Rival software publishers Microsoft and Oracle have formed an alliance to enable Oracle software to run on Microsoft Hyper-V and Windows Azure infrastructure.
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These products will be certified and supported by Oracle. Oracle Linux will be made available to Windows Azure customers.
Licensing is covered by Oracle’s Authorized Cloud Environment licence programme which states that customers are required to count each virtual core as equivalent to a physical core.
Oracle President Mark Hurd (pictured), said: “At Oracle, we are committed to providing greater choice and flexibility to customers by providing multiple deployment options for our software, including on-premises, as well as public, private, and hybrid clouds."
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, said: “Now our customers will be able to take advantage of the flexibility our unique hybrid cloud solutions offer for their Oracle applications, middleware and databases, just like they have been able to do on Windows Server for years.”
For Microsoft, the deal differentiates Azure and Hyper-V from their competitors, according to James Staten, a principal analyst at Forrester. In a blog post he wrote: "It strengthens Hyper-V against VMware vSphere, as Oracle software is only supported on OracleVM and Hyper-V today.
"It gives Windows Azure near equal position against Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the cloud platform wars, as the fully licensed support covers all Oracle software (customers bring their own licenses), and pay-per-use licenses will be resold by Microsoft for WebLogic Server, Oracle Linux, and the Oracle database."
Holger Mueller, vice-president and principal analyst at Constellation, said the partnership should help enterprise scalability that the Oracle platform offers. “It will give Azure customers more deployment options, but also allow Microsoft to use the Oracle tech stack. We would not be surprised if Dynamics apps will run Oracle under the hood in the near future. Oracle is true to its technology partner DNA from early RDBMS days,” he said.
But he added: “Mixing a technology stack is not an easy operation and the question is, why would a high performance seeking cloud prospective customer look at Azure in the first place, if they could go to Oracle anyway. And here lies the double edge nature of this – as it may make Hyper-V compatible applications run on the Oracle cloud stack right away.”