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Oracle lines up cloud updates in battle with Amazon Web Services

Oracle already promised it would always at least match -- if not outright beat -- Amazon Web Services on pricing.

SAN FRANCISCO---Cloud is at the top of the agenda at Oracle's annual flagship show OpenWorld this week, and the tech giant unveiled a number of updates for the portfolio on Tuesday morning.

Oracle executives typically never shy away from calling out the competition by name, and based on the new additions, it is clear that Oracle is taking on Amazon Web Services especially.

Among the brand new offerings are Elastic Compute and Dedicated Compute infrastructure options for running workloads across either shared or isolated compute zones, supporting both Windows and Linux, among other operating systems.

The Oracle Compute Cloud can also be used for deploying and running apps within Docker-based containers, which have surged in popularity for running, packaging and shipping programs for more than a year now.

Oracle is also taking a deeper dive into the Internet of Things movement with its own dedicated cloud service designed for connected apps, hardware, sensors and incoming data.

Similar to the new cloud storage and network services, Oracle is touting more flexibility for linking up third-party software providers, whether they be delivered on-premise or as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Taking that data a bit farther, Oracle introduced its Data Visualization Cloud Service, which essentially takes data from a variety of sources (including SaaS apps, on-premises systems, personal files and other external sources) to crunch and visualize that data into business trends and insights. Those visual renderings can be shared across organizations on both mobile and desktop devices.

Thomas Kurian, president of product development at Oracle, explained at Tuesday's keynote that the data service is meant for employees who aren't given access to data warehouses or infrastructures.

"There are only two guiding principals to it: you only need to have a spreadsheet, and you only need to have a browser," Kurian summarized.

Numerous tech giants have unveiled dedicated cloud programs intended to cater to the proliferation of data from connected apps and devices, huddled together under the Internet of Things umbrella. Among them are Salesforce.com, IBM and, most recently, Amazon Web Services.

Many of Amazon's new data analytics and streaming services can be found within its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service interface designed to make building for the cloud at scale easier for developers.

Since launching a few years ago, Oracle boasted its cloud has grown to serve more than 70 million users and 34 billion transactions from 19 data centers worldwide on a daily basis.

Larry Ellison, Oracle's executive chairman and chief technology officer, opened the show on Sunday evening by unveiling new products for managing cloud-based apps and platform services.

Among them were two new channels for manufacturing and e-commerce, which Ellison characterized as stepping stones as Oracle "fills out its footprint" in the cloud.

Ellison also promised Oracle would always at least match -- if not outright beat -- Amazon Web Services on pricing.

AWS, much like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, has become rather famous for routine price cuts for cloud services throughout the year -- although the tactic was noticeably absent at Amazon's own annual developer summit earlier this month.

Nevertheless, Ellison insisted Oracle will never price higher than AWS.

Kurian also briefly noted that Oracle would be introducing a new cloud engineered system further linking public cloud and on-premises services during Ellison's second keynote address later on Tuesday.