Microsoft And Oracle Say: Come To Azure Cloud - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
10:31 PM
Connect Directly

Microsoft And Oracle Say: Come To Azure Cloud

Bygones are bygones, as former database rivals Microsoft and Oracle link arms to entice cloud customers to choose Azure over Amazon.

VMware Vs. Microsoft: 8 Cloud Battle Lines
VMware Vs. Microsoft: 8 Cloud Battle Lines
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
"I can't tell you how excited I was to get the call to come speak here," said Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate VP for cloud and enterprise engineering, Tuesday as he faced the Oracle OpenWorld audience filled with several thousand potential Windows Azure cloud users. No Microsoft executive had ever made an OpenWorld keynote before.

Oracle and Microsoft, for the last decade, have bitterly vied to see which would be the dominant database on Windows: Oracle or SQL Server. The stakes grew higher as Windows Server became more strongly entrenched in the enterprise data center. At some point, both decided neither was ever going to own the market outright. At the same time, the rise of Amazon Web Services showed what had been brewing while they grappled with each other. If some database users were finding a home on AWS, they potentially weren't using either Oracle or SQL Server. It might just be time for a strategic re-alignment.

The two companies announced June 24 that Microsoft would make it simple to run the Oracle database system, Java, and WebLogic Server on its Azure cloud. If customers did so, they would still be entitled to receive support from Oracle under the new partnership agreement.

Tuesday, Anderson took the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to say the partnership was no longer just talk but operative. Microsoft made a website available where customers could download a preview version of the Oracle database, WebLogic application server and Java Development Kit in a Hyper-V virtual machine to be test-driven on Windows Server. By making the combination available as a set of Hyper-V files, it was in a package ready-made to receive the customer's application, get test-driven under Windows on premises, then migrate back into Azure, Anderson said. The license for use on Azure was included in the package.

[ Want to learn more about Oracle's cloud partnerships? See Oracle's Week Of Megadeals Leaves Questions. ]

As another sign of how much things have changed, the Oracle database was available with WebLogic Server in a second virtual package, this time running under Oracle Linux, Anderson said. It was geared to run on Azure, with the customer supplying an appropriate Oracle Linux licensing.

Back when Microsoft was primarily an operating system company, distributing rival software under Linux was unthinkable. Now it might generate future customers for the Azure cloud, customers who wouldn't end up inside the dominant cloud vendor, Amazon, and it was worth the risk.

"Today is the first of many steps that will deliver on the promise of this partnership, and there is more work and more announcements to come," Anderson wrote in his "In The Cloud" blog Tuesday, in advance of his appearance at OpenWorld.

Oracle's board chairman, the gentlemanly and diplomatic Jeff Henley, introduced Anderson, rather than another Oracle executive, such as CEO Larry Ellison, who has not only trashed cloud computing, but Microsoft as well.

Anderson said the combination of Oracle software running under Windows Server "was one of the most common workloads" in enterprise environments today. Making such a combination a potential Azure workload amounted to a no-brainer at this point, he concluded.

And Azure was a reliable place to run enterprise tasks, he assured his listeners. It is a battle-tested environment already running Office365 and Bing searches.

Jeff Woolsey, program manager for Windows Server virtualization, added that developing with the software that Oracle and Microsoft were making available meant that enterprise users could develop their applications and then have a choice of running them on premises or in the cloud.

"Treat Azure as an extension of your data center," he urged. If enough customers do so, then Microsoft's gamble on encouraging use of Oracle and Linux will have paid off.

Learn more about cloud management by attending the Interop conference track on Cloud Computing and Virtualization in New York from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Author
9/25/2013 | 7:57:45 PM
re: Microsoft And Oracle Say: Come To Azure Cloud
Microsoft efforts like Azure have to be freed to compete on their own merits, not shackled to serving the interest of particular MS products. Convincing companies that Azure is the best cloud to run Oracle software would seem like a pretty good place for Azure to be.
User Rank: Author
9/25/2013 | 6:27:13 PM
re: Microsoft And Oracle Say: Come To Azure Cloud
"Back when Microsoft was primarily an operating system company, distributing rival software under Linux was unthinkable." That is an understatement. Makes me picture Bill Gates jumping up and down, hopping mad.

Oracle woo small business? Hmm. Price matters a LOT to these customers.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Becoming a Self-Taught Cybersecurity Pro
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  6/9/2021
Ancestry's DevOps Strategy to Control Its CI/CD Pipeline
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  6/4/2021
IT Leadership: 10 Ways to Unleash Enterprise Innovation
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/8/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll