Saying goodbye to Oracle

Amazon wants its engineers spending their time innovating, not administering databases or juggling database costs. The company embarked on an effort to move its data from traditional Oracle databases to AWS. Migration obstacles included the vast size of Amazon’s fleet—more than 7,500 databases—and personnel-related risks, with the careers of many Amazon employees based on Oracle database platforms. Would those employees fully support the move? Would some just leave?

Smoothing the transition

Amazon created a Program Management Office (PMO), which established clear performance requirements and regular reviews to track progress of the endeavor. An AWS technical core team made recommendations as to which AWS services would be best suited for each category of Amazon data. What’s more, the Amazon team worked specifically to help its Oracle database administrators transition onto new career paths as database managers and AWS solution architects.

Reducing costs and latency

Ultimately, the successful migration affected 800 services, thousands of employees, and millions of customers. By moving from Oracle databases to AWS, Amazon traded database CapEx for OpEx, greatly reduced administration and hardware-management overhead, simplified cost allocation across teams, and eliminated licensing fees. The market leader literally cut database operating costs by 50%, eliminated most database administration and hardware management overhead, and lowered latency of most of its critical services by 40%. That’s innovation at work (at Amazon).

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