There was a very significant announcement from Amazon Web Services yesterday – read it here. AWS will be offering Oracle 11g as part of their Relational Database Service, which currently is restricted to MySql.
Once this is released (planned for Q2 2011), it will be the first time that you can pay for Oracle DB by the hour – up to now it’s always been a BYOL (bring your own license) model for Oracle which is OK but is a barrier to usage. Notably on the AWS website page about this announcement Oracle RAC is not mentioned anywhere though, so this is still a gap in the Enterprise market.
It’ll be interesting to see how the pricing pans out as the Oracle license will be wrapped into the hourly charge, and so that will create a strong incentive to still use the MySQL RDS service I’d have thought as it’ll be cheaper. They’re both transactional, resilient/replicated and offer bog standard SQL support – so why pay more? I guess if you’ve got a software product that depends on Oracle though and would not be officially supported otherwise, then this opens up new possibilities.