Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Microsoft, Oracle Link Their Clouds 

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Public cloud rivals Microsoft and Oracle are collaborating to allow customers to migrate and run enterprise workloads across each other’s cloud.

Market analysts said the partnership illustrates how multi-cloud deployments are creating opportunities for cloud providers to offer services that interoperate with competitors.

The cloud partners said Wednesday (June 5) the interoperability arrangement would for example allow Azure users to connect analytics services to Oracle’s cloud database. In a twist on multi-cloud deployments, workloads could be spread across the two platforms to optimize performance.

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), which lags far behind other cloud providers, has automated its database offerings and shifted them to the cloud in an effort to differentiate itself in a crowded cloud services market. Now linked to Azure via highs-speed networks, Oracle is promoting scenarios where its business applications can now run on Azure while accessing its cloud autonomous database.

According to cloud services tracker Synergy Research Group, Microsoft Azure trails only market leader Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN). On an annual basis, Azure showed the largest percentage gain in market share at the end of 2018. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) claims more than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Azure.

On the strength of its applications delivered as cloud software services, Microsoft edged ahead of AWS last year as measured in total cloud services revenue. IHS Markit reported this week that Microsoft’s cloud services revenues topped $26.8 billion in 2018. AWS, still dominant in infrastructure and platform services, took in more than $25.6 billion last year.

The partnership with Oracle “is a natural choice for us as we help our joint customers accelerate the migration of enterprise applications and databases to the public cloud,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and AI division.

Added Don Johnson, executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure: “Our joint customers can migrate their entire set of existing applications to the cloud without having to re-architect anything.”

The growing popularity of multi-cloud deployments provides an opportunity for cloud providers like Oracle to grab a bigger chunk of the cloud services market through database and other cloud-based applications. This week’s partnership with Microsoft underscores that trend.

“Many enterprises are already using various services from different providers, and this is continuing as more cloud service providers offer services that interoperate with services from their partners and their competitors,” said Devan Adams, an analysts with IHS Markit.

The connected Azure-Oracle clouds are available now on the U.S. east coast, with additional regions to be added soon. Previewing this week is the ability to run Oracle applications via Azure Active Directory for conditional access.

The partners said Oracle databases also will run on different operating systems supported on Azure, including Windows Server and Oracle’s Linux distribution.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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