AWS CEO Andy Jassy
AWS Summit Online/screen capture
  • Amazon Web Services and Oracle are in a tug-of-war over Zoom.
  • Zoom became a major feather in Oracle's cap when it announced it was using Oracle's cloud to help it service hundreds of millions of videoconferences each month
  • But AWS CEO Andy Jassy wants the world to know that most of Zoom's infrastructure actually runs on AWS and not on Oracle.
  • On Wednesday, he said so publicly for the first time.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.


There's a tug-of-war going on in the cloud industry between two tech giants - Oracle and Amazon Web Services -over video-conferencing darling, Zoom.

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy yanked the rope on Wednesday when he told the world that "the vast majority of Zoom's cloud infrastructure runs on AWS and it will for foreseeable future."

The comment, which came during a fireside chat on the opening day of the AWS Summit Online virtual conference, was the first time that Jassy has publicly discussed having Zoom as a client.

The backstory here is that Zoom has become a marquee customer for one of Amazon's arch rivals: Oracle.

Oracle founder and chairman Larry Ellison captured national attention when he took to YouTube a couple of weeks ago to post a short video that he recorded on his phone where he professed his love for Zoom, which Oracle had been using internally while employees work from home. Ellison said in the video that Zoom has forever changed how Oracle - and all businesses - will work. But, as Business Insider was the first to report, his testimonial came shortly after Zoom became a new Oracle cloud customer. When the relationship was officially announced, it was seen as a huge win for Oracle, which was a late to cloud computing and has been very far behind the market leaders AWS, Microsoft and Google in just about every measurable way.

Showing off Zoom as a customer during this pandemic - when Zoom has jumped from relative obscurity into the center of everyone's lives - gave Oracle some much-needed clout in the cloud wars. And sure enough, shortly after Oracle publicly announced Zoom as a customer, 8x8, another videoconferencing app that's done well during the pandemic, announced that it, too, had picked Oracle's cloud.

But at about the same time that Oracle's CEO Safra Catz approached Zoom's CEO, Jassy did as well. At the start of the pandemic, both proactively offered a cloud discount to help Zoom deal with its massive uptick in usage. So, Zoom is a customer of both companies, though Oracle has been the only one in the spotlight.

Oracle and AWS have been fists up for years as AWS attempts to nab Oracle's precious database customers away and Oracle takes on AWS in cloud. While Oracle is coming from behind in cloud, it has been fighting against AWS in other ways, such as mounting a campaign to prevent AWS from winning the massive $10 billion(R185 billion) JEDI cloud contract from the Department of Defense, a contract it was once considered a shoo-in to win. With Oracle's help, AWS biggest competitor, Microsoft, walked away with that contract.

It must be irking Jassy to watch Oracle stand up and take a bow over Zoom. So on Wednesday, here's what he said (bolded for emphasis):

In most people's lives, whatever items you need, PPE items, food, whatever you need, people have largely turned to Amazon's retail business and that's made a big difference to people's lives. And the same is true for AWS, where we're trying to help people and companies and organisations function while they can't be operating normally at work. Just the way we're communicating now and what everyone has done at work with video conferencing. We have our own videoconferencing service in Chime but also a lot people use Zoom and the vast majority of Zoom's cloud infrastructure runs on AWS and will for the foreseeable future.

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