Cloud rankings by Lydia Leong of Gartner
Cloud rankings by Lydia Leong of Gartner

Larry Ellison Strikes Back: Oracle Leapfrogs Google in Major Cloud Ranking

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Designed graphic promoting Tomorrow's CFO Digital Event

Designed graphic promoting Tomorrow's CFO Digital Event

Oracle’s remarkable emergence as a major cloud-infrastructure provider accelerated this week as its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure leapfrogged Google Cloud Platform on an influential scorecard published by Gartner’s Lydia Leong.

On my weekly Cloud Wars Top 10 rankings, Google Cloud is #3 and Oracle is #6.

I came across a copy of Leong’s Cloud Integrated IaaS and PaaS Solution Scorecard Comparison—portrayed in graphical format below—and while several of the findings were compelling, the one that jumped out was OCI delivering an “overall weighted score” of 78% versus Google Cloud’s 75%.

Now, surely customers evaluating infrastructure solutions consider factors other than how well IaaS and PaaS are integrated into unified solutions. But with speed to value and innovation having become paramount in today’s blurringly fast world, customers are putting a premium on seamless integration for the foundations of their architectures—and that means IaaS and PaaS have to work together elegantly.

As you’ll see in the graphic below, a few vendors—Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft, and even Alibaba—outscored both Oracle and Google Cloud in Leong’s estimation. But what I found striking was that longshot underdog Oracle was able to supplant the highly capable and technologically advanced Google Cloud.

Up until 9 or 12 months ago, the conventional wisdom was that Oracle, while being a strong player in cloud applications, would never register more than a blip on the baseline of IaaS market-share charts.

But powered by Larry Ellison’s determined conviction that he could make inroads against the seemingly insurmountable trio of AWS, Microsoft, and Google, Oracle has chalked up its first tangible and substantive recognition as not just a player but a big-time player in the enormous cloud-infrastructure. 

Cloud Integrated IaaS and PaaS Solution Scorecard Comparison

Cloud rankings by Lydia Leong of Gartner

Over the past few years, as Oracle struggled to deliver a viable infrastructure offering to the market, Ellison was the target of everything from criticism to ridicule for daring to think that he—or anyone—could touch what many in the media and self-appointed intelligentsia refer to as “The Big 3.”

Ellison should, these wags advised, stick to databases and applications, and leave the industrial-strength stuff to the hyperscalers (average market cap: $2 trillion).

Well, those know-it-alls (will any of those bravehearts raise their hands and admit how wrong they were?) should’ve, as my dear grandmother used to say, “saved their breath to cool their soup” because Ellison thrives on such petty and risk-averse thinking; always has, and always will.

And as I’ve noted previously, that is good—very good—for the entire industry because upheavals like this one show with great clarity that the future is not written, that our fates are not predetermined, and that market leadership comes with a temporary lease rather than a permanent deed.

No doubt, Thomas Kurian and his top-notch team at Google Cloud are already hard at work to shore up all areas that need improvement—perceived or real—and will eagerly take up the challenge of reversing this competitive setback. And Oracle, with Ellison’s love of high-stakes undertakings and its market cap at an all-time high, will surely redouble its efforts to retain its lead for the next time Gartner’s Leong publishes a scorecard like this.

And in the meantime, customers will continue to be the biggest winners of all in the Cloud Wars.

Disclosure: at the time of this writing, both Google Cloud and Oracle were among the many clients of Cloud Wars Media and/or Evans Strategic Communications LLC.


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