Microsoft, Oracle deliver direct access to Oracle database services on Azure

Microsoft, Oracle deliver direct access to Oracle database services on Azure

The hyperscalers are joining forces to help customers fully migrate to the cloud — and place their data closer to Microsoft services to facilitate cloud-native development and AI experimentation.

Looking ahead to a future in which customers will move their entire data center workloads to the cloud, Microsoft and Oracle on Thursday expanded their partnership. Oracle is collocating its Oracle database hardware (including Oracle Exadata) and software in Microsoft Azure data centers, giving customers direct access to Oracle database services running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) via Azure.

“When a customer uses Microsoft technology, connected to Oracle technology, they’ll get best-in-class performance, reliability, and security,” Oracle Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Ellison says the offering, dubbed Oracle Database@Azure, will help many of its customers fully migrate from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud.

“Everyone’s very excited about the cloud and has 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, but it will,” Ellison said. “We’re trying to hasten that process to make it easier for customers to actually move their entire data center workload into the cloud.”

Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella added that Oracle Database@Azure will not only help customers complete their transition to the cloud but also open new AI vistas as well.

“AI exists because of data,” he said. “You need to have access to data. And so to now have Oracle Database@Azure means we can take something like Azure OpenAI and take it to where the data is. Whether it is fine-tuning a model, pre-training a model, or meta prompting a model requires that low latency access to data. I think this is the moment where data and AI come together to transform businesses and business processes.”

The service offers a fully integrated experience for deploying, managing, and using Oracle database instances in Azure without having to retool applications. Customers can deploy their Azure services with fully managed Oracle database services within a single datacenter to ensure low latency. Oracle will operate and manage the OCI services directly within Microsoft’s datacenters globally, starting with North America and Europe.

Oracle Database@Azure includes support for Oracle Exadata Database services, Oracle Autonomous Database services, and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RACs). The partners have developed a joint support model for rapid response and resolution for mission-critical workloads.

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

The partners said the benefits of Oracle Database@Azure for customers include:

  • More options for moving Oracle databases to the cloud
  • The highest level of Oracle database performance, scale, and availability, as well as feature and pricing parity
  • The simplicity, security, and latency of a single operating environment within Azure
  • The ability to build new cloud-native applications using OCI and Azure technologies, including Azure’s AI services
  • The assurance of an architecture tested and supported by Microsoft and Oracle

Ellison noted that customers told Microsoft and Oracle that they wanted the ability to provision technology from the Azure portal, whether it was Oracle technology or Microsoft technology. Furthermore, they wanted it to be a seamless connection.

“You can go to the Azure portal, you can provision an Oracle autonomous dataset, our very latest technology, on an Exadata server, our very fastest technology,” he said. “You can then marry that to OpenAI technology. You can marry that to Teams. You can marry that to this incredible library of Microsoft technology. It’s all now one multicloud system.”

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