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Amazon’s consumer businesses finally complete the switch to AWS from Oracle

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Amazon’s Web Services is the number one cloud provider in the world, with more than 34% of all cloud applications running on the company’s servers. Despite that, until now, Amazon’s consumer businesses have been stuck using traditional Oracle databases, meaning services such as Alexa and Twitch weren’t completely leveraging all that AWS has to offer. 

Well, now Oracle databases are no longer in use by Amazon’s consumer businesses, with the firm severing ties with its rival in the cloud space. The move was no easy feat, however, with Amazon’s engineers forced to move 75 petabytes of internal data stored in nearly 7,500 Oracle databases, covering more than 100 consumer services. 

“Over the years we realised that we were spending too much time managing and scaling thousands of legacy Oracle databases. Instead of focusing on high-value differentiated work, our database administrators (DBAs) spent a lot of time simply keeping the lights on while transaction rates climbed and the overall amount of stored data mounted. This included time spent dealing with complex & inefficient hardware provisioning, license management, and many other issues that are now best handled by modern, managed database services,” noted AWS Technical Evangelist, Jeff Barr. 

Many of Amazon’s key consumer-facing businesses were affected by the move, including Alexa, Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Fresh, Kindle, Amazon Music, Audible, Shopbop, Twitch, and Zappos. Internal teams were also caught up in the transition, with AdTech, Amazon Fulfillment Technology, Consumer Payments, Customer Returns, Catalog Systems, Deliver Experience, Digital Devices, External Payments, Finance, InfoSec, Marketplace, Ordering, and Retail Systems all making the switch. 

All of AWS’ database services were available to the teams in the switchover, whether it was Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Aurora, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), or Amazon Redshift. Each team was able to select exactly which service worked for their individual needs, and the migrations were accomplished with little or no downtime. 

Of course there was one key reason behind the switch from Oracle to the company’s own AWS – huge cost savings. Amazon says that it was able to negotiate a preferable rate for access to AWS, which is hardly surprising considering they’re all part of the same company. This rate is reported to have cut Amazon’s database costs by over 60%.

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