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Microsoft to offer Oracle cloud database on Azure

Oracle and Microsoft have trumpeted an expansion of their joint activity with the launch of Oracle Database@Azure. Microsoft will be the only other hyperscaler to offer OCI services

Ahead of next week’s Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas, Oracle and Microsoft have announced Oracle Database@Azure.

This is said to give direct access to Oracle database services running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and deployed in Microsoft Azure datacentres.

It also opens up Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI services to Oracle customers.

“Our expanded partnership with Oracle will make Microsoft Azure the only other cloud provider to run Oracle’s database services and help our customers unlock a new wave of cloud-powered innovation,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.

Oracle chairman and chief technology officer Larry Ellison said: “Most customers already use multiple clouds. Microsoft and Oracle have been working together to make it easy for those customers to seamlessly connect Azure Services with the very latest Oracle Database technology.

“By collocating Oracle Exadata hardware in Azure datacentres, customers will experience the best possible database and network performance.”

Mihir Shah, enterprise head of data at Fidelity Investments, said: “Today’s announcement displays how industry leaders Microsoft and Oracle are putting their customers’ interests first and providing a collaborative solution that enables organisations like Fidelity to deliver best-in-class experiences for our customers, and meet the substantial compliance and regulatory requirements with minimal downtime.”

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Magesh Bagavathi, senior vice-president and global chief technology officer of PepsiCo, also weighed in: “Data is the lifeblood of any business, and the cloud is the best way to analyse it so that insights become actionable.

“The ability to run our mission-critical systems and associated data in the cloud with Oracle Database@Azure gives us a scaled strategic advantage across our global operations.”

And, from Newbury in the UK, Scott Petty, chief technology officer of Vodafone, said: “This new offering from Oracle and Microsoft enables us to deliver innovative and differentiated digital services faster and more cost effectively to our customers.”

Oracle will operate and manage these OCI services directly within Microsoft’s datacentres globally, beginning with regions in North America and Europe.

At an event announcing the expansion of the suppliers’ joint activity, Ellison said: “[We are] taking the Oracle hardware and software, all the Oracle Database hardware that we use in the Oracle Cloud, and all the database software using the Oracle Cloud, and physically moving it into Azure datacentres.

“We are making it convenient and economical for customers to move enormous amounts of data that may be stored in an Oracle database to train an OpenAI model.”

The state of cloud migration

Ellison went on to comment on the state of cloud migration for Oracle workloads. “A majority of the data has not migrated from on-premise into the cloud as yet, but it will,” he said. “And we are trying to hasten that process to make it easier for customers to move their entire datacentre workload to the cloud.”

The expanded partnership will, said the suppliers, provide a “streamlined environment that simplifies cloud purchasing and management between Oracle Database and Azure services”.

They also said, of Oracle Database@Azure: “The new service is designed to eliminate customers’ biggest challenges in adopting multi-cloud architectures, including disjointed management, siloed tools and a complex purchasing process.”

Customers will be able to purchase Oracle Database@Azure through Azure Marketplace, using their existing Azure agreements. They will also be able to use their existing Oracle Database license benefits, including Bring Your Own License and the Oracle Support Rewards programme.

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