Some may think the cloud-computing price wars are waning — Microsoft cloud chief Scott Guthrie said so just the other day — but apparently Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison hasn’t heard the news.
Announcing fiscal first-quarter earnings that lagged expectations on Thursday, Ellison made it clear he’s on board with infrastructure as a service and intends to compete based partly on price. OK, Ellison famously (and quite vigorously) ridiculed cloud computing as a concept. But that was seven years ago, and clearly he’s changed his mind.
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“Next week at Oracle OpenWorld, we will introduce the second generation of our Infrastructure as a Service,” he said in a news release. “Our Generation2 IaaS delivers twice the compute, twice the memory, four times the storage and ten times more I/O at a 20% lower price than Amazon Web Services. IaaS represents a huge new cloud opportunity for Oracle to layer on top of our rapidly growing SaaS and PaaS businesses.”
For the quarter ended August 31, Oracle reported revenue of $8.6 billion, up 2 percent year over year but below the Wall Street consensus of $8.7 billion. Net income was $1.8 billion, or 44 cents per share, up 5 percent from the same quarter last year.
Delivering Oracle’s database as a service, plus platform as a service, together yielded $798 million in revenue (9 percent of total revenue), up 77 percent year over year — strong evidence of the trend toward using even IT stalwarts such as databases more in the cloud and less on-premises. IaaS revenue was $171 million (2 percent of total revenue), up 7 percent. By far the largest chunk of revenue, however (68 percent), is still coming from Oracle’s on-premises software: $5.8 billion, flat with last year’s comparable quarter.
During the quarter, Oracle added more than 750 new SaaS customers, according to co-CEO Mark Hurd. In contrast, revenue from new software licenses declined by 11 percent year over year, to $1 billion.