IaaS and PaaS services, spanning Oracle Cloud and Oracle Cloud at Customer. They can switch services or drop certain services without notifying Oracle and can apply their credits to new services when they're made available.

"The actual business terms are very, very simple," Ellison said.

Oracle also recently announced it will be offering a fully autonomous version of its database, which Ellison said critically cuts the costs of human labor and human error.

"If you don't patch the database at Equifax, that could be expensive," he said Tuesday. "Human error can have devastating consequences."

The new programs, Ellison said, are part of Oracle's strategy to cut into Amazon Web Services' cloud dominance.

Oracle is offering "more automation, lower list prices and... simplicity of doing business," he said. Additionally, the company's new programs will "dramatically ease the complexity of contracting for and consuming cloud services."

The Universal Credit program and Bring Your Own License to PaaS will be available on September 25.

Oracle is also promising to match AWS list prices for IaaS with better performance. Ellison said Oracle is aiming to get to a point "where we can guarantee that if you move a workload from Amazon to Oracle, your bill will drop by 50 percent."

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