- Google has announced a new product that helps customers migrate from Oracle databases to its cloud.
- The move also aims to gain ground on Amazon Web Services’ database product, Aurora.
- A Google executive tells Insider that the key to beating the competition is a “friendlier” pricing model.
Google’s cloud unit is stepping up its efforts to win over big businesses and intensify competition with rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Google Cloud announced a new database service called AlloyDB at its annual I/O developer conference on Wednesday. The new product is based on the popular open source database management system PostgreSQL.
Andi Gutmans, the company’s chief executive officer and vice president of databases, says AlloyDB is the tech giant’s answer, which helps enterprise companies move their databases from data centers and legacy protective technology vendors to its cloud.
Gutmans told Insider that his development is in response to “a growing demand from our customers to help them get rid of legacy, proprietary databases like Oracle.”
Oracle’s flagship databases have long been the technology of choice for large businesses. But Google and its cloud partner AWS They called on “legacy” IT vendors like the database giant to confine customers to long-term contracts and force them to pay for licenses they might not need years ago.
Leaving Oracle’s databases or another competitor such as Microsoft SQL Server is a major technical challenge that often prevents companies from fully transitioning to the cloud. Those who do not have the in-house expertise to migrate often rely on IT service providers or use migration assistance programs from the cloud providers themselves.
However, companies that haven’t given up on their long-standing database technologies or on-premises systems still represent a huge opportunity for cloud providers. According to Gartner’s latest findings, Oracle still holds 20.6% of the overall database management system market.
Gutmans says Google Cloud has so far tested AlloyDB with select customers, including some from the financial services and retail industries. The database is still in preview, and the company hopes to make it fully available later this year.
Of course, Google’s AlloyDB also competes with Amazon’s Aurora database, one of the Seattle cloud giant’s fastest-growing products since its launch in 2015.
Based on its own performance tests conducted in March, Google says AlloyDB is twice as fast as Aurora at processing transactional data. While Gutmans says the results are based on the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s industry standard benchmark, the claim has yet to be independently tested.
Gutmans says Google Cloud’s plan to differentiate it from competitors like AWS also includes charging for AlloyDB based on the storage and compute resources customers actually use. It does not plan to charge for data input and output or IOPS that AWS charges. Gutmans said these costs add up to 60% of a customer’s data bill, according to what customers told Google Cloud.
Oracle also criticized AWS for what it called a “hostile” pricing model for data transfer fees, or the cost of moving data between different hosts. Oracle’s website even says that AWS charges for IOPS at “significantly higher prices” compared to its own cloud.
“If customers are using more IOPS than we expect on a single workload, we take that risk,” Gutmans said. “It’s a much easier pricing model that’s less about how much customers pay, but it’s really about cost predictability and feeling like you really understand what you’re paying for.”
But Google has a long way to go to catch up with competitors like AWS. The cloud platform occupies a distant third place in overall market share after AWS and Microsoft Azure, but CEO Thomas Kurian has aggressively sought to shift the unit toward profitability and increasing sales since taking over three years ago.
While Google Cloud hopes to make headway by courting large enterprise customers with the new database, it will be a challenge. Databases is a particularly competitive field where all cloud giants as well as startups like Cockroach Labs want to dominate.
Any vendor holding a customer’s data has the opportunity to sell more of their cloud and software services, and Gutmans says Google plans to leverage it with AlloyDB.
“We definitely think it will also help us get new customers,” Gutmans said. Said.