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September 14, 2020

Oracle Touts an Exadata Backlog

In reporting modest revenue growth during its fiscal 2021 first quarter, Oracle Corp. emphasized that continuing growth hinges on the steady shift of its flagship database software and hardware technologies to the cloud.

Of particular note was the cloud database vendor’s assertion of strong demand for its Exadata data warehouse offering, which the company said last week is driving its hardware sales.

In detailing Oracle’s quarterly results, which included a 2 percent increase in revenues to $9.367 billion, Oracle CEO Safra Catz cited robust demand for its Exadata hardware. On a quarterly basis, Catz said Exadata revenues climbed 15 percent, with bookings hitting double digits.

The “enormous Exadata backlog” has more than doubled since last year, the company said, although it acknowledged pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions earlier this year. Nevertheless, Catz asserted during a quarterly earnings call with analysts last week, “the reality is that this segment is very, very strongly. It has now gotten large enough.”

Catz continued: Demand for Exadata represents “a commitment by our customers to Oracle…. you don’t find Exadata to run anything, but Oracle Database.”

As its pushes its database cloud migration, Oracle executives stressed that its technology licenses can be transferred to its cloud services platform. “We have this thing called bring your own license to the cloud,” said Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison.

“We encourage our customers to buy licenses, buy more licenses, and our pitch is, ‘You can run those licenses in your data center on-premise or you can bring those licenses to the cloud and get big discounts running database in the cloud’,” Ellison said.

While some customers keep critical database and analytics workloads in-house, Oracle is betting on a steady migration to at least hybrid cloud deployments.

Still, a growing list of vendors continues to nip at the heels of dominate database vendors that include Oracle, its MySQL unit, along with other data warehousing incumbents such as IBM Netezza, Microsoft SQL Server and SAP HANA.

In citing its leading position in last year’s Gartner rankings for operational database management systems, William Hardie, an Oracle vice president, pointed to infrastructure such as Exadata that serves as the foundation for its database software and its cloud push via the company’s “autonomous database” platform.

For now, Catz said last week, Oracle’s hardware growth is driven by Exadata, which is supported on its public cloud infrastructure called Cloud@Customer.

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