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Giant Sucking Sound: Partners Move Databases to Amazon

Hal Berenson

Hal Berenson

Partners and customers have moved more than 1,000 databases to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud since January 2016. In some cases, the migrations involved dumping Oracle’s databases for Amazon’s Aurora alternative. The secret to the migration success: The AWS Database Migration Service — a “fully managed service” that Amazon has been previewing to partners and customers this year. Now, that tool is available to all customers, Amazon says.

The AWS Database Migration Service a allows customers to “migrate their production Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL databases from on-premises datacenters to AWS with virtually no downtime,” the cloud giant says. During that migration process, one-third of customers shifted from one database engine to another using the AWS Schema Conversion Tool, according to Hal Berenson, VP, Relational Database Services, AWS.

Berenson’s database pedigree shows just how serious Amazon is about this market. He spent more than 20 years at Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) building enterprise-scale databases and on line transaction processing (OLTP) systems. Like many DEC database and operating system veterans, he jumped to Microsoft in the 1990s to work on the SQL Server during two rounds with the software company. By 2014, he landed at Amazon to drive the company’s database services.

AWS Database Cloud Partners

Still, Berenson and Amazon aren’t alone in their efforts. Many of the recent database migrations to AWS involved MSPs and channel partners. For instance, Apps Associates helped Thomas Publishing to migrate from Oracle on-premises to Amazon’s Aurora alternative. And the media company plans to move more databases to Amazon’s cloud in 2016, according to Hans Wald, CTO, Thomas Publishing.

Apps Associates isn’t a born-in-the-cloud startup. The company was founded in 2002 by former employees of Oracle Consulting Services. Also, the company hasn’t bet its business on Amazon. Instead, Apps Associates continues to work with a range of database, ERP and cloud systems.

Moreover, Apps Associates appears to have plenty of partner company within Amazon’s cloud. Additional Amazon database migration partners include 2nd Watch, Cloudexa, Datapipe, USTglobal, LogicWorks, Pythian and Slalom.

Oracle, Microsoft Database Moves

Rival database providers like Oracle and Microsoft aren’t standing still. Although Oracle’s on-premises database sales continue to fall, the company’s SaaS and PaaS revenues were $583 million, up 57% in U.S. dollars for Oracle’s most recent quarter. (IaaS revenues, meanwhile, dipped slightly.)

Meanwhile, Microsoft is expanding SQL Server to Linux, and is offering free licenses to Oracle customers that shift to Microsoft’s database.

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