Oracle and Microsoft strengthen cloud partnership with Oracle Database@Azure launch

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Oracle and Microsoft have announced a new service that will allow customers to access Oracle database servers located in Microsoft Azure data centers.

Intended to smoothen the cloud transition and give customers more flexibility when it comes to managing their multi-cloud environment, Oracle said that its existing customers could benefit from Azure without having to unlearn Oracle tools and processes.

The service will see Oracle database services running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) hosted for the first time in Azure data centers, widening the availability of Oracle’s various product offerings and bringing in new benefits such as the low latency of Azure.

Customers will be able to purchase Oracle Database@Azure through the Azure Marketplace, and deploy the service using developer tools such as Azure application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kids (SDKs).

Complex purchasing processes were identified by Oracle and Microsoft as one of the biggest challenges customers face when it comes to adopting multi-cloud architectures, and it hopes that having the service on the Azure Marketplace will mitigate this.

They also identified disjointed management and siloed tools as two of the other major pain points for customers - factors addressed by the service’s “fully integrated experience” within the Azure portal.

“As we continue our digital transformation through innovation and technology, interoperability across cloud service providers to enable safe, secure, and rapid financial transactions for our 40 million customers is paramount,” said Mihir Shah, enterprise head of data, Fidelity Investments. 

“Today’s announcement displays how industry leaders Microsoft and Oracle are putting their customers’ interests first and providing a collaborative solution that enables organizations like Fidelity to deliver best-in-class experiences for our customers and meet the substantial compliance and regulatory requirements with minimal downtime.”

In the past year, CIOs have expressed concern that cloud complexity exceeds human ability, with IT teams unable to process data efficiently due to massive overburdening and lack of understanding of their cloud environment.

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Bringing together the Oracle and Azure tools could allow customers to choose the approach that best fits their needs.

Oracle will operate the services, which are set to launch in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany initially.

In a live stream on the announcement, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the new service is the product of a lengthy collaboration between the two firms, and that it would allow customers to better reap the benefits of their data.

“Everyone’s very excited about the cloud, we’ve been talking about it for a long time, but actually a majority of the data has not migrated from on-premise into the cloud as yet,” said Ellison.

“But it will, and we're trying to hasten that process to make it easier for customers to actually move their entire data center workload to the cloud. And that means moving all those Oracle databases which are currently on-premise into the cloud, for everything to coexist and be easily managed even though some of this technology is Oracle's technology, some of the technology is Microsoft’s Technology, to allow you to seamlessly manage that infrastructure that's a multi-cloud, multi-provider infrastructure.

“To be able to do that in a convenient secure reliable way, that's what we're trying to accomplish with this partnership.”

Nadella argued that the inclusion of Oracle Database in Azure was also well-timed for the rising interest in and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Generative AI models in particular hinge on the careful organization of massive amounts of data.

“When I look at anything that you do around AI you need to have access to data, and so to have now Oracle Database in Azure means we can take something like Azure OpenAI, and take it to where the data is. 

“So whether it is fine-tuning a model, pre-training a model, or meta prompting a model [it] requires that low latency access to data and so we are very very excited. This is the moment where data and AI come together to transform data businesses and business processes, it couldn’t be a more profound timing of these two things.”

Rory Bathgate
Staff Writer

Rory Bathgate is a staff writer at ITPro covering the latest news on artificial intelligence and business networks. He can also be found co-hosting the ITPro Podcast with Jane McCallion, swapping a keyboard for a microphone to discuss the latest learnings with thought leaders from across the tech sector.

In his free time, Rory enjoys photography, video editing, and good science fiction. After graduating from the University of Kent with a BA in English and American Literature, Rory undertook an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at King’s College London. He joined ITPro in 2022 as a graduate, after four years in student journalism. You can contact Rory at rory.bathgate@futurenet.com or on LinkedIn.