The Best Cloud Provider: OCI vs. AWS

Published by Macy Sears on August 28, 2020

The Epic Battle Between Cloud Providers

The rise of technology is taking the cloud computing sector by storm, leaving the two leading cloud providers continuously battling over who will remain on top. Amazon shocked the industry with its release of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in August 2006. Oracle took a different, slower approach to the emerging cloud industry. They took the time to develop an infrastructure that addressed the key pain points of users. While the delay in becoming a cloud provider may have been viewed as a disadvantage, the 2016 release of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) proved to be worth the wait.   

Cloud adoption is a trending topic among many enterprises. Companies have begun to fear the repercussions that follow if they are not updated with the new, emerging technologies. The question no longer remains centered upon if or when, but rather who you’ll choose as your cloud provider. When making the switch from on-premise to cloud, you’ll want to ensure your provider aligns with your organization’s needs. For that reason, we are here to help. Below, we will break down and compare some of the essential differences between the two main front runners.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers both Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions. Due to their early release, AWS was able to capture a large portion of the cloud customers. Its sizable scale has channeled them into becoming the biggest vendor within the market, hosting distinct sites such as Facebook and Netflix. However, bigger does not always mean better.

Amazon prides itself on offering a wide variety of services and functionality to expand the AWS cloud environment. This includes capabilities within storage, computing, databases, and tools. With this, they aim to please their customers in various sectors, promoting speed and agility. Even so, the vast amount of available services does not mean you can necessarily do whatever you want. 

While they may lead the industry with their high number of customers, AWS does have some consequential drawbacks leaving users to question its overall sustainability.  

AWS has also faced some significant service outages, capturing the attention of many.

  • April 2011 – AWS suffered argumentatively one of the most impactful outages to date. Top customers like Reddit and Quora, were affected by the crash of the Elastic Block Store (EBS) and went dark. Service took almost four days to be fully restored in the US East Region.
  • June 2012 – AWS was taken offline again in the US East Region due to a power outage. Failing over to the backup generator, Amazon experienced continued issues as it was unable to handle the load of EC2 instances and EBS. Service was restored to the region the following morning.
  • October 2012 – Another substantial impact to the EBC and EC2 services taking down top sites like Reddit, Heroku, and Imgur for multiple hours.
  • December 2012 – On Christmas Eve, Amazon suffered problems with its Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) resulting in downtime for major companies like Netflix. The incident, unfortunately, came at a terrible time and had a significant impact on the video streaming service. The outage lasted almost 20 hours.
  • February 2017 – An employee input the wrong command during a debugging to the billing system. The typo removed a number of the S3 servers, resulting in a five-hour outage.  

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle Cloud offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Data as a Service (DaaS). Oracle Cloud supports a number of services and applications used to build, deploy, and manage environments. Oracle was faced with the challenge of entering into a market with established cloud providers. While they’ve captured large customers such as Zoom and Nissan, they overall account for a significantly less share within the market. However, Oracle viewed the challenge as more determination to level the playing field. 

Oracle’s cloud infrastructure underwent a rebrand and was released during Oracle Openworld 2018 as the second generation cloud – gen2 cloud. It promoted access to Oracle’s autonomous database with the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The enhancement took on a whole new meaning to limiting human error and increased performance for the cloud. Oracle was now giving its competitors a run for its money.


Cost-saving alternatives are amongst top priorities within every organization. When you’re hosting on-prem, you’re taking on the costs associated with locally running your own data centers and servers. Not to mention the additional costs that come along with housing backup systems. Migrating to the cloud shifts these responsibilities onto your cloud provider, generating immense internal savings.

Although shifting to the cloud promotes lower costs, not all providers are created equal. Oracle Cloud comes in as substantially lower in cost compared to Amazon. This is mainly due to fees associated with data egress. Cloud customers have voiced concerns over hidden fees relating to data transfer. Like many cloud providers, Oracle does not charge for inbound data transfer; however, where they blow the competition out of the water is by offering 10TB of outbound data transfer for free. AWS only offers 1GB free of charge.


In 2018, Oracle received the Editor’s Choice award from StorageReview. They were praised for their performance and innovations in regard to their compute bare metal instances.  In August, AWS was compared against the same workloads. The results came strongly in favor of the performance of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as a leading cloud provider. 

By giving Oracle customers access to its autonomous database, they are inevitably provided with cutting edge technologies and the ability to outperform their competitors. Automating routine services, such as patches, ensures reliability and performance each time. The autonomous database also offers the capabilities of elastic scaling. You can quickly scale up or down to accommodate your business needs. 

A significant performance setback of AWS refers to the default limitations on resources specific per region. When an EC2 account is created with Amazon, the default number of instances is set at 20. Increases require approval from Amazon itself and are again specific to the particular region. As you can imagine, this can greatly impact scalability.

Cloud Security

The need to secure and protect data is at an all-time high. Heightened security measures and limiting risks lead as a primary concern throughout every organization. Data security breaches are becoming more prevalent every day, and its lasting impact can be detrimental. Cloud security is built with technologies to protect against unauthorized access, hackers, and many other risks. 

Oracle views cloud security as a core tendency, which is demonstrated with its customer isolation and automation capabilities. The infrastructure is designed with layers of data encryption, controls, and security compliance regulations for ensuring safety is maintained. At Oracle Openworld, they announced the introduction of the autonomous database and the feature of maximum security zones. It works to protect against the consequences relating to misconfigurations, which was a likely reference to the Capitol One- AWS hack.

Whenever an organization experiences downtime, they become exponentially vulnerable to the threat of an attack. As previously mentioned, AWS suffered a strong amount of media backlash in regard to their past service interruptions. Due to their track record, it’s understandable for the hesitations that came along questioning their ability to provide a secure infrastructure. 

Migration Process

Cloud providers aim to simplify and ease the migration process in a number of ways. Cloud migration refers to the shift in infrastructure, services, databases, and applications to the cloud platform. The transition can also refer to a shift between cloud providers. You’ll first want to determine the intended method of deployment. Both Oracle Cloud and AWS offer options for Public Cloud, Private, or even Hybrid Cloud.

Oracle Cloud remains a favorable cloud provider due to the overall simplicity of its cloud implementation. They introduced the Zero DownTime Migration capability as a way to avoid significant system downtime. Oracle also gains recognition in reference to the Lift and Shift automation model. With its help, on-premise PeopleSoft environments can be migrated over to the cloud with the simple click of a button.   

Although Oracle received criticism around its late entry into the cloud market, its valuable functionalities counteract its delay and prove its worth. If you are looking to make the switch, Sentinel Software can assist by providing cloud hosting and support for easy migration to the cloud

Have more questions? Contact us to receive more information on how you can benefit from Oracle as your cloud provider and Sentinel’s cloud hosting.  

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