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What multi-tenancy in Oracle Database as a Service means for users

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cloud computing took center stage at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 as the technology vendor unveiled a slew of new cloud applications and platform enhancements. Most notably, CTO Larry Ellison devoted large segments of his two keynote speeches to an upgrade of Oracle Database as a Service that he said will allow on-premises databases and applications to be moved to the cloud "with the push of a button."

Migrating applications to the upgraded Oracle cloud platform automatically gives them multi-tenancy, encryption and other new features, Ellison claimed. In this video interview from the conference, Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at San Francisco-based Constellation Research, explains what the new functionality means for Oracle users.

"Oracle has a very database-centric view of multi-tenancy," Mueller said. "Classically, what we've heard from many other SaaS vendors is multi-tenancy comes from the subscriber. The big advantage of multi-tenancy from the database side is that you can apply all the standard tools to the database." That isn't the case with the approach of software as a service (SaaS) rivals, such as, that "stripe" their databases by subscriber, he added. "You can't use standard [business intelligence] tools, [or] standard data management tools, because the database physically is a mix of different subscribers' data."

Mueller addressed Ellison's claim of push-button migration to the cloud. "Overall," he said, "it's amazingly simple to move both data and Java applications … to the cloud, which is a huge value for existing Oracle customers."

He also compared Oracle's cloud moves to those of rivals SAP and Microsoft. One critical difference, Mueller noted, is that Oracle and Microsoft are motivated to provide cloud options that improve the total cost of ownership of their database platforms. In contrast, SAP is in the "lucky situation -- or unlucky situation" of not yet having a significant user base for its HANA in-memory database, he said.

Text by David Essex. Email him at and follow us on Twitter: @SearchOracle.

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